I'm English, and have been drinking tea every morning for pretty much my entire life. Over the years I've tried dozens of teas, some bagged, some loose. I've tried many of the different tea-brewing gimmicks and soaking containers on the market, looking to make a better cuppa, but gave up on most of them fairly quickly due to the hassle of set up, brewing, and cleanup. Especially the cleanup. When cleaning time takes significantly longer than drinking time, there's something whacky in the process.
This tea maker popped up on Amazon during a search for something else, and I was intrigued enough to buy one. The unit is solidly made, easy to set up and easy to use, as well as easy to clean. It's also kinda fun! You set leaf tea (although I have used tea bags too!) in the strainer, fill the pot with water, and turn on the system. The hot plate warms the water to a predefined temperature, then the tea basket lowers into the hot water and steeps there for a number of minutes, then raises again to prevent the tea being too strong. You then pour the tea as needed from the carafe, which stays warm on the hot plate.
The whole process is customizable as far as brewing temperature and the amount of time the tea steeps. There's some presets for common tea varieties, but you can set up custom settings any time you want. The beauty of the system is it is consistent: once you get the settings to exactly what you want, it's repeatable every time. You can also brew different teas using different settings, as some teas steep faster than others. And, since I like my tea more on the weak than strong side, I can get it set up perfectly for my taste. And I can trigger the brewing process by timer, so I can wake up to fresh tea! And watching the basket go up and down is fascinating!
The carafe holds 1.5 litres, which is a lot of tea; however, setting the water levels much lower mean the tea won't steep properly. So, often I end up dumping half a carafe down the drain (one-hour old tea is not appetizing) but I'm OK with that because I get one or two big mugs of great tea out of the tea maker. The hot plate keeps the tea warm for an hour. The carafe is a solid glass unit, not flimsy in the least. The front panel is clean and easy to use, as well as easy to wipe down.
Since getting this Breville Tea Maker in place, I've been experimenting with more leaf tea from local speciality shops, and that has been an interesting process in and of itself. I have been extremely pleased with this unit, and, if you're a tea drinker, think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how good it is at making a decent cuppa. I got so used to tea bags it took a while to get used to working with this Breville unit, but now it's a part of my mornings. For tea drinkers, strongly recommended. Considering what many people pay for a cup of coffee some mornings, I can easily justify the cost of this unit over a year's worth of wonderful cups of tea.
The Breville BREBTM800XL makes great tea. And its fun to watch, too :)
on April 10, 2016
This Tea Maker is the best thing I've experienced since I got seriously into tea drinking. The three top things I love about it: It heats up water extremely quickly. You can customize it a million different ways to get exactly what you want. It has an option which allows you to keep the tea warm for an hour after it's done.
One example of how I use it: I make Schisandra berry infusions. In the past, I'd have to do this with a pot on the stove for 20 minutes and drain the berries from the liquid. With this maker, I set it to bring the water to a boil and have the tea basket come down for an indefinite amount of time. When the water is done boiling, I set the "Warm" option on and leave the berries steeping in the water. I can "set it and forget it" (unlike I could using a stove) and come back 30 minutes later to a perfect infusion.
I'm sure most of you will only use it for normal teas, but if you ever get into herbal drinks, this machine is perfect.
on May 16, 2016
I bought one of these as a gift for someone and my husband surprised me with one as well! I LOVE this thing - best present ever, no word of a lie. I thought this was more of a luxury item but when you have young kids, brewing a proper cup of green tea is next to impossible (getting the right temp of water, actually timing it and getting to it in time to remove the steep). This is literally a push the button and you have perfect tea every time and it has a keep warm feature that holds the temp for an hour after steeping. You can also set the auto function to wake up to tea in the morning (I have not used this yet). I have made black, green, and herbal teas in this pot and they have all turned out perfect. My experience with Breville customer service (for other appliances we own) has always been exceptional as well. This maker has a max brew time of 10 minutes because really one shouldn't brew tea for more than that, just add more leaves if you like it stronger. So that would be the only negative if you are the anomaly who enjoy an over steeped cup of tea.
I bought this for my mother as a gift and she loved it so much I had to buy myself one. It is simple to use and makes the perfect cup of tea every time. It heats water to the correct temperature for your tea, lowers the tea basket automatically into the water, and, at the right time, automatically-lifts the basket to prevent it from brewing too long. It will keep your tea warm for up to an hour. It makes up to 50oz of tea at a time. It is a stainless steel base with a stainless steel tea basket and a glass jug.
If you are a lover of tea this is something I would highly recommend as going from the tea pot to this is a game changer.
on May 24, 2016
Where has this been all of my life! What an amazing machine. I've been making loose leaf tea all wrong before this came along. The ease! Finally I can get the exact water temperature for any tea I want, it doubles as a kettle, and it's programmable so I can set it up at night to brew for me in the morning! Just love this thing and use it daily. For the true loose leaf tea lover in your life, this is a must have.
on January 7, 2016
Fantastic. Five years later, still one of my absolute favourite appliances. I use this thing probably 10 times a week to make tea. It makes perfect green, black, herbal, or really any kind of tea that exists. You put in the water and tea leaves and leave the room, and it boils the water, steeps the tea, removes the leaves to prevent over-steeping, and then keeps the tea warm for you for whenever you come back to get it (or when you hear the beep). Yes it's pricy, but if you can afford it and like tea, don't hesitate to buy it.
on June 23, 2016
Pricey but definitely quality.
Well thought-out design. Set and go or program to your liking. Love that I can use the continuous basket up and down during brewing, I only use this on a large batch; with smaller the basket is out of H2O too much to make strong enough brew.
Just love this machine, fabulous tea and looks great on the counter.
on March 15, 2016
I love the fact it boils water fast and it makes a perfect cup of tea steeped just how you want it.
However, there are a few things I don't like about it:
1) The holes in the basket are too big. I measured the holes and they are 1.02mm (0.0405") in diameter which is alright if you are steeping a whole leaf tea but I find that for many teas such as rooibos, honeybush, yerba mate, and various other gourmet blends the holes are just too big and it lets a lot of smaller particles through.
2) There is a secondary strainer attached to the lid that is designed to strain out anything that got through the basket as you pour the tea out. This strainer has the same size of holes as the basket so it doesn't work any better. Additionally the strainer doesn't seal against the glass kettle, in fact there is quite a large gap between the glass kettle and the secondary strainer allowing almost all the loose particles to pour right into your cup. The good news is that there is an easy solution to these first two problems and that is to get a fine in cup strainer for just a few dollars and pour the tea through it when serving the tea.
3) The tea maker can be programed to start at a specific time in the morning. When you go to set the timer you can adjust the current time, the time you want the tea to start and the settings. The time keeps on moving after you are done adjusting. However, every time when you go to set the timer the clock stops while you adjust the other settings so every two or three days I have to adjust the current time. I know this is not a big deal but it is a completely unnecessary frustration. Breville should definitely fix this so the clock keeps on ticking while you are adjusting the other settings (this would be a very easy programing fix for them to do).
Despite the shortcomings I pointed out above this is an excellent machine and I think it the best tea maker available. I find tea just tastes better when you make it with this tea maker. Even using a thermometer and a timer doing it manually is just not as good because the temperature drops as I steep the tea and even worse I might get distracted and leave the tea to steep too long. If you are really into tea then I recommend this product.
on December 15, 2014
The automatic lowering mechanism means that you can have fresh tea brewed for you early in the morning when you get up. And if you get up early and leave the house soon after you get up then with this system you can have properly brewed tea as opposed to instant tea bags. Also the fact that tea is automatically brewed for a specific time would result in perfect tea every time (you don't have to time yourself and get the tea out of water). However, the price is a bit too high for a tea maker (reason for taking off a star). Overall, it's a great product, if you have a use for it's automatic system.
The only issue I have with it is with the Keep Warm feature. For some reason it turns off by itself and I feel it doesn't heat it up to a high temperature. (I might be doing something wrong)
on March 22, 2015
This is the best tea maker I have ever owned! Well technically I have never owned a tea make, just a pot for tea :)
I love this tea maker for making green tea! It is an investment of course, but well worth the price! If you are an avid green tea drinker like me, this is an Excellent product!
It is very fast, and very easy to clean as well, it is a well made product, and of excellent quality.