Although its double-walled design gives it heat-retention qualities, Chufunyu designed Eclipse not as a thermos, but as a sleek travel press made especially for tea drinkers. It has an internal plunger to separate the steeped leaves from the tea. They also make a small teacup, Nectar, designed to fit perfectly inside the cap of the Eclipse. In this post, I review Chufunyu’s Eclipse travel press and Nectar teacup.
Eclipse and Nectar Basics
You can get all the details from the Chufunyu webpage. But, I’ll highlight a few basics here. According to Chufunyu, the Eclipse holds 350 ml (12 oz), has a ceramic-coated, double-walled infusion chamber, a detachable base, and a cap that can be used to store tea and/or the (optional) Nectar teacup. The teacup holds 30ml, is double-walled, and has a black matte finish on the outside. The interior is white and coated with ceramic. Chufunyu describes the teacup as “unbreakable.”
Basics of Using the Tea Press
Add the tea leaves to the steeping chamber. Pour water to the desired level. Then, with the plunger raised, screw on the main chamber lid. When the tea is infused to your satisfaction, slowly and completely lower the plunger. You can immediately pour the tea. Or, you can put on the cap and carry the steeped tea and leaves with you. The tea won’t infuse anymore.
How I Tested the Travel Press and Teacup
I received the Eclipse travel press, the Nectar teacup accessory, and the Etched filter for free, with no obligation to review, per my review policy. This post presents my honest thoughts after using both for about a month. I regularly brought them along on my commute. I also took them on multiple tea walks, a hike, and a long weekend getaway.
Best Uses for the Travel Press
As you can see from the images, the press and the teacup are beautifully designed. They also feel great in the hand. It was a pleasure to review them!
My favorite uses: I enjoyed taking the tea press on walks, hikes, to work, and on a vacation. It is sturdy and easy to slip into a backpack, purse, or suitcase. I really enjoyed the press for walks and hikes, especially with the Nectar teacup (which is really handsome!) integrated into the lid. It was nice to stop and get a 30 ml cup (or two) of tea throughout my hike.
The way the Eclipse most distinguished itself from a thermos, in my opinion, is when I used it outside my home in situations where I could reinfuse the leaves. For me, these occasions were taking it to work or on vacation. Used as part of my commute, I was able to make a first infusion at home, set the plunger, and take the Eclipse to work. I could enjoy drinking that infusion at the office and then remove the plunger and add more hot water for subsequent infusions.
It was also great on vacation. I brought it thinking of walks or hikes (and enjoyed it very much on those occasions), but I found it really useful to have my own travel press and teacup at the house we rented. I used it daily to steep my teas. If you are a person who goes on camping trips and brings your own hot water source, I can see this set being really useful in that situation, too.
The Nectar Cup and Magnetic Cap Lid
The Nectar cup is wonderful. I really love the simple, handsome design and how it feels. It fits snugly into the top chamber of the Eclipse, the part that doesn’t touch the tea. It takes a second or two to get it out. But, I quickly got the hang of it.
As I was experimenting for this review the Chufunyu Eclipse travel press, I was paranoid about the magnetic lid that fits over the cap. I worried it wouldn’t be reliable. (If the lid comes off the cap, the tea wouldn’t spill. It’s covering the chamber where you could either store the Nectar cup and/or dry tea leaves.) Through three weeks of using it—carrying it, having it in my backpack, sliding it sideways in my purse—the magnetic lid on the cap only came off once. That incident happened, I believe, because the Eclipse was angled and bounced on the edge of my purse exactly where the lid meets the side of the cap. When the lid came off, because the Nectar cup fits snugly, it didn’t fall out. So, although it might not happen often, I do think it’s a consideration when determining how to carry the Eclipse.
Assembly, Disassembly, Detachable Base
It only took two times for me to get the hang of taking the Eclipse travel press apart and reassembling it. A few times, I removed both silicone gaskets to wash the pieces extra thoroughly. I admit that I had to peek at the diagram that came with the press the first time. But, then I got it. So, a very short learning curve. (Note: the directions do say to disassemble EVERY piece, including the gaskets, every time you wash it. Since I was only using teas without sugar or milk, I didn’t disassemble to that level every time. I acknowledge that I wasn’t following directions.)
I wasn’t sure about the detachable base on the Eclipse at first. Was it really necessary, I wondered? I quickly learned to really appreciate how easy that features makes it to remove the steeped leaves to clean the press.
Avoiding Over-Steeped Tea
The press really worked well to separate the leaves from the tea. But, a little experience helped me get the best results. One of the first times I used it, I didn’t push the plunger all the way down so my tea got a little bitter. Another time, I drank all the tea and then decided to see if I could get a little more. I held it upside down and a tiny bit more came out. That sip was was super-steeped! (Okay, universe, tea gluttony doesn’t pay…lol!) As long as I put the plunger all the way down AND didn’t empty it and then turn it completely upside down, I didn’t have any bitter tea issues.
At the time I am writing this review, I have used this product repeatedly for a month. The teacup and travel press were great in my experience. They seem sturdy and well-made. The ceramic on the brewing chamber I have is impeccable. The only issue I noted is there are two tiny spots on the rod of the plunger where the ceramic is missing: I can see the stainless steel beneath. There was no discernable influence on flavor. The spots haven’t gotten any bigger either, despite being washed maybe a dozen or so times (with a soft sponge).
The Eclipse tea press and the Nectar integrated teacup are beautiful and useful tea accessories for tea drinkers. With them, you can enjoy multiple infusions of tea anywhere with ease and elegance. I heartily enjoyed using them. Where could you imagine taking them along? (Interested in the diverse and unexpected paths your tea journey could take you? You might enjoy my Embrace Your Tea Path blog post.)
Questions? Please share them in the comments! I am more than happy to try to answer your questions based on my experience.