Making a cup of tea is easy. But making a perfect cup of tea requires some patience and time. And proper tea brewing utensils. Or a proper tea maker. Tea makers are convenient to use, and they make tea brewing both easy and fast. Find out what are the best tea makers on the market and how to choose the best one for your needs.
What is a tea maker?
If you just recently switched from tea bags to loose leaf tea, you may find the process of brewing tea both confusing and time-consuming. To brew loose leaf tea, you will need either a strainer, an infuser, a teapot, or a tea maker. What is the difference?
Tea strainers are used for straining tea only. You will still need a teapot without a strainer to steep the leaves first, or 2 mugs–one to steep the tea in, and one to strain the tea into.
Infusers are often easier to use. If you are using a tea infuser, you will need only one mug or a teapot to steep the tea.
Teapots, on the other hand, can come in different sizes and types. Some may have a built-in strainer, which makes brewing very easy. No matter which one of those utensils you choose, you will always need one more thing–a kettle. Kettle is used for boiling water only, rather than steeping the leaves. Electric tea makers can do both – heat water and steep tea leaves.
What qualities should I look for in a tea maker?
Electric tea makers are often more expensive than regular strainers or infusers. Even manual tea makers can be pricey, and the cost will depend on many factors – size, material, options, etc. That’s why investing in a proper tea maker should be a careful decision. There are some things you should pay attention to when choosing the best one for your needs:
1. Is it easy to use?
Today’s tea makers can be extremely complex. They come with many options, from heating the water to a perfect temperature, to automated tea baskets and adjustable tea strength options. Others will be quite simple, for example, a teapot with a brewing basket.
2. Is it easy to clean?
Some tea makers are extremely easy to clean. For example, glass teapot with a stainless-steel mesh are usually dishwasher safe. Others, like Breville tea makers cannot be washed in a dishwasher, but you can remove the infuser basket and clean it thoroughly. They are dishwasher safe.
3. Can you use it for different types of tea?
Some tea makers are only suitable for black teas. For example, in a high quality French press tea brewing should stop once you press the plunger. However, it’s still likely that leaves will continue to steep. Therefore, French press is best for black or herbal type of tea, and less suitable for delicate green teas or white teas.
4. What are your tea goals?
If your tea goal is to drink more tea and you want to use western-style steep technique, tea makers are a great option. They are perfect for teas leaves you will steep only once, especially fragrant flavored blends. But, if you want to drink mostly pure, unflavored teas that taste best when prepared in smaller tea vessels such as gaiwan, a tea maker may not be the best investment.
5. What is it made from?
Tea makers can be made from different materials–stainless steel, glass, even plastic. If your tea maker contains plastic parts, make sure they are BPA free. Glass tea makers will allow you more control over the steeping process, and they will be easy to clean too.
Do you need a tea maker?
When deciding to buy a tea maker, consider your tea drinking habits. If you are drinking tea only occasionally, opt for a cheaper tea maker. But if you are an avid tea drinker that loves drinking tea throughout the day, including in the office, a proper electric tea maker may come in handy. If you prefer taking time for a proper tea ritual, then a tea maker may not be something you will be using daily. Electric tea makers are perfect if you don’t want to stress over water temperatures and steeping times, while manual tea makers allow more flexibility and control over the brewing process.
Best Tea Makers for 2021
1. French Press
The most common simple tea maker is a French press. It is easy to use, but you will need a kettle to heat the water. French press was invented for brewing coffee, but today they are widely used for brewing loose leaf tea too. Never use the same French press for making tea and coffee. They come in different sizes, different designs, and can be made from different materials. Double wall glass French press is a great choice for brewing tea as it will prevent you from getting burned and offer more control over brewing. Choose French press with a high quality fine mesh filter that will keep even the tiniest leaves at the bottom.
2. Teapot with a plunger
Every tea lover needs a proper teapot. But if you want to make brewing very easy, teapot press may be a great option for brewing more than just one cup of tea. Teapot press is similar to French press but made specifically for tea. While the French press is basically a mug with a plunger, the teapot press has an infusion basket and a plunger on top. What makes them great for brewing tea? You do not need to worry about removing tea leaves from the teapot once the tea is ready. Bodrum glass Assam tea press is a great option if you want to steep just any tea. Once you press the plunger, brewing process will stop and you will enjoy tea without making mess. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe.
3. Bottom dispensing teapots
With a bottom dispensing teapot, tea brewing will never be the same. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and can be used for brewing many types of tea. Bottom dispensing teapot looks just like a regular mug, and if it’s dishwasher safe too, it will be more than easy to clean. You simply add tea leaves and hot water and let it steep. Once the tea is ready, you place the teapot over a mug and brewed tea will pour through a mesh at the bottom. These tea makers are perfect for tea leaves that need more space to expand.
4. Electric tea maker
Electric tea makers may be expensive, but if you are serious about drinking tea, they may prove to be a great investment. These tea makers look just like kettles, with one big difference–they are made for brewing tea, rather than heating up water. Electric tea makers come with different options and different brewing baskets, so you don’t need to worry about the perfect water temperature or steep times. Some have a fully automated basket that is raised up once the tea is ready to prevent over-steeping. Different temperature options allow you to steep different teas, and most have a keep-warm function that will keep your tea warm for at least an hour. Choose those with removable fine mesh stainless steel baskets that are dishwasher safe.
5. Portable tea makers
Portable tea makers are a great option If you travel a lot and want to make a perfect cup of tea anywhere you go. They include different steeping bottles and portable mugs that allow you to steep your tea on the go. Simple portable tea makers contain only a bottle and a removable filter. But more advanced options are available too, and they look incredibly pretty. This tea infuser bottle has a special smart strainer that will allow you to separate tea leaves from tea and prevent over-steeping.
6. Unique tea makers
Not all tea makers are the same. If you are looking for a novel tea maker that does not only look unique, but steeps a perfect cup of tea too, Gourmia Fusion Tea Loose Leaf Tea Maker is as unique as it gets. It has a special water tank and a brewing basket big enough to allow tea leaves to expand. All you need to do is pour the water into the tank, add loose leaf teas, and place a mug below a basket. With different strength options, this tea maker will do the rest for you.
7. Coffee makers
Yes, you can use some coffee makers for making tea too. A good example is Keurig brewer, that you can use for both coffee and tea. Although designed for brewing coffee using special coffee pods, you can actually use Keurig for brewing some loose leaf teas and still make a perfectly decent cup.