Chinese Tea Thermos

Colleen’s post on Teavana’s nifty tea-making gadget reminded me that I had been meaning to find a tea thermos for work. A little bit of random net surfing happened to bring me to Yellow Mountain Imports, an online retailer specializing in Asian games such as Go and Mahjong. Chinese Tea ThermosTheir small Tea Shop focuses mostly on Yixing teapots, but they also had a really cute chinese tea thermos. I had intended to buy something a bit more utilitarian, but this little guy was just so pretty that I couldn’t resist it — especially at the very modest price of $10.00.

I wasn’t really expecting all that much from this purchase, but I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised to discover how handy it is. The two part top consists of a cap that keeps the thermos sealed for brewing or transporting, and a middle layer with a built-in metal strainer. You drop some tea in, add water, screw on the strainer and the cap, and let your tea brew. Once it’s ready, you screw off the cap and drink the tea right through the strainer. The double-walled plastic body keeps the tea hot but the thermos cool to the touch.

The cap of the thermos has a hologram image of a bonsai pine tree — which is kind of silly, but also charming.Chinese Tea Thermos hologram

I enjoy green tea, but I tend to be very erratic in my consumption of it. I brought the tea thermos to work, along with a bag of nice gunpowder tea, and now find myself drinking green tea all day long. I fill the thermos with a single teaspoon of tea, and then brew it several times during the day. The tea doesn’t get bitter if I drink it quickly enough, and the tea leaves hold up well to multiple brewings. I really like gunpowder, but I’m also finding that this works quite well with low caffeine green teas like hojicha and genmaicha. It’s a good (and low cost) way of keeping my tea consumption up and my caffeine consumption down.

I tend to get called away from my desk frequently at work, and that often means abandoning a nice, freshly-brewed cup of tea. Now when I need to run off to fix something, I just grab my tea thermos and take it with me. No more returning to sad, cold cups of forlorn tea …

[Sadly, it looks like Yellow Mountain Imports is all out of this tea thermos. It’s available from Strand Tea in two different sizes, but it’s also more expensive ($15.95 for the 8 oz. version I purchased, $19.95 for the larger 12 oz.).]


  1. That type of tea thermos is very popular in China. I saw many people on the busy streets and busses of Guangzhou carrying such thermos.

  2. That’s neat — the thermos certainly doesn’t feel like something designed with an American audience in mind.

    Do you know what sort of tea is normally brewed in these thermoses in Guangzhou?

  3. Most likely, Lipton! : )

    I’m sorry, I didn’t pay attention to the type of teas they brew in those thermoses. But the idea of using those thermoses is to brew the tea in not so hot water to begin with…and as the day progresses, they’d refill the thremoses many times with hotter and hotter water each time to force the tea’s flavor out. This way, a dose of dry leaves lasts all day. If the tea gets too weak, add just a little more dry leaves on top of the old, soggy ones and rebrew. “Get the most out of the leaves” is the name of the game, and certainly the objective is not to make great tea.

    While I’m here, may I have the Gongfu Girls’ email address(es) please? I am sending out an invitation to an online tea tasting, and I didn’t have your contact info. Thanks. My email is

  4. Thank you for thinking about us for an online tasting! We would love to be invited.

    You can contact us at our Gongfu Girl email addresses:

  5. The last time I was at The Crumpet Shop they had several of those tea thermoses back in their tea accessories section. I wasn’t in the market for a device of that type, but I noticed them because of the strange holograms on the lids and then investigated what they were.

  6. We found large versions of these at Teahouse Kuan Yin in Wallingford on Friday!

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  8. I have this same tea thermos! The hologram is of a sun flower though. Since I went to Beijing I have been looking for such a thing and on eBay is where I found this one. Does anyone know what these are called in Chinese? I attended a class at BeiDa and the professor had one that had a red strap attached to it. I am seeking that one now but have been unable to find anything similar to it stateside.

    Please if anyone can point me in the right direction I will be extremely grateful!

  9. OMG! Just thought I’d give a heads up…the tea thermos you got at Blue Mountain Imports is ON SALE for only $4.99?! WOOT WOOT! 😀

  10. Sorry…spazztic me…I meant Yellow Mountain Imports…lol

  11. I went to China last summer and fell in love with the tea. I bought one of these tea thermos’ . Last week I broke mine. I went to the website for yellow mountain imports and I can’t find them. When I click on the “Tea Shop” it is empty. This looks exactly like the one I want. Please help!!!

  12. Awesome! I just got one from Teas Etc and love it so far. It’s a much more engaging way to drink tea.

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