I typically avoid buying appliances or gadgets that serve only one purpose. The wonderful blog Unclutterer calls those items Unitaskers and features them on Unitasker Wednesdays.
But last month I made an exception to that rule and purchased the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker. It’s an electric tea kettle and brewer. Two of my friends and colleagues, Amanda Rickers and Sheila DeHart each had one and raved about it. I found it irresistible.
My biggest hesitation was that I didn’t want to take up counter space in my new kitchen, which we’ve managed to keep free of clutter. But then I realized I could put it in my auxiliary kitchen (we live in a two-family house and have two kitchens), which is conveniently located next to my office. So now, instead of having to go upstairs for a cup of tea, I can brew one nearby while I work.
The way the Breville Tea Maker works is that you fill the basket with the appropriate amount of loose tea (it reminds me of an old fashioned percolator). Then you fill the glass jug with the appropriate amount of water. Put the basket in the jug, where it remains above the water until the water is boiled to the exact right temperature for the type of tea you’ve told the tea maker you’re brewing. When that temperature is reached, the basket is slowly lowered into the hot water where it stays briefly. It will go up and down to get the right strength. I think a magnet is involved.
After you press the On button, you can walk away and come back to a perfect cup of tea, brewed to the strength you’ve indicated. It’s wonderful.
I had to buy a few loose teas because I was accustomed to using tea bags. I purchased some tea tins from the Container Store and labeled them. (I used Washi tape to indicate those that are decaf, which is an important distinction for me, since I don’t like to drink much caffeine.)
Here’s my setup (that’s a photo of the beautiful Serenity Tea from the London Tea Room in St. Louis up at the top of this post), along with a couple of videos of the tea maker in action:
I don’t know how much use my tea maker will get in the summer, but while it’s still cold out, it’s a huge hit. I’ve enjoyed it practically every day since I received it a few weeks ago. A nice warm cup of tea is my part of my self-care regimen and this Unitasker makes it easy. What a great gift to myself.