Several years ago I shopped around for the perfect tea brewer for my wife. I didn't shop tirelessly or even extensively. I saw this one pretty early on and was infatuated with it. Why? Because I had a Bodum coffee press, and was attracted by the "tea press"iness of this product.
Recommend this product?
Here's What You Do
1. (or 2.) Put a few teaspoons of loose-leaf tea into the self-contained basket in the middle of the tea pot.
2. (or 1.) Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
3. Wait for water to boil.
4. Make sure you have something else to do while you wait. You know what they say about a watched pot.
5. When the water boils, pour it into the tea pot.
6. Be careful! The water takes time to make its way through the tea and through the basket's holes, so the basket fills up fast. You don't want hot water spilling out all over the counter, off the counter onto the floor, across the floor and onto your stocking-feet, at which point you start shouting and hopping across the kitchen with a hot pot of water in your hands.
7. Fill, wait, fill, wait. Watch for the water level inside the tea pot. Fill, wait, fill, wait.
9. Really. You have to wait some more. Unless you are my neighbor, who only allows her tea to steep for approximately 30 seconds, in which case you're ready. But you aren't her, are you? Okay, then wait. It has to steep.
10. Put the plunger into the top of the pot.
12. Pour tea into your teacup. Be careful! This thing tends to drizzle tea all over the place, especially when it's full. (See 6.)
13. Take your tea to your favorite tea-drinking spot.
14. Inform everyone in your house that you are taking a break. Please don't disturb (actually, you may want to consider performing this task somewhere nearer step 1.)
15. Wait. (The tea is too hot to drink right now. You know that.)
So What Do I Think?
As you may be able to see from the above steps, there are a few drawbacks to this tea maker. Namely, pouring water into the top of the tea maker takes a little bit of patience. And pouring tea out of the tea maker takes a little bit of patience (and a towel for cleaning up messes). But the tea pot sure is pretty. I still like to look at it, especially filled with Ginger Peach tea, just waiting for me to drink it (still to hot to even pour, of course, because I don't want to be burned).
So What Do I Recommend?
If you already have a usable tea system (old-fashioned tea pot, kettle, infuser of some kind), I recommend you stick with it. But if you want a showpiece, something to talk about while pouring tea (I simply can't keep it from spilling all over your lap! Sorry.), then go ahead and buy this one.
The Mistake I Made
I thought, because I'm that sort of guy (a coffee guy), that a great coffee system would make a great tea system.
We Use It Anyway
Of course we do. We know all the rules of use. It works fine and is pretty. I wish the plunger wasn't made of plastic (it clashes with the glass), but that's a minor drawback. If you find this product on sale, you might consider picking it up (Did I mention it's pretty?). If not, I'd leave it on the shelf.
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