This is NOT the version available through DavidsTEA.
I got this one at a Fantasia Coffee & Tea store. For those unfamiliar, it’s a coffee/tea/milk tea cafe with several locations in the SF Bay Area. $19.95+TAX.
I have two types of tea steeping thermoses, this and one from Barnes & Noble (~$15). The B&N one is also a 18/8 stainless steel tumbler but it has a fine mesh basket tea infuser and it doesn’t have a sipping lid. The DavidsTEA timolino has a fine mesh basket tea infuser that is attached to a sipping lid that has larger holes, plus another lid.
THIS timolino has a fine mesh on the sipping lid, but it doesn’t have the basket infuser. I’m totally ok without the basket infuser, I usually use my thermoses for grandpa style infusing anyway. The reason why I went for this one over the David’s tea one is that there’s no plastic in contact with the water except on the sipping lid/strainer. (The B&N thermos’ infusing basket is also stainless steel, and removable.)
I’ve heard such good things about the timolino. I was pretty disappointed. It’s not even because of a bad design, it’s pretty good for what it is, it’s just ANNOYING.
The thermos functions OK as a thermos, it keeps tea warm for a few hours, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. I expect alot out of my thermoses. But the biggest problem would probably be that it’s really really hard to get a good stream of tea out of the sipping lid. _.
I admit it, I take pretty big, slurpy sips usually. And as soon as the tea is not scalding, I drink it down pretty fast. I have to keep my drinks outside of the lab, so when I want some tea, I’m outside for 1-2 min for my hydration and then I’m busy again. For better or for worse, this fine mesh sipping lid FORCES you to sip. For me that wants my tea NOW that means going slowly, and losing time and even enjoyment. The problem would be because the fine mesh interaction with the water makes a type of vacuum inside of the thermos because of the capillary forces of water on the mesh not letting air into the thermos at the same rate I want the liquid to be coming out. So even as a portable teapot this is not really working for me because I’ll be able to pour out an oz maybe, then the flow stops, I’ll blot the strainer to remove the excess and the cycle begins again. It is impossible to get a nice steady flow of tea from this thermos until you have no more liquid inside, unless the lid is completely dry. Why not just bypass the sipping lid? Well then, what’s the point? I don’t know if the DT timolinos have this problem or not, at least no one has mentioned it to my knowledge.
Where this would be a PRO: driving, I totally see how this slow flow model would be helpful when driving and sipping. BUT the cup is too slim to fit into at least my car’s cup holders, and have fallen from the cup holders onto the car floor more than once.
So PROS/CONS versus the DavidsTEA timolino: It doesn’t have an infuser basket, so once your tea leaves are in there, there isn’t a way to take them out unless you clean out your thermos. This is basically made for grandpa style brewing. This can be either a pro or con based on your preferred style of brewing. Pro for me because lack of plastic in contact with the water and I don’t mind this style of brewing.
The sipping lid holes are fine mesh. From what i’ve observed, the one on the original DT timolinos are pretty big holes comparatively. If you drink alot of small leaf teas or herbals like rooibos, this could be a pro. No tea bits in your mouth! But yeah, results in that awkward sipping enforcement. I’m told though that the new DT timolino Carry Mugs have fine mesh on the sipping lid as well, so it might be the same.
It’s an OK item for what it is. I’ll keep using it, mostly because I like the color. But I won’t be purchasing another. I have two B&N ones though- I really like them, and if they had more than two colors, I’d be on it.