503598139_7753e7ff59Warm, visible, untainted tea on the go; once impossible, now impractical. Since the beginning of tea, mankind has made many advances in the area of boiling-liquid containment. The glass tea thermos is a step back.

In the oldest days, it would have been considered impossible for man to hold liquids in anything other than his bare hands. Presumably, tea was invented in a later age, after the invention of the cup. Iced tea was probably invented subsequently, when cups made it possible to totally forget about your cuppa. Those were hard times for the common tea-drinking-man. It’s hard to let your Darjeeling brew for five minutes without an ice age blowing through. Nowadays, tea-holding technology is advancing at a rapid rate. Cups are made out of exquisite bone china, perfectly smooth ceramic, or even space-age plastics. There is even a mug with a little pouch for your biscuits. Despite all this progress, mankind has somehow stepped backwards, tripped over our own garden steps, and spilled boiling chai all over our collective pants: we have created the glass tea thermos. 

Here is what is wrong with contemporary glass tea thermoses: they are made to break. What comes to mind when you think of the word delicate? I’m sure a thin layer of glass isn’t far from what you’re thinking.

What is more delicate than one thin sheet of glass? Two thin sheets of glass. And that is exactly what a glass tea thermos is composed of. To date, I have had three of these thermi. Like a newborn baby, they’re very easy to keep safe, assuming you don’t ever do anything with them. I broke my first one by letting it fall from a very small height, which an ornate china teacup would have survived. That was the second day I had it. I broke the second one by leaving it in a backpack, and then setting said backpack on the ground. Third day I had had it. The third thermos was knocked over onto a linoleum floor, ending its record one-week-life. Glass thermos? More like glass thermostly just an excuse to buy a new mug once it breaks. 

It doesn’t need to be like this, glass thermos. You could be so much more. With protective foam padding, or even just a wider base (to stabilize and distribute the force of impact) you might be considered practical. We know now that drinking hot tea out of our hands is not going to work. Drinking out of a hand-blown time-bomb isn’t going to work either. Until then, I’ll sip Earl Grey out of a container that doesn’t have a tragic romance with gravity.