Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Choosing a Tea Flask

Posted on | June 14, 2011 | Comments

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A Good, Hot Cup of Tea


Cosmic Traveler Mug

There is nothing like a good cup of tea no matter where you are, but there are some occasions when a hot drink goes beyond pleasant and into almost life-saving territory. It’s pleasant to sit in the garden, do the crossword, and enjoy a cup of your favourite brew, but a hot mouthful of tea is an incredible source of warmth and energy when you’re cold, tired, and feeling low.

Climbing and mountaineering is a tough pursuit, and no sensible walker or climber sets off for the long distances or snowy heights without a good flask of hot drink ready to provide a little extra heat and lift the spirits when necessary. Even less demanding outdoor sports like fishing and gentle hiking can all be improved by a cup of hot tea whether the weather is moderate, chilly, wet or grey.

Of course, some people believe that cold tea is no good to anybody. It has to be nice and hot to warm you up and to taste good. If you’ve got a really good vacuum flask, your tea can be kept piping hot for 12 hours or even more but not all flasks are created equal. To avoid disappointment and lukewarm tea, avoid buying a cheap one from a supermarket.  Head over to a Camping Gear Specialist and check out their selection.

The perfect flask should be big enough to suit your needs, and keep in mind that a good, well-insulated flask with generous walls will hold a lot less than a thin-walled bottle of the same size. Larger flasks will almost always retain more heat so bigger is usually better as long as you’re happy to carry something of that size when you go outdoors.

Ask staff how long each flask will keep tea hot. Some will only allow you a couple of hours before cooling down, others will last all day. As with most things, you usually get what you pay for in terms of insulating quality.

However, insulation isn’t everything. The flasks that are the best at keeping liquids hot usually have quite complex lids designed to preserve the temperature of the contents above all else. In general they work very well, but complex mechanisms can be very difficult to clean. It can be hard to get all the tea out and even harder to make sure the inner workings of the lid are fully dry before putting your flask away for the summer. Before buying a flask, take a good look at the lid.

Sometimes it’s better to choose a simpler lid and sacrifice insulating power for ease of use and ease of cleaning. If you’re not going to be climbing the Matterhorn, a flask that keeps tea hot for 4 to 6 hours might be perfect for your needs, and you can avoid the expense and complication of a sophisticated vacuum flask. Any good outdoor store should have a full range of flasks to choose from.

About the Author

Jess Spate is a keen outdoorswoman, a rock and ice climber, and a great believer in the value of a humble cup of tea. From Russian Caravan to Green, she's never met a tea she hasn't liked.