As a holiday gift, I received a Teavana Perfect Tea Maker. The pot comes in two sizes, but since usually I’m making tea just for one or two – the smaller size is perfect – it’s ideal for two cups of my normal teacup, or one in one of the large Blue Mountain Pottery mugs I use when I really want a nice big cup of tea.
Made of BPA-free polycarbonite, the tea maker is dishwasher safe which was a great advantage for me – since I wasn’t too keen on something that required hand-washing only. The sales pitch is that this is “the most efficient, simple and clean way to steep tea. Simply add tea and water at the correct temperature, then put the tea maker on your favorite mug. The patented drain mechanism will strain the tea into your cup and keep the leaves in the tea maker.” –
It’s lovely to see my tea steeping and watch how some leaves rise in the hot water while others settle to the bottom, and it’s a very clean, sleek design.
The method of pouring is creative and definitly drains out as much liquid as possible. It also pours out, strained, very quickly.
The plastic doesn’t absorb taste (at least not that I know of!) so it’s a versitle pot to use multiple flavours in.
Tea left in the pot for a while stays pretty warm – although the pot is not double-walled or otherwise insulated. I just keep the lid down and it’s fine.
This pot is really only ideal if a) you know the size of your mug/cup and put the perfect amount of water in, or b) you use a clear mug/cup. Because the liquid pours out from under the pot, you can’t pour in a small amount without stoping and starting. This was kind of annoying until I figured out how full to fill it.
The bottom of the pot (where it releases the tea) is exceptionally sensitive. Twice hot tea has poured out on unsuspecting hands (ouch!) and once it leaked while being filled on a slightly angled surface. This makes the tea pour out quickly, but can also be a negative.
There is no way to pour out half a pot, and still strain the leaves to avoid over-steeping. This isn’t a big deal with herbal teas, but with my extremely delicate ceylon teas, I don’t want to have them sitting in water longer than needed. If I make a full pot and only strain out half of it to drink, then the leaves remain in the pot in the remaining water. I have to pour out the full pot into two vessels (or as above, use less water to begin with, or use my bigger mug…). Tea strainers do a better job of this.
Although a lot of the tea pours out – the leaves don’t dry very quickly within the pot. With my Tuffy strainer, the leaves will be dry the next morning, and are easy to just toss out (or into the compost bin as I do at work!) but every time I’ve gone to clean the Tea Maker, the leaves are still very wet, and need scooping out. I know that this is just me being lazy, and wanting an easier solution – but this just means that it isn’t an improvement on my Tuffy. (Yes, I do lift the lid to allow more air to dry the leaves, but it isn’t useful.)
Although it’s super-easy to wipe clean, the plastic does show the residue of teas with aditives (like sprinkles, chocolate, etc…) which is less than ideal.
It’s a pretty pot and a nice addition to a tea collection. I’ve been using it quite frequently since getting it, but ultimately I’d replace my Tuffy before replacing the Perfect Tea Maker if either were broken or lost.