I'm a hot beverage kind of girl. I love sipping from a steamy mug while relaxing at home (during those precious few free minutes I'm able to grab!) and I often have a warm bevvy with me while out and about, especially during the chillier months. Although I do drink both coffee and tea, I'm currently on a 100% tea kick since I'm nursing and my little guy has proven to have a sensitive tummy. We keep a variety of loose-leaf tea at home, from rooibos to green to fruit-based blends, but up until now my options for enjoying them on the road were a couple cheap software SWAG travel mugs we had kicking around. (Which we should really pitch. Who knows what's in those things? I kinda cringe every time I pour hot water into one of 'em.) Therefore when I discovered the brand Libre and its line of "glass n poly" tea glasses designed for enjoying loose leaf tea on the go, I knew I had to get in on this goodness!
Product Info (abridged - complete info here):
Loose leaf 'on the go' - The Libre tea glass is the perfect tea gift for your tea lovin' friends and family - they will appreciate a relaxing tea moment anywhere, anytime.
Beautiful and convenient, the Libre glass 'n poly styles feature -
- a health conscious glass interior and durable poly exterior - keeps tea hot and cool to touch
- a removable stainless-steel filter that keeps tea leaves in the glass, out of your mouth and is removable for easy cleaning
- on the go ease - see Libre 'how to' video for 2 easy ways to enjoy tea moments 'on the go'.
The glass 'n poly Libre styles are all a BPA-free experience for your tea.
Choose the Libre glass'n poly Original (9 oz), Large (14 oz) or Mug (10 0z).
For review purposes, I received a Libre glass'n poly Original. I chose this size as I'm a sipper and don't drink huge quantities at a time (thus earning the moniker "Half Cup", courtesy of my clever husband), plus I figured a smaller glass would cram better into a purse, diaper bag, etc.
My first thought - how lurvely! Certainly a marked improvement aesthetically over the aforementioned SWAG mugs. I particularly love the ornate designs on the lid. A very nice touch!
The weight of the glass is similar to a "standard" travel mug and the size is perfect for car cupholders.
The glass contains two pieces which attach to the top - the lid and a filter layer. Both of these screw on snugly, resulting in a truly leak-free experience.
The filter "net" holds about 2-3 teaspoons of tea, which is a perfect amount to get a good but not ultra-strong steep (using the limited steeping method - more on this in a bit).
While I wouldn't exactly call it "cool", the glass does remain holdable even when filled with boiling water right from the kettle. (I usually fill mine with my Keurig so the water isn't as hot, but I did the kettle test to confirm that it can, indeed, handle higher temperatures too.) And on a related topic, it holds its heat pretty long - about 30-40 minutes with regular drinking and much longer with the lid left on.
The filter is made of a very fine mesh. Just a tiny amount of tea "bits" manage to sneak through; certainly no more (and probably a little less) than the dome filter I use at home with my regular mugs.
Finally, apparently this thing is ultra-robust - though I wasn't about to conduct the following test myself!
In terms of steeping methods, I use the limited approach most often. I find many teas (especially green varieties) are perfect after 4-5 minutes of steeping and then start getting harsh/bitter. Plus, like I mentioned, the glass is easier to clean using this method which is always a plus. Here I've brewed a rooibos chai using the limited steeping method.
Here I'm using the full steep method (i.e leaves directly in glass) with some green tea. As you can see, it has gotten pretty dark/strong.
I was initially a bit skeptical about drinking right out of the filter layer using the full method but this works perfectly fine.
Of course, the Libre doesn't *have* to be used with loose-leaf; here I'm using it with bagged tea (using the full steep method, of course).
Really, it could be used to enjoy any hot (or cold!) beverage in style. But, of course, tea is super-healthy and zen-tastic!
Overall, as I'm sure it's evident I LOVE my Libre glass'n poly Original tea glass! It's gorgeous, leak-proof, non-toxic, portable and functions well. As for constructive criticism, the only problem I've experienced is that some condensation has developed inside my lid, on top of the design. However when I mentioned this to my contact at Libre, she told me this isn't supposed to happen and immediately sent out a replacement. So A+ customer service right there. That said, the issue probably could've been avoided (even with a faulty lid) by simply rinsing the lid each time and not submerging in soapy water like I did on a few occasions. Product improvement-wise, it might be nice if there was a spout option for drinking (vs. completely open-faced) as this would keep tea warm longer and probably reduce the likelihood of a spill, however I'm not sure how this would work - perhaps an entirely different lid option? In any case, a potential idea for Libre 2.0!
Visit the Libre retail shop to purchase a glass'n poly tea glass of your own! Save 30% with coupon code GetGrounded4EarthDay (ends April 22, 2013 at Midnight PST).
One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win a Libre glass'n poly Original tea glass! Open to CAN/US.
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Disclosure: The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Libre Tea. I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive a sample item free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.