Once again, we’re taking a closer look at tea gadgets that seem to pop up on the market like mushrooms after a Spring rain. Over the past couple of years intrepid and tireless tea journalist William I. Lengeman III has sought out the weirdest, cutest, and downright silliest tea gadgets out there. Other tea lovers have posted their latest finds on Facebook and Twitter, singing the praises of that gadget as a tea lifesaver. I’ve snooped around a bit myself and dug up a few. Here’s the lowdown. Feel free to weigh in, especially if you own any of these gadgets.
Each gadget shown here will be rated one of the following:
♥ Gimmicky, not useful at all
♥♥ Neat but not very useful
♥♥♥ So cute I gotta have it (who cares if it’s useful?)
♥♥♥♥ Classy design and somewhat useful
♥♥♥♥♥ Oh my gosh, how did I ever steep tea without this!!
GADGET: Chef-Tech Tea Timer
DESCRIPTION: For those of you determined to consume “tea” made by dunking a tea bag in hot water, here is the gadget for you. Of course, you can also use a tea ball. Either way, you can set the timer which will lower the black “pole” so that the teabag or ball will sit in the water in your cup. When the timer is done, the pole lifts automatically, assuring you of perfectly steeped tea, if such could be had from bags and tea balls.
MY COMMENT: As you can imagine, since I am one who steeps loose almost 100% of the time, even going so far as to cut open tea bags and dump the contents loose in the water to steep, I would assess this device to be clever in appearance and intention but hardly needed in our household.
GADGET: ©Squeezmo™ 2011
DESCRIPTION: Keep your fingers clean and dry for squeezing out those teabags with this clever gadget made from US FDA-grade silicone in seven different colors. It is supposed to promote dripless use of a bag to brew multiple cups of tea and is dishwasher safe.
MY COMMENT: This was awarded best tea accessory in 2010 by The World Tea Expo. Huh? I cannot imagine that a group devoted to the enjoyment of tea could encourage using such a device. Many tea aficionados don’t even go near tea bags, let alone try to get more than one steeping from them.
GADGET: The Tea-time tea steeper
DESCRIPTION: Intuitive design that even so allows for a simple and natural interaction between tea leaves and water for just the right steeping time! Simple to use: fill one side of this device with hot water and tea leaves, twist the other half on top of it, flip the whole thing over to start the timer and the steeping, and you will end up with perfectly steeped and strained tea, with the tea leaves staying in their original half and able to be resteeped. Designed by Pengtao Yu.
MY COMMENT: Glass is the ultimate steeping vessel material for some of us. And this design is not only beautiful and able to satisfy the tea voyeur in us but is quite practical in its steeping ability.
GADGET: Audrey Tea Infuser – RE/WH
DESCRIPTION: Such a pretty infuser! Perfect for tea parties or other celebrations. Two-piece plastic infuser shaped like a flower. The center flower has small holes in it. Simply put loose leaf tea in the flower, set the flower in a cup, mug, or small teapot, cover with hot water and brew your tea. The green base serves as a drip catcher. Flower measures 5.25″ across and 3″ tall. The cone-shape will allow this item to fit in a variety of cups and teapots.
MY COMMENT: Pretty to look at but with holes too small to really steep well. Another gadget I would probably just like to have around for the heck of it.
Do you own any of these? Let us know if you find them useful!
Another batch to be examined at a future date. In the mean time, happy steeping!
Tea Gadgets Rated — Round 1
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