This year for Sinterklaas (the Dutch, superior version of Santa Clause), the great Sint gifted me with a Travel Buddy Tea Travel Mug. Seems like the Sint must have read my post about travel tea mugs. Thanks Sint! Finally I can enjoy a nice cup of tea on the train in the mornings.
This particular Travel Buddy was bought in Malaysia, but since getting it I have noticed it in a shop here in Melbourne, as well as on Pure Puer. For any of you considering buying one, here are my thoughts.
The thing that I find interesting about the Travel Buddy is that the infuser sits at the bottom of the mug, rather than at the top, which is where most other travel mugs I’ve seen have their infuser. I wonder whether it was decided this way with Asian tea drinkers in mind, as I know that in China at least, it’s common to leave tea leaves in the bottom of your cup and just re-steep them throughout the day. Whatever the case, it means that it’s easy to over-brew your tea, so for this reason I prefer to use less tea leaves than I normally would.
One limiting factor about the infuser is that it is quite small, so it’s not suited to teas that need their leaves to expand. I’ve generally opted for black teas and small-leaf green teas.
The good thing about the infuser is how tiny its holes are. The smaller the hole, the less leaf particles make their way into the drink itself.
The Travel Buddy is made entirely of plastic. Unfortunately, the walls are particularly thin and get very hot when you fill it with boiling water. There’s no handle either, so you have to rely on the wristband to hold it while it’s still hot. Most of the time, I find I have to wait at least 5 minutes before I can start drinking the tea, simply because it’s too hot to touch otherwise.
The mug also releases the heat fairly quickly, again due to the thinness of the plastic. I haven’t timed it very closely, but I would estimate that the drink stays hot for about 30 – 40 minutes.
You can buy a Travel Buddy sleeve to go with it, which kills two birds in one stone: you’ll be able to touch the bottle when it’s hot and it should also retain the heat for a bit longer.
Some travel mugs are hard to clean. Not the Travel Buddy. I’m not sure if the mug is dishwasher-safe (we don’t use a dishwasher), but it is definitely easy to clean. Just disassemble it, give it a quick rinse, and you’re done.
The Travel Buddy tea travel mug is available from Pure Puer. Check out more about travel mugs on my previous post: Tea Travel Mugs: A Buyer’s Overview of the Options.