August 16, 2007

Tea maker reviews

Both Tea on Tap and Gongfu Girl have written reviews of tea makers. Jaime of Tea on Tap compared the TriniTEA Electric Maker (Adagio Teas, $99) to the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite ($149.99). Jaime prepared black, green, and a Rooibos tea and rated the resulting brews from each tea maker according to seven categories: heating time, steeping time, taste, quantity, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and cost. The TriniTEA outscored the Zarafina 7 to 4. Gongfu Girl Cinnabar recommends the Zarafina (she did not review the TriniTEA tea maker).

I have not tried either tea maker, though the TriniTEA remains on my wish list. Both Jaime and Cinnabar were approached by Zarafina. If only the company would offer me a sample. In the meantime, I prepare my tea the old-fashioned way with a kettle. Sometimes I buy my tea, like this cup of spicy mint from Mokka in Berkeley. The spice flavor was cinnamon.

2 comments :

  1. I should have sent your name to the Zarafina folks...unfortunately, after my less-than-pleasant review, I doubt they'd be pleased at a recommendation from me. But perhaps the Gongfu girls could send in your name for them as a potential reviewer?

    Regardless, while the TriniTea really makes things like iced tea and pots on the weekend mornings easier, I still use kettles, teapots and filter bags for the majority of my tea brewing. The thing is, no tea machine can come close to the quality of brewing tea by traditional means, not in my opinion, anyways. If the parts weren't plastic, then maybe, but tea makers are really just "convenience" items...when you have the time, it's always better to brew by pot or bag anyways. There are many teas I would never brew in the tea maker - I generally only use it for flavored or blends of teas.

    But you will love the TriniTea when you're able to get one. :-)

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  2. Jaime:

    Thanks for the comment and for your review. It was great to read different perspectives on the Zarafina tea maker.

    I have been meaning to systematically compare my collection of tea ball and spoon infusers as well as my infusers against a wonderful cotton bag I bought in Sebastopol, CA. I have noticed that tea leaves really expand in the cotton bag. The next best infuser is the ball infuser, followed by the spoon infuser.

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