Coffee. Decaf. Half-caf. Cappuccino. Espresso. Latte. Double Latte. Café con leche. What is up with all the coffee?!! At Starbucks alone you can choose from at least ten different flavors, styles, or mixes of coffee, and from shelves of merchandise dedicated to traveling with it, making single servings of it, keeping it warm, icing it down, frothing it with milk; and have you been to Target lately? 2/3 of an aisle, six shelves high of coffee varieties — and this is all supposed to be gourmet coffee, too. Not just Maxwell House and Folgers, but Kona and Tierra del Sol, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts and New England . . . for heaven’s sake! Max has an infinite supply of coffee toys: the Krups, the French press, the Vacuum Coffee Maker. I, the poor tea drinker? Not so much. Nearly anywhere we go, unless we sit down for two hours at a fancy restaurant and have it with finger sandwiches and scones, I am relegated to consume the dusty dregs of the tea leaf crop, crushed into mesh bags (if I’m lucky; paper if I’m not) and dunked into water of indifferent temperature, sloshed into a paper cup and “off you go.” This too-hot, flavorlessly bitter beverage is not tea. Tea leaves have an aroma that, when properly steeped in water of an appropriate temperature, infuse their beverage with the delicate spice of bergamot, or the fragrant zest of oranges smoothed with creamy vanilla tones, or with any combination of the dozens of other flavors carefully harvested from tea plantations throughout the world. Where can the tea-lover get THIS beverage?
I’m so glad you asked. Now you can get such a beverage at home. The Breville One-Touch Tea Maker levels the hot beverage playing field, finally, with a tea machine that brews your tea at the perfect temperature for the perfect length of time, customized by your selection of tea variety and your brew preference. Just add enough water for the desired number of servings, follow the instructions to add the right amount of tea to the tea basket inside the pot, pop on the lid, select the tea variety (“black,” “green,” “herbal,” etc.) and the desired brew strength, and watch. The One-Touch heats the water to the proper temperature, dips the tea basket into the heated water for the amount of time necessary to brew to your strength, elevates the basket from the water, and, “beep!” Your tea is ready, more full-bodied and flavorful than any tea you’re likely to have had. And the best part? The One-Touch is programmable, so like your coffee-drinking cohabitant(s), you can set it to have your fresh-brewed tea at whatever hour of the next morning you’re ready for it.
The One-Touch is a little pricey – at least $249 at most retailers – but loose tea, believe it or not, is only about 9¢ per cup (1 teaspoon of loose tea = 1 cup), and at that price, you can drink many more cups and enjoy each of them a lot more. Besides, if you’re going to drink tea, you should drink tea, not crop dust. That, after all, is what drinking tea is all about.
Available from Amazon