This 14 oz. Copco Tea Infuser Thermal Cup I found at Wal-Mart solved a little problem I had. I wanted to take a cup of loose leaf green tea to work with me in the mornings, but I did not want to take the time to steep a cup of tea before I left the house. Also, the cup's liner is BPA free with a "break-resistant polycarbonate shell” which influenced my decision to purchase it. It won’t break if dropped, and I don’t have to worry about harmful BPA in the plastic.
The cup is like most travel cups - it keeps beverages hot (or cold), and it has a lid for portability. To keep your beverage from spilling, the lid has a part that snaps down over the little hole you drink from. What makes it different is the little tea infuser basket that attaches to the underside of the lid. To use the mug, remove the lid. Then, remove the infuser from the lid. Add loose leaf tea to the infuser and secure it back under the lid. Pour boiling water into the cup (there is a fill line), and screw the lid onto the mug. After three to six minutes your tea will be ready to drink.
Not only does your tea start steeping as you are walking out the door, the Copco Tea Infuser Thermal Cup keeps tea hot for quite a while. (I always have to wait 20 minutes or so for it to cool down to the point where I am able to drink it without my lips melting off).
There are a couple of drawbacks to this mug. I do not so much mind that it cannot be used in a microwave oven, but it is sort of irritating that it has to be washed by hand as it is not dishwasher safe. It baffles me that the cup was designed to hold very hot liquids, but the instructions specifically state that it should be hand washed only. Also, it doesn't come with a warranty or any sort of satisfaction guarantee.
Overall, this Copco Tea Infuser Thermal Cup is a nice travel cup whether you use loose leaf tea or not. The infuser is removable, so you can leave it out and place a tea bag directly into the cup. I have also used the cup to carry cold water, but I have not put coffee or any other dark beverages into the cup for fear that they might stain.