Tea lovers, caffeine buffs, gather around for some big news. You know how much I love a good cup of tea, and recently I’ve been searching for perfection in a tea maker because life’s too short to spend it waiting for your leaves to infuse.
So, the makers behind this tea-making gadget say it doesn’t just brew tea…it steeps it. It doesn’t make a cup of scalding Earl Grey…it PERFECTS it. So what’s the deal? Is the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker really anything to shout about?
If you’re not a tea drinker already, maybe this will convince you otherwise. Tea has been around for millennia and for good reason.
“There does not seem to be a downside to tea,” says Dietetic Association spokesperson Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD, on WebMD. “I think it is an alternative to the coffee drinking. Tea has got less caffeine. It is pretty well established that the compounds in tea-their flavonoids-are good for the heart and may reduce cancer.”
Tea connoisseurs label the mainstays green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea. All tea comes from the Camelia sinensis shrub that can be found throughout India and China. Inside the leaves are some pretty special ingredients that fight cholesterol, cancer and heart disease. They also aid in the maintenance of brain power.
The Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker promises to bring the benefits of tea drinking closer to home.
The Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker has a name perhaps more suited to science fiction weaponry, but this is actually created for the very real task of brewing your favorite hot drink.
This Tea Maker is universally marketed to those people who long for perfection in a cup where the delicate tea leaves are steeped at the precise temperature for the exact duration required. Practically anyone, then? I would certainly say that the Breville has universal appeal. If you love hot tea, you’ll find something to love here.
It’s certainly full of features, and designed to the max. The Tea Maker looks more like something out of a science fiction movie than something I have in my kitchen. There’s plenty of stainless steel and a 5-cup, German-made, Schott glass kettle. Inside the machine resides a fully automated, stainless steel tea basket. (We’ll get to the automation part in the next section.)
The maker also includes a digital display panel with corresponding controls to adjust water temperature, steep times, delays, auto start and more. The electronic machine features a three-prong power cable, a separate scooper is provided and the product comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Check out Breville’s video on YouTube to get a bit more detail on the design and features:
We’ve all been there. Boiling a pot or kettle of water, setting the tea leaves in the water, waiting and ultimately forgetting about those tea leaves until they become a mass of mush. That’s no longer an issue with the Tea Maker. Not only will the device begin at your desired interval, it will even raise the tea leaf basket out of the water after it steeps for a designated period of time. And then it will keep the tea warm for up to 60 minutes.
Yes, steep times are detrimental to the quality, flavor and health benefits of your tea. According to ITOEN, the world’s leading green tea Beverage Company, “…different kinds of tea need to be brewed for different lengths of times.” The Breville Tea Maker is great for eliminating the guesswork – I really liked how easy it was to get optimum steep times for different types of tea.
When I was just getting into tea I was surprised to learn that boiling water is not actually tea’s best friend. “The popular conception that boiling water can be used on any kind of tea is actually incorrect,” according to our friends says ITOEN. Every variety of tea requires differing steeping temperatures. To be specific, green tea often uses the lowest temperature while black teas need more heat to release its sweet flavors.
The Tea Maker has pre-programmed tea leaf settings that will heat and sustain the water’s temperature for the most effective duration. Once the steeping concludes, the stainless steel basket lifts out of the water and the warming base maintains that perfect tea temperature for the next 60 minutes, but who could stave off such a thirst for tea for that long? Additionally, Breville provides a tea-brewing chart in the product’s user manual.
We’ve discussed the automation aspects of the Tea Maker, but another nifty trait that Breville designers got right is the tea basket. As reviewers at consumersearch.com point out: “Testers noted that the perforated-steeping basket is the key feature to get a good brew, if it does sometimes let the smallest tea leaves escape.”
In addition to lowering and raising the tea out of the water according to steeping times, the tea basket actually undulates up and down to provide a consistent current of water moving through the tea leaves during the steeping process. That’s something that really appeals to me.
The price of the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker can be considered high, around $230, compared to competing models which range from $130 upwards. Although it is cheaper than the Teforia, which is an upmarket model that could suit the serious tea lover.
However, no other model offers the sophistication, the automation nor the undulation like the Tea Maker. It’s a choice of owning a luxury vehicle versus driving a rental car, so you do really get what you pay for with this model.
I really love how the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker has such great automation processes. It controls the most important stages of tea making: the steeping duration, the steeping water temperature, and the circulation of the water through the tea leaves.
It helps you simply make a cup of tea that meets your own personal specifications. It may be a little expensive, but if you love tea it’s a valuable investment.