TEAWARE REVIEW: activiTEA available at Whittington’s Tea Emporium


Product: A tea tumbler available for purchase at Whittington’s Tea Emporium
Twitter: @WTEmporium
Link to activitTEA on Whittington’s Tea Emporium website

I’ve been keen to try a glass tea tumbler after a couple colleagues of mine came back from Hong Kong and said how many people carry these around and constantly top them up with hot water throughout the day. I must admit that I’m generally sceptical of tea gadgets (either high tech or simple) because I feel like nothing can compare to loose leaf in a teapot. But I am open to trying products that can help me make loose leaf tea when not at home. The idea of an insulated flask or travel mug very much appeals to be, but I’ve found that the tea made or held in these vessels (especially black tea) takes on a cooked or stewed taste because the liquor remains at a very high temperature for a prolonged time. When I heard about these glass tumblers, I thought this might be the perfect solution, as the glass won’t maintain such a high temperature

Over the past two weeks, I have tested the activiTEA tumbler at home and office, as well as on my commute. I had a few core questions I wanted to answer:

How will the tea taste?

What teas work best?

Is it messy to use?

How long will the tea stay hot?

Product overview:

activiTEA is made by Adagio Teas. The tumbler part of the activiTEA is made out of borosilicate glass and holds 300ml or 10oz of liquid. Borosilicate glass is great because it is durable (but that doesn’t mean unbreakable) and does not stain. The top part of the activiTEA has three parts: the top lid, a stainless steel infuser and a middle section that holds the infuser and carrying strap in place.

WTE - activiTEA

Left: All three pieces of the top section; Right: Infuser placed in middle section

How to use the activiTEA:

    • Place the stainless steel infuser in the middle section and put tea in the infuser (see figure 1)
    • Tightly screw on the top lid
    • Pour water into glass tumbler (roughly 80% fully) and tightly screw on the top part
    • Flip the tumbler over so the tea can infuse (see figure 2)
Tea in infuser

Figure 1: Tea in infuser

Turn the bottle upside down to the tea

Figure 2: Tea infusing in the activiTEA

Tea leaves after infusion

Tea leaves after infusion

Conclusions and tips about the activiTEA:

I think the activiTEA is a wonderful tea gadget. Before purchasing it, I think there are only a few things you should consider, and I hope the questions I wanted to address help you with the decision:

How will the tea taste?

– I found that the tea infused and held in the tumbler did not take on a cooked or stewed taste. Because the tea doesn’t have as much space to move around as it would in a teapot, you might need to play around with infusion times. I wasn’t totally pleased with my first couple attempts with the tumbler because I didn’t allow the tea to infuse long enough. My tip: After filling the bottle with water and screwing the top part on, give the activiTEA a good shake to make sure the water fully immerses the leaves. I found that the tea made in the activiTEA tasted great.

What teas work best?

– Due to the size of the infuser holes, you really should pick a larger leaf tea or you will have bits floating around in the tumbler. My tip: While I tried all tea types, I personally found rolled leaf oolong teas to work best because of their size, and that I could keep filling the bottle up throughout the day and get numerous infusions.

Is it messy to use?

– I was worried that there might be some leakage between the sections whilst the tea was infusing. I had no issues with this.  The only issue I had was when I filled the tumbler too high with water and then tried to pour the tea into a cup. I regularly spilt a little.

How long will the tea stay hot?

– It will definitely keep things hot for at least two to two and half hours. I doubt too many tea lovers will be able to let tea sit around for very long any way. For me, I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t need to slurp the tea down within an hour or it would go lukewarm.

Whilst using the activiTEA, I also drew some other conclusions that might be helpful:


– Since the activiTEA can be fully disassembled, it is extremely easy and quick to clean. It is not like some dreadful kitchen gadget (e.g. a food processor) that is so awful to clean that you rarely want to use it because the cleaning takes so long.

Temperature of tumbler

– The outside of the activiTEA is warm to touch when full of water, but it isn’t hot. The strap is on the bottle to make it easy to carry – it is not there so you don’t burn your hand whilst carrying the tumbler.

Is it a tumbler or a travel teapot?

And finally, and probably most important, I would say the activiTEA is more of a travel tea pot than a tumbler. While you could fill it with hot water and drink it on the road, it isn’t engineered like most travel tumblers: i.e. it doesn’t have a little hole to drink out of that can be covered; rather you have to take the top part off by unscrewing it. I am not super keen on trying to drink hot liquids while in the car or on public transport, so this isn’t an issue for me.

Retail price: £16.00

About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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2 Responses to TEAWARE REVIEW: activiTEA available at Whittington’s Tea Emporium

  1. Pingback: Drew reviews activiTEA |

  2. Pingback: Drew reviews the ingenuiTEA teamaker |

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