Even that most basic of kitchen appliances, the humble teakettle, is getting a high-tech makeover in the form of Breville’s One-Touch Tea Maker. The fully programmable unit takes the guesswork out of brewing that perfect cuppa by providing the right water temperatures and brewing times to suit different tea varieties. The device even does the “jiggling” for you thanks to a fully automated tea basket that moves up and down to gently agitate the leaves to precisely infuse your tea.
Selecting the tea type determines the brew temperature. For example, more delicate tea leaves such as Green, Oolong and White tea benefit from a lower temperature. The Tea Maker comes with five preset tea types for Black, Green, Oolong, White and Herbal tea, while a customizable tea type temperature setting can be used for other tea varieties or to suit personal tastes.
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Next comes the tea strength selection, which lets users scroll between Strong, Medium, or Mild tea brews. The LCD panel will display the recommended brew times to achieve the selected brew strength for the tea type selected.
Once you’ve made your selections a press of the TEA button gets things cooking. When the water hits the ideal temperature the tea basket auto-lowers with its load of tealeaves – no tea bags here thank you. The tea basket is attached magnetically to the jug post for silent auto-steeping and to allow the water to circulate freely around the tealeaves for maximum infusion. Variable steeping times based on the selected strength ensure the tea basket auto-raises at the correct time to prevent over-steeping.
If one cup isn’t going to be enough and you plan on coming back for more the Keep Warm feature does just what its name suggests – it keeps the tea’s temperature for up to one hour. Additionally, if you like waking up to the aroma of a freshly brewed cup, the AutoStart feature makes beginning a brew at a pre-selected time as easy as setting an alarm clock. The unit consists of a stainless steel tea basket and German-made Schott glass kettle with 51 oz (1.5 liter) water capacity.
Unfortunately the perfect cuppa doesn’t come cheap. The Breville One-Touch Tea Maker (BTM800XL) will set tea lovers back US$250.