With the ongoing increase in interest in gourmet and premium teas, particularly those of the loose leaf variety, it’s probably not surprising that there are a number of manufacturers coming up with gadgets designed to simplify the tea-making process. While automating this process is arguably more complicated than with other such hot beverages as coffee and hot chocolate, all but the most hardcore purists will probably agree that these gadgets can be of some use.
One such device comes to us courtesy of Cuisinart, the well-known manufacturer of kitchen accessories and small appliances. While the company offers a line of attractive stovetop kettles, they’ve also entered the automatic teamaker fray with a device they call the PerfecTemp Programmable Tea Steeper & Kettle. It features programmable water temperatures and a timer to allow for different varieties of tea. It can be used as a tea kettle to simply heat water or with an infuser inserted to heat the water and steep the tea .
IQ Innovations appear to be a one-trick pony who went into business to sell a gadget they call the Tea Machine from Fine T. As the British manufacturer notes, one of the primary attractions of the device is that it offers “seven different settings covering all gourmet loose teas ; each with its own preset temperature and infusion time.” The tea steeps in an infusion chamber and then is released into a teapot below. Anyone who ever grumbled about having to wait for tea in the morning will certainly appreciate the ability to set a timer for a delayed start.
Breville, another well-known maker of small kitchen appliances, offers a number of electric teakettles of varying levels of sophistication. At the top of this line is a device called the Breville Tea Maker or the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker. The priciest of the three models discussed here, by a considerable margin, the Breville is “fully programmable for all types of tea, water temperatures, and steep times.” Unlike the other two models it’s unusual design features a “moving tea basket allows water to circulate freely around the individual tea leaves for maximum infusion.”
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