However, for design-centric tea drinkers and kitchen-gadget aficionados, Breville's gorgeous, reliable One-Touch Tea Maker is the clear winner of the automatic tea maker category.
A Tea Maker Designed for the Eyes
My only complaint is that the clear plastic tea scoop that comes with the brewer is a little cheesy, but it's not as though you couldn't replace it with a better one.
Overall, the Breville One Touch Tea Maker is a gorgeous example of a kitchen gadget designed to look great in your kitchen.
A Tea Maker Designed for the Palate
Any tea connoisseur will tell you that great tea brewing is an art and a science. While it's no gong fu master, Breville lets you easily combine their recommended presets (which include white, green, oolong, black and herbal, and are fairly reasonable for the most part) with your own preferences. You can customize temperatures between 160 degrees Fahrenheit and 205 degrees Fahrenheit in five degree increments, or you can set it to reach a rolling boil (212 degrees)... or you can switch it to Celsius and go from there. You can also customize your brewing time (in 30-second increments) and your brew strength (strong, medium or mild).
In short, if you're OK with five-degree increments and 30-second increments, then this is about the most customizable you'd ever need an automatic tea maker to be.
A Tea Maker Designed for Convenience
- It can be set to automatically brew tea at any time, so you can set it before bed and awake to a fresh pot of tea.
- It can keep tea hot for up to an hour after brewing with a "keep warm" feature.
- It brings water to a boil within a few minutes and it doubles as a hot water kettle for French press coffee and other uses.
- It has a simple, intuitive interface that's easy to learn without an instruction manual.
- It beeps three times when it's done brewing, so you know your tea is ready.
- It can brew 500 mL (two cups) up to 41 ounces (about 1200 mL or five cups) of tea, making it suitable for high-volume tea drinkers, couples, roommates, small families and small offices.
Cons to Buying the Breville One Touch Tea Maker
- For casual tea drinkers, the price tag may not be worth it.
- People with arthritis may have trouble opening the magnetically locking tea brewing basket.
- The short cord isn't suited to all kitchen layouts (especially those of older kitchens), and it may require an extension cord.
- The five-degree and 30-second increment custom settings may not meet the standards of some hardcore tea drinkers.
- The perforated brewing basket and second filter catch most of the teas' leaves, but may not catch all the particles of herbs like rooibos.
- For tea drinkers who delight in the ritual of tea brewing, any kind of automatic brewer would be a poor choice.