CUSTOMER - TEACUP REVIEW
Xiu Xian Tea, while carrying numerous “traditional” teapots and cups, also carries several cutting edge products, which are popular in China, but are difficult to find in the United States. One such group of products is their line of “filter cups”. These cups greatly simplify the brewing of loose leaf tea, making good, fresh tea available for people who are “on the go”.
Functionality and Use
Basic Filter Cups
Xiu Xian carries several different styles of filter cups. The basic cups are all based on the same
principle, and are all used in the same fashion. The cups all have some sort of filter in the lid,
so that the leaves can remain in the cup while the tea is being consumed. Loose tea leaves are added
to the main section of the cup, the filter is attached, and hot water is added. Then, the lid is
screwed on, and the tea brews on the go. The leaves have plenty of room for expansion, which allows
them to impart their full flavor and intensity.
First to be reviewed was the 12-ounce acrylic (plastic), basic cup. This cup is double-walled,
clear acrylic, nicely insulated, with a stylish design. It is a smooth cylinder with no handle,
and they have very attractive artwork designs. The designs are encased between the two layers of
plastic, so they will not flake or rub off. It has a two-part, screw on lid. The first portion
screws onto the main part of the cup, and houses a mesh screen which keeps your tea leaves in the
cup while drinking. The second section is a lid which helps to keep the tea warm and eliminate
spillage while not drinking. It is nice to carry with you, and very easy to use. This cup fits
nicely in an automobile cup holder, and comes in small (8oz), medium (9oz), and large (12oz).
The second cup to be reviewed was the 12-ounce glass cup with removable filter. This cup is
designed very nicely. It is very sleek, with a basic cylindrical design, and very nice decorations.
The cups are double-walled, which creates a nice durability, and insulates as well. The filter on
this cup does not screw on. Instead, it drops into the top of the cup, and snaps into place.
You use this cup much the same way as the acrylic cup. You place the leaves in the cup, slide
the filter into place, and pour in the hot water. You then screw on your lid, and you are ready
to go. These also fit into automobile cup holders, and come in small (8oz), medium (9oz),
and large (12oz). This cup comes in a satin-lined, lidded box with a magnetic closure, which
makes a very nice presentation as a gift.
Xiu Xian also carries styles in the “office mug” series. These cups are designed with handles
(for those who need handles, or simply prefer them), and are beautifully presented in satin-lined
The 10oz acrylic “office mug” is very nice, with a typical mug design. It has the same two-part
lid system of the basic acrylic cup, and is used in the same manner. It has very attractive design
painted between the plastic layers, so it won’t flake off, and the silver colored lid has a
coordinating design on top. It is presented in a very nice fabricated wooden box. The box is
lined with gold satin, and would make a nice presentation gift.
The second “ office mug” is a 14oz stainless steel insulated mug with a handle. It features a
drop-in filter, and double-walled stainless steel for insulation. It has a very fine lid with it also.
This mug also makes a good impression when given as a gift. It comes in a satin lined, lidded box
with a magnetic closure, and the mug comes with a beautiful red ribbon tied around it.
The third mug is not an “office mug” per se. It is a limited edition glass mug which has a drop-in
filter, and is very special. It is double-walled and very heavy. It has a silver dragon design
between the two layers of glass, and the extremely heavy silver lid carries the same dragon design.
The box that this mug comes in is a piece of art in itself. It is lined in satin, like the others,
and the mug is tied in a red ribbon, but the box is special. It is a heavyweight wooden box, with
a double-hinged lid. The wood has a cherry finish, and is polished to a beautiful luster.
Gung Fu Cups
Next in line is the gung fu cup series. This style of cup is also acrylic, and is very good for
green teas and others that tend to get bitter if over-steeped. Xiu Xian carries two styles of
gung fu cups. Both of them were tested and both had very positive results. These cups are currently
offered in med (8oz), and large (12 oz).
With the first cup, water is poured into the larger section of the cup, and tea leaves are placed
in the small section . The small section is screwed onto the top of the cup, which places a filter
between the leaves and the water. The cup is then flipped upside-down for the desired brewing time.
After the tea is brewed, the small chamber is removed, and is attached to the bottom of the cup, so
that the leaves do not remain in the water while the tea is being consumed. When finished, the small
section can be re-attached to the top and the process repeated until the leaves are spent.
With the second style gung fu cup, the beginning of the process is the same. However, after the
tea is brewed, the small section is placed to the side while the tea is being consumed. In other
words, the brewing chamber does not screw onto the bottom of the cup. This cup can also be used as
a basic filter cup, by placing the leaves in the larger portion of the cup, screwing on the brewing
chamber with the filter, and simply leaving it in place to keep the leaves in the cup while drinking.
Insulation and Heat Retention
Two heat retention tests were performed on the double-walled acrylic cup, the double-walled glass cup,
and the stainless steel cup. While the heat retention of any particular cup will vary based on several
usage factors, this specific test was helpful in determining general heat-retaining properties of the
various designs. One could assume that all of the differing designs of the same construction would
perform similarly. For instance, all double-walled acrylic cups, regardless of the design, should
perform in a similar fashion.
In the first test, boiling water was added to each cup, and the lids were not attached. After
approximately an hour and a half, the water in each cup was still slightly warm. This is quite
a bit better than what happens if tea is poured into a regular ceramic tea cup.
The differences were apparent in the second test. In this experiment, boiling water was poured
into each cup, and the lids were all attached. The lids were removed periodically to check water
temperature, and then the lids were re-attached. The plastic cup held the heat rather well, lasting
for almost 2 hours before it settled to slightly above room temperature. The glass style performed
a bit better, coming in at a little more than 2 and a half hours. The stainless cup was the best of
the lot. After 8 hours, the water in the cup was still warm!
As for the heat on the exterior of the cups, the steel cup felt cool to the touch on the outside.
The double-walled plastic and glass warmed up on the outside, but were never so warm that they
overheated the hand.
Xiu Xian Tea carries numerous filter cups, and once you try them, you will be hooked! They have
designs to fit every budget, style, and application. You can choose handles, no handles, glass,
plastic, gung fu, or basic. It is your choice! Try one (or two) different styles, for the various
types of tea that you drink...once you do, you will be in love.
By: Edie Foss - Sept 2007