Product Review: The Tsleeve®

TeasleeveProduct Information:

Where to Buy: Tsleeve

Product Description:

The goal of t-sleeve® is to be not only a convenient way to enjoy tea, but to be as eco-friendly as possible. Both the box packaging and t-sleeve® are recyclable. Once t-sleeve®  comes in contact with the moist tea bag, it becomes a compostable product.  Feel good about doing your part for the environment and reducing your carbon footprint.

Learn more about this product here.

Product Review:

When I first received this product to review, I wasn’t quite sure what to think about it.  If you’ve read my reviews for any length of time, you’re already aware of what I think about bagged tea.  I prefer loose leaf – always! – and while I have managed to find some bagged teas that I’m happy with, I still have qualms about the bag.  And here I was with Tsleeves, a product that in essence embraces the tea bag.  Hmm.

As with all things tea, I try to go into the review with an open mind, so I’ll do that wit this product too.

So, what is this product? It’s a sturdy cardstock envelope that’s just a wee bit larger than the average size individually wrapped tea bag.  (For this particular review, I used a Stash tea bag.)  You can also put a packet of your favorite sweetener in the Tsleeve.

The image doesn’t really show it, but there’s a little slit in the back of the Tsleeve that allows you to slide the flap into the slit for a closure.  Then you have a neat little package with your traveling tea needs to take with you wherever you’re headed (a restaurant or hotel that doesn’t serve tea you like, work, or whatever.)  It’s a handy little way to take tea (even though it’s bagged) with you.  You can easily stow the Tsleeve in your purse or briefcase.

Note:  I wouldn’t recommend using an unwrapped tea bag in this product, because of the little rectangular notch at the top of the Tsleeve, the unwrapped tea bag would not be protected from the elements, including the elements in your purse.

Teasleeve1Anyway, when you’re ready to brew, then you remove your tea bag from the Tsleeve, unwrap the tea bag, and then slide the tag and string through the Tsleeve and through the notch at the top, as shown in the picture to the right.

This is probably the most useful part of the Tsleeve, in my opinion.  On the occasions when I’m brewing tea in a tea bag, the tag seems to inevitably end up in the cup with the liquid as it infuses.  Either the string isn’t long enough, or the act of pouring the hot water into the teacup seems to whoosh the teabag right into the cup with the liquid and I either have to try to fish the tag out with a spoon or fork or I burn my fingertips trying to get the tag out with my fingers.  This ‘feature’ offers a larger ‘anchor’ that doesn’t get swept away into the tides of my teacup.

Teasleeve2So, instead of having a dainty little tag on the side of the teacup, you have a rather large, anchoring Tsleeve sitting on the side of your teacup.  This isn’t the most attractive look if you’re at a tea party with fancy teacups and saucers, but, if you’re drinking out of the average hotel room cup, it’ll work fine.

Once your tea is finished brewing, the idea is to hold onto the Tsleeve while you pull the tag up, which will pull the tea bag into the Tsleeve.  Then, they suggest that you squeeze the tea bag into your cup.

I didn’t do this.  Why?  Because you should NEVER squeeze a tea bag into your cup.  This doesn’t squeeze flavor into your tea cup, it squeezes tannins into your tea cup, making it bitter.  This is supposed to be the main function of the Tsleeve – to help you ‘squeeze’ the tea bag and dispose of the tea bag.

Teasleeve3It does give you a little less mess when it comes to disposing of the tea bag.   I never know what to do with that hot tea bag after I’m finished with it when I’m on-the-go, because it is messy.

So, for me, the most useful part of this Tsleeve is that it anchors the tea bag tag so that it doesn’t go floating in my tea and it gives me an easy way to dispose of the tea bag after I’m finished steeping the tea bag.

For me, personally, this product really has a very limited use for me because I don’t drink a lot of bagged tea and because I don’t squeeze the tea bag.  (And neither should you.)

But, I do thank the makers of this product for sending me a sample of it to try.  I can see how this would be a useful tool for the casual sipper who doesn’t know that they shouldn’t squeeze the tea bag.  For those of us who do know better, it could be a handy convenience when we want a cleaner way to dispose of the tea bag when not at home.

Pesticide-Free Japanese Green Tea Powder Packets from Shi Zen

pesticidefreegreenteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Shi Zen

Tea Description:

Our green tea is grown on family farms located in small villages in the foothills of Mount Fuji. This remote Hyuga region of Shizuoka Prefecture enjoys the perfect combination of clean air, pure water, and fertile soil only found in this area of Japan. 

Enjoy the taste and convenience of our pesticide-free green tea powder while taking a full advantage of its health benefits. When you brew green tea, you are drinking only 30 percent of its nutrients and throwing away the rest. With our green tea powder, all of its health benefits will be packed in your water bottle. Perfect for today’s busy but health conscious parents who are always on the go. On your way to the daycare, work, or yoga studio, just dissolve 2 sticks of our powered green tea in your 16-oz water bottle and take it with you. Along with all the benefits of regular green tea, it’ll also give you Vitamin E and dietary fiber you wouldn’t get from brewed green tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The more I have of these green tea powder packets from Shi Zen … the more I like them.   Today, I’m trying the Pesticide-Free Japanese Green Tea Powder Packets from Shi Zen.  It’s deliciously sweet and invigorating to sip.

I start with a small bottle of water (16.9 ounces) and I open two packets of the powdered green tea.  I pour one packet at a time, and give the bottle a good shake in between adding the packets, just to get the tea well incorporated and hopefully to avoid getting clumps of tea in my drink.  And at first, I did get some clumps … but, after some vigorous shaking, the clumps dissolved and I’m left with a really delicious beverage for on the go.

The tea is really refreshing … I like this better than one of the bottled ready-to-drink teas that you can buy in a convenience store, because it’s not all sugar and corn syrup.  I can taste the goodness of the green tea in this.  I taste the grassy, vegetative tones and the sweet, lush flavor.  It is sweet … there is absolutely no bitterness here.  There is also virtually no astringency to this – that is to say, I can’t detect any astringency to this at all.  It’s just smooth and easy to drink … whether you’re sipping or guzzling it down!

I like that this is pesticide-free.  I like that this is pure green tea that’s been pulverized into a powder, and that once you’ve shaken it up … it stays incorporated.  You don’t have to keep shaking in between sips.  It’s a great way to stay hydrated on warm summer days like this one, and far tastier (and healthier!) than the RTD teas that you’ll find.  This one gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me!