I’ve always thought of tea as a wonderful thing. The only downside I have seen is it’s very temperamental and requires a specific temperature of water and duration of time for steeping. It’s not terribly hard to put some tea into a tumbler and steep the tea for some time, pour it out and drink it… but that takes timing, and making sure the waters at the right temp, etc. Not good if you want to do other things. Well, I had enough of needing to boil water in a pot and wait until the temperatrure was about right, then pour it into a tumbler with the tea, and time it, etc etc etc. I used to use my keurig coffee maker, but the water temp on that is too course to really be more than a nicety for anything more than coffee.
I picked up a Breville tea maker, and it was nearly everything I wanted. A glass carafe, with stainless steel bottoming, and a programmable system for water temperature/basket lowering & raising for steeping/steeping duration. Add in a ‘keep warm’ button along with a nifty feature of raising & lowering the basket during steeping to agitate (if you want it to do that), and it’s golden. The more awesome thing is that the basket is raised & lowered by magnetism alone. No strings or cords in the water, which is an amazing addition. It also adds in a great feature of being nearly silent when the basket is moving.
The water heating is about the only sound that comes from this machine. It sounds like nearly any other water heating carafe, and beeps when everything is finished. The speed of heating is pretty nice, as I was able to heat from 65 Fahrenheit to 205 Fahrenheit at exactly 5 minutes. (I used 205 because I was brewing mate tea) I feel that this tea maker is worth every penny, as it’s built with quality German schott glass and little details that make it feel solid. The strainer-style mouthpiece on the lid is a nice addition as well, holding any straggling loose tea remnants as you pour it.
As with everything, it has a flaw but a very minor one. The ‘keep warm’ feature lasts for 60 minutes then turns off. While this is both a boon & a burden, I simply turn the ‘hot water’ button on to warm it up and hit ‘keep warm’ again for another 60 minutes. This is only a problem if I don’t finish what I made in 1 hour. With tea, it can make 5 cups (1200 ml), and with only hot water it can make 6 cups (1500 ml). Basically the difference is the basket isn’t in the way when you’re only heating water.