November 10, 2015

Teabook, Part 1: Teas and Tumbler

As part of my introduction to Teabook, I interviewed founder Jeffrey McIntosh. It was a great conversation so stay tuned for the transcript later this week. In this post, I share my experiences of the teas and the tumbler.

Each Teabook box comes with three types of tea, one of which is a specialty tea from Jeffrey's personal collection. There is only one packet of the specialty tea. There are eight packets each of the other two teas. In my box, there was Long Jing (green), a Dian Hong (red), and Xiang Ming (also a green). Each packet has approximately 2g of loose leaf and the tumbler has a liquid capacity of between 8 and 10 oz. I usually steep my tea in a taiwan (or tasting cup set) so I was not used to this ratio of leaf to water.

The Long Jing is good. It has all the classic Dragonwell elements in terms of leaf style, aroma, and flavors. However, when I steeped the tea in the tumbler, there was a plastic smell and taste. I washed the tumbler several times following instructions from Teabook to wash in the dishwasher and/or with very hot water. I have not been able to remove the plastic odor and taste from the tumbler. I also used the tumbler for the Dian Hong and it had the same effect.

Dian Hong (aka Yunnan Gold) is one of my favorite teas. I definitely enjoyed Teabook's version when I prepared it in my gaiwan which has a smaller water capacity than the tumbler. The ratio of leaves to the amount of water in the tumbler can dull the flavor of this tea. In addition, I found that steeping the Dian Hong in 185 degree F water really showcased the taste of this tea. Another tip: immediately after opening the packet, take a deep inhale of the leaves. The smell is heavenly.

I haven't yet prepared the Xiang Ming. Since there is only packet I am hesitant to steep it! I think I need an "open that packet night" similar to the Open That Bottle Night hosted by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, wine columnists for the Wall Street Journal.

Come back for more Teabook: (1) my interview with founder Jeffrey MacIntosh and (2) my tasting of Xiang Ming!

Teabook (teas and tumbler) c/o of Teabook.

This post was edited on November 12, 2015. Read Teabook, Part 2: Interview with Jeffrey McIntosh, Teabook Founder and CEO.


  1. I experienced the same plastic taste with my teabook tumbler. I've used it quite a few times now, and it's fading a bit. But I've had other issues with it (leaks, mainly). I find that if I triple check the seals, and make sure the water isn't too hot, it works fine. But still, that plastic taste takes awhile to fade. I actually enjoyed the Dian Hong steeped in the tumbler. It was nice and flavorful. But I wouldn't have minded it a bit stronger.

    1. Georgia | Notes on Tea11/12/15, 1:07 PM

      Thanks for your comment, Sara. I won't give up on the tumbler, then.

      This morning I steeped the Dian Hong in 185 degrees F water and it was great! I updated the post to reflect this experience.

    2. Georgia | Notes on Tea11/13/15, 8:38 PM

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