Kitchen 8261

    Published on January 20th, 2010 | by Greg


    A Tea Machine To Make Coffee Drinkers Weep, Drink Rishi’s Cinnamon Plum

    After testing out the IQ Innovations 51552 Fine T 4-Cup Gourmet Tea Machine, we realized we had just encountered possibly the sexiest tea machine yet. With a design akin to a sleek drip coffee pot, all the technology tea can handle, and blue lighting, this machine will make you beat your chest and laugh at the behind-the-times coffee drinkers.

    The tea maker has three levels. Simply pour the water in the top, add the loose leaf tea in the middle, press the button, and minutes later the tea will pour down to the bottom pot when fully steeped. It makes a whopping 4 cups, so it is actually possible to serve said beverage to other people.

    But where this tea pot offers high tech is in the settings. Black tea requires near-boiling water for 3-5 minutes, while green tea often requires a lower temperature of about 160 degrees for about 1-3 minutes (based on the type of green). Simply press the “black tea” or “green tea” setting and it will brew the tea for the required number of minutes at the necessary temperature. So cool! This allows for a perfectly steeped cup- and for tea drinkers who typically have the bad habit of leaving their tea in too long (like most of us), this will simply take all the effort away from you.

    Another nice feature is that you can set a timer so that it will automatically brew your tea in the morning at a set time. Having tried this out, it is really nice to wake up to the subtle scent of warm tea in the morning. Additionally, the plate below the teapot is heated, keeping your tea warm for 30 minutes after it’s brewed.

    Overall, this is a major improvement on many tea machines for its ability to brew tea with boiling water and slightly cooler water. However, it still has one major disappointment that it took us a few brewings to realize — the tea machine cannot be programmed at a custom setting. Some teas have specific instructions on length of steep and temperature, and sometimes even personal preference may dictate a specific number of minutes you like your oolong steeped, but this gourmet tea machine cannot be changed away from the presets. Additionally, the company has white tea at the same temperature setting as green, while some sources have white tea at a full 20 degrees F higher. The temperature range itself is also more limited than we would like, not providing a spectrum of temperatures from which to choose- Zojirushi’s water heaters offers three settings, and the Zarafina offers a bit additional control.

    Generally, we don’t tend to time our tea or get it to exactly the right temperature, so this tea machine made possibly the best cup(s) of tea we’ve had. But for those that are just a bit more finicky, you may wish to wait until the next version.

    Available for $299.99 on their site, disregard the “pre-order only” information as their site seems to be out of date. Also available on Amazon for the same price.

    And, if you would like an interesting, new loose leaf tea to try out with your tea maker, try the latest from Rishi, their Organic Cinnamon Plum. This is a limited seasonal blend that is naturally caffeine free, combining hibiscus, licorice root and plum flavor. It’s been a while since we’ve last seen Rishi and we’re always happy to try their classy blends.

    It can also be used for mulled cider, which was my favorite application of the tea. Our votes were split right down the middle for the flavor of this tea. The woody cinnamon-plum combination was a little overpowering and sharp for some, while others found it to be a seasonal and fragrant blend with a beautiful color.

    Available for $9 a tin or $30.50 a pound on the Rishi site.

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

    Back to Top ↑