When the Imbue tea mug first got posted to Coroflot, I was a bit put off by the heavy proportions of the wooden lid and made some snap judgments about the overall value of the design. (Nothing personal, the Whole Foods/greenwashed vibe has its place.) However, while really savoring a spring flu over the weeks since, I’ve found myself wishing for this exact type of travel mug and realized most of the mobile tea options out there are fairly uncool. So it’s only fair to double back and give it some love.
The Imbue Magnetic Tea Vessel was designed by Ashkon Nima, and its strength isn’t in those Look At Me, I Recycle rustic materials, it’s the dead simple integrated strainer. We’ve beaten the ancient horse of tea straining at home a thousand times over, but making tea on the go can still be messy. Where do you put your teabag? How do you keep from over steeping while you’re sprinting for the train?
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In this case, your unwanted tea leaves just stay inside the magnetic strainer, integrated into the cap. It turns out that bulky cap I found a little ostentatious at first makes more sense—visually and literally—when you realize the mug is also meant to work upside down.
Steep your tea with the mug upside down and the strainer at the bottom, then flip it up when you’re ready to call it done and use the deep-sided cap to catch drips. I love me a low fuss daily tool, and this delivers without getting into twee (or drippy or clanky) tea ball territory.
This would be particularly nice to use with my schmancy oolongs and other teas that can be re-steeped for different subtle effects (at least once I get my sense of smell back). The reality of over-steeped tea isn’t going to kill anybody, but having a choice is great.