Published on November 26th, 2005 | by Greg0
Tea for Two (Part 1)
Put down your bags! Loose leaf teas are of higher quality, better nutritional value, and nicer flavor than pre-bagged, long-shelved teas. Of course, loose leaf tea comes at a price- they are more expensive than pre-bagged teas (though still fairly cheap per cup), and much less convenient.
Which is why we strongly recommend the ingenuiTea and the Trinitea- two tea-making devices that allow you to get rid of your tea strainers and teapots and make better tea, easier. Both devices are from Adagio Teas, makers of some quite good loose leaf teas as well (their Golden Oolong tea is excellent, and their special clear-top packaging allows you to inspect the leaves yourself).
Their ingenuiTea is a special, simple infuser/teapot- you put your tea inside, toss in some water, microwave it, and when you are ready to drink you simply place it on top of your cup. A valve opens, your filtered tea drops into your cup, and the leaves are left in the device. It works well, infusing tea much better than a cheap “teaball”, but is somewhat difficult to clean. The cost is right though, $15, and after using it, it’s hard to consider using other strainers that leave residues or let small leaves get into your tea.
The Trinitea is even more sophisticated, and is the ultimate tea making device. It boils the water in the top compartment and when properly heated, the water falls into the middle chamber for tea steeping. You set the time to steep (since many teas are best within a narrow range of time), and the finished tea falls into the bottom pot. Best of all, the strainer is excellent, brewing perfect pots of tea without letting any particles into the end product, and there is a heater below the bottom pot, allowing you to keep your finished tea warm. It’s a great idea, if a little complicated, but you can toss in water and some tea, walk away for ten minutes, and come back to a perfect pot. It even beeps to let you know when it’s done (but you can’t turn off the beeping, unfortunately).
Our only real complaints- the filtration system, and the non-variable temperature. It’d be great if it had a good built-in filter system, because the quality of the water matters so much. And certain teas require specific temperatures, and it’d be wonderful if you could have the water heated to a set value.
But those are relatively minor- bottom line, if you make a fair amount of tea (a cup of day or so)- either or both of these devices will make your life, and your tea, better and easier. The Trinitea is perfect for an office or bedroom where you don’t have an easy way to boil water, and the ingenuiTea is great for your kitchen, and when you only want a cup.