For coffee drinkers the notion of pushing a button and ending up with a cup of their favorite beverage in a few minutes is no big thing. One of the best known of the coffee making gadgets and the one that put this sort of thing on the map was the Mr. Coffee – which has been around since 1972. Mrs. Tea came along in 1995, but it is no longer produced. Ditto for the Tea Drop, a similar product from Sunbeam, maker of the aforementioned.
For tea lovers, things are not quite as simple when it comes to automating the process of actually making said beverage . Depending on the variety, tea can be a much more delicate substance than coffee and requires (or at least it should) a light touch and some measure of subtlety. The range of different teas also make it necessary to have some flexibility built in when it comes to time and water temperature.
Fortunately, there are a few enterprising companies who have taken on this problem and managed to come up with some reasonably successful solutions. While they might not appeal to tea purists or tea fans with shallow pockets, they’re worth considering if you’re interested in automating the process of tea prep.
Breville, a small appliance maker founded in Australia, has thrown their hat into the automatic tea maker ring with a gadget they call the One-Touch Tea Maker. As the manufacturer puts it, this sleek gadget is “fully programmable for all types of tea, water temperatures, and steep times” and features a moving tea basket that allows water to better circulate around the tea leaves.
The Tea Machine, by Fine T, also boasts a space age appearance. It is “fully programmable for all types of quality tea bags & Loose Teas, such as Green Teas , White Teas, Puerh Teas and Black Teas and water temperatures and infusion times” and has seven pre-programmed settings that attempt to cover a full range of tea types.
The Zarafina Tea Maker Suite is Sunbeam’s successor, more or less, to the Mrs. Tea. Like the others, it has a range of settings that allow for the preparation of a variety of teas. As for styling, it tends a little more toward the homey end of things, with a somewhat high-tech brewing apparatus, complemented by ceramic tea pot, tea cups and serving tray.
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