I was recently browsing Kickstarter and came across an innovative looking travel mug, thermos, infuser combo that really caught my attention. I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on one, and have been using it for the last couple of weeks now. So without further ado, this is the Recharge by VIVA Scandinavia.
The main thing that caught my attention about the Recharge was its versatility. It can be used in a LOT of different ways. Let’s quickly run through them:
You can brew coffee like any other infuser by adding your grounds, filling with hot water to the top fill line, then straining once steeped.
You can also brew iced coffee by adding hot water to the BOTTOM fill line, adding ice to fill the infuser and then shaking. Pretty standard so far. But then! You can change out the bottom filter, and also brew tea, or iced tea using the same device in the same ways.
No-matter what you’re brewing, this infuser also contains a “brew stop” feature stops the steeping process once the infusion chamber is completely pressed down and screwed into place.
Like I said, the versatility of this thermos was what initially peaked my interesting, and in practise, all of these brewing methods do work great…. But what caught me off guard MORE than the versatility, was the overall fit, finish, and ergonomics of the product. You guys know I’m a sucker for a well-built product.
Let’s start from the top. The mouthpiece is very contoured, and is comfortable in a way that I didn’t know I wanted in a travel mug. It really does feel different than anything I’ve used before.
The lid is also designed in a clever way. A plastic latch covers the drinking hole, but the hole then remains completely sealed and spill-proof until the latch clicks all the way back.
Looking at the bottom of the lid gives a better view of how the mechanism works. I do have some reservations about the long-term durability of this system, but so far in practise, it’s been really nice to use.
The lid then screws in to the infuser,
which in turn screws into the stainless steel body.
However, if you don’t want to use the infuser, the lid can also screw DIRECTLY into the body, giving you a greater overall capacity from the same unit.
No-matter what the configuration, the unit stayed completely leak proof so far throughout my use.
The tea filter was also a step up from other infusers. A laser etched microfilter means that even the finest loose leaf teas can be used.
Finally, the color and feel of the stainless body also stood out to me. I like the fun, pastel color options the company has chosen, and the coating reminded me very much of the external coating YETI uses on their products. A laser engraved logo, and non-slip rubber base round out this really well designed mug.
Of course not everything is perfect. Comparing to my current favourite travel mug, the zojirushi, the heat retention was nowhere near as good, meaning that this really should be treated as a day mug, and not a “thermos”.
The “brew stop” feature did avoid oversteeping of the tea and coffee, but not significantly better than similar infusers from David’s Tea. Not exactly a negative, but I didn’t find it quite as revolutionary as advertised.
But other than that, this is EASILY the best infuser I’ve used from both a versatility and build quality perspective, and I highly recommend checking it out if you currently use a product like this! If I had to describe each of these travel mugs in two words, I’d give the Zojirushi pure performance, the Recharge Versatility and ergonomics, and the YETI would just be… relaxed.
Need more? Watch the video!