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Best Tea Maker [2019]

Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS Electric Glass Tea Kettle
  • 1,500-Watt element with 1.5-liter kettle
  • 5 heat settings
  • Steeper holder for loose-leaf teas


Kitchen Aid is one of the most well-known home kitchen appliance brands. Their KEK1322SS Electric Glass Tea Kettle has a lot of the design features that you look for in a tea maker, which a few design extras to appeal to loose-leaf tea enthusiasts.

It has a 1.5-Liter Schott Duran Glass kettle. The stainless steel tea steeper also works with a specially designed “Steeper Holder.” This allows you to stand it up and pre-wet loose-leaf teas to help maximize their brewing potential and reduce the float time in the infuser. The end result is a tea with a full body and aroma.

The 1,500 Watt heating element makes for fast brewing. The controls have 5 specialty temperature settings that you can calibrate to the specific tea variety, as well as a 30-minute, keep warm setting that is designed to hold the tea at 158-degrees.

COMFEE’ Kettle-MK-17G01B-E5
  • Versatile temperature range
  • 1.7-liter kettle with a 1,500-Watt element
  • 2-hour keep warm feature


Comfee is a British home appliance company that continues to grow in popularity throughout the United States. The MK-17G01B-E5 was designed to work as a basic electric kettle as well as a quality tea maker.

It features a 1.7-liter borosilicate glass kettle with built-in temperature controls in the handle. Its 1,500-Watt electric heating element is capable of temperatures as low as 120 degrees or as high as 212 degrees. This gives it the ability to serve as bottle warmer, a broth heater, or to brew high heat black and herbal teas.

It comes with a 304 “Food Grade” stainless steel tea infuser that can hold tea leaves or tea bags. When you want to use it as a simple kettle heater, you can leave the infuser out, and adjust it to your desired temperature.

The Comfee also has a 2-hour keep warm feature as well as an automatic shutoff and a boil dry protection feature. The materials are all approved by the FDA and UL approved materials.

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Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker
  • 5 reset programs and custom settings with auto-start feature
  • Tea strength button
  • 1,500 Watt element for a 1.5-liter kettle


Breville designed its BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker to appeal to tea enthusiasts of every experience level. It includes programmable time and temperature settings with five recommended programs to get you started.

The 1,500 Watt element rapidly heats the 1.5-liter German-made Schott glass kettle. It’s kept warm feature will then hold the tea at the ideal temperature for up to an hour. There is also a “Tea Strength Button” and it’s five variable settings. It allows you to brew tea to your personal taste. It includes an auto-start feature that allows you to set it up the night before, and it will start brewing while you get ready in the morning.

Even if you are a relative newcomer to the art and science of brewing tea, this is a great unit to get you started. As you gain experience the more advanced features allow it to grow with you

How We Picked

Electric tea makers are increasingly popular in today’s hectic world. Many of the competitive high-quality units share similar features, that can sometimes make it a little hard to choose the one that is right for you and your household. Understanding how some of the basic features, characteristics, and materials influence each other can help you factor in how it will fit into your lifestyle.

The relationship between the wattage of the heating element and the volume of the kettle is worthy of consideration. In general, a larger volume of water needs a higher wattage element to heat it quickly.

This is especially important in electric tea makers with an automatic timer feature, where you set it up the night before and it starts brewing while you are getting ready in the morning. A lower wattage heating element around 1,200 degrees, trying to heat a high volume of water like 1.7 liters might be beneficial for a delicate white or green tea.

However, the slower heating might not be good for a high heat black or herbal tea blend. In a situation like this, you want to see something in the 1,500-watt range, which might even be able to boil water faster than a microwave or conventional range top.

Many popular tea makers also come with specific temperature controls. Some even have programmable timers to hold the specific volume of water at temperature for the ideal amount of brew time. However, these units tend to cost a little more, so keep your budget in mind.

Materials are also a factor. In a kettle, it’s best to prioritize glass or even food grade 304 stainless steel over plastics. Ideally, any plastic components should be rated as BPA free. A manufacturer who backs their product with a warranty or a satisfaction guarantee is also a nice statement of quality and attention to thoughtful design.

Chefman PerfecTea Programmable Electric Glass Kettle

Chefman PerfecTea Programmable Electric Glass Kettle

Specs:

  • 1,300 Watts for rapid heating
  • Digital touch controls
  • 8 programmable settings
  • Holds the temperature for up to an hour
  • BPA free plastic components
  • Borosilicate glass kettle
  • Micromesh steeper and filter
  • CETL rated for safety

Chefman is a growing consumer small appliance brand that has been working hard to make a name for itself with thoughtfully-designed quality products. You see this reflected in their 1.5-liter programmable electric tea kettle.

Chefman PerfecTea Programmable Electric Glass Kettle

The plastic components are all considered BPA free. The kettle itself is made from borosilicate glass for easy cleanup and stain resistance. It also includes a micromesh steeper and tea infuser with a filter, which both maximizes the purity of the tea, while also making it easy to clean.

Chefman PerfecTea packaging

The 1,500 Watt heating element was designed to rapidly heat the water just as fast as a microwave or conventional range. The digital touch controls, with LED lights, has eight programmable settings.

It also has a holdover feature that will keep the 1.5 liters within the target temperature for up to an hour. If you prefer, it also has an automatic shutoff feature to keep from overheating and burning the tea. It also meets Canadian CETL safety guidelines.

What We Liked

The temperature hold over the feature of this programmable tea maker is especially nice for households where not ever tea drinker shares the same exact schedule. It allows you to hold the tea at the ideal temperature for up to an hour.

The tea infuser and micromesh steeper with filter is also a nice touch. It allows you to brew any grade of tea, or even include additive spices and ingredients for your own custom blends. The filter and borosilicate glass kettle also make cleanup a breeze!

Overall

There’s a lot to like with the Chefman 1.5-liter programmable tea maker. It has all the features you want in a quality unit, and the 1,300 Watt CETL heating unit safely heats water faster than a microwave or conventional range.

Chefman PerfecTea Programmable Electric Glass Kettle

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • 8 programmable settings for ease of use
  • Thoughtful holdover and automatic shutoff safety features

Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

Specs:

  • 1,500 Watts
  • Fully programmable time and temperature
  • 5 preset recommended programs
  • 1-hour “Keep Warm” feature
  • Auto-start feature
  • Celsius or Fahrenheit
  • Tea strength settings for personal taste

The Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker was designed to appeal to tea enthusiasts of every experience level.

Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

It includes easy to use programmable time and temperature settings that can be customized to your specifications. It also has five recommended programs for the times when you simply want to press a button and let the machine handle the art and science.

Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

The 1,500 Watt element can be also be used to hold the tea in the 51-ounce German-made Schott glass kettle, at the ideal temperature for up to 1-hour. Just bear in mind that some steeping will still occur. In a time like this, you can take advantage of the “Tea Strength Button” and it’s five variable settings.

Breville BTM800XL Tea infuser

Programming it to develop tea one level lighter than your personal preference will provide you with a more consistent batch, as well as a reduced chance of burning the tea’s more subtle components.

This unit also has an auto-start feature. You simply load it up before going to bed. Set the time you want it to brew, and the machine will handle the rest. This lets you wake up in the morning to smell of freshly brewed tea, without adding one more thing into your morning bustle.

What We Liked

The 5 recommended presets make it easy and convenient to use. Yet the programmable feature and the tea strength button allow you full customizable control. This tea maker can essentially “Grow with you” as you expand your brewing acumen.

Overall

The Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker is fully customizable for the tea brewing aficionado. Yet it is also user-friendly enough for someone who is just looking to brew their first pot of quality team. Breville even backs it with a 1-year limited warranty.

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Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

  • Preset programs and custom settings
  • Tea strength button
  • Auto-start feature built-in

Buydeem K2423 Hot Tea Maker 1.2Liter Glass Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

Buydeem K2423 Hot Tea Maker 1.2Liter Glass Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

Specs:

  • 1.2 Liters
  • 1,200 Watts
  • German Schott Duran glass
  • Stainless steel infuser
  • 5 programmed settings
  • Automatic 60-minute “Keep Warm” setting
  • FDA certified

Buydeem has slowly been building a name for themselves in consumer electronics since 2003. They try to focus on making a healthy lifestyle easier with a focus on thoughtful convenience.

Buydeem K2423 parts

Their K2423 1.2 Liter Hot Tea Maker comes with five pre-programmed settings for a boil, black & herbal, oolong, white, and green tea. Each one is specifically set to the ideal temperature for that type of tea, which takes the guesswork out of the process.

Tea in the Buydeem K2423

This tea maker runs on 1,200 Watts of standard AC electricity. There is also an automated “Keep Warm” feature that will hold the ideal temperature for up to 60-minutes.

The 1.2-liter kettle is made from high-quality German Schott Duran glass and the infuser is made from corrosion-resistant 316 stainless steel. It’s also been certified by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

What We Liked

The high-quality material selection with this tea maker shows through, and it’s accentuated by the ease of use. If you want to make a small batch of tea, you don’t have to wrestle with the art and science, all you have to do is fill the stainless steel infuser with quality tea leaves or bags, add water and press the right button. The machine does the rest for you.

The fact that Buydeem backs it with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year warranty is also a feather in their cap.

Overall

There aren’t technically a lot of bells and whistles with the Buydeem K2423 1.2 Liter Hot Tea Maker. If you are looking for customized settings to brew up exotic teas, the five press button settings are probably a little too simple.

If you are looking to make modest-sized batches of tea, for you and your significant other, and you don’t want a lot of hassle, the Buydeem K2423 might be right in your sweet spot.

Buydeem K2423 Hot Tea Maker 1.2Liter Glass Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

  • Small batch tea maker
  • 5 easy-to-use settings
  • Quality materials and design

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp

Specs:

  • 1,500 Watts
  • 1.7 Liters
  • 360 swivel base
  • 6 preset temperature settings
  • Automatic shutoff
  • 30-minutes keep warm feature
  • Built-in memory features
  • 3-year limited warranty

Cuisinart is a well-known kitchen appliance brand that has spent years developing a presence in nearly every cooking niche. Their CPK-17 Perfect Temp was thoughtfully designed to brew tea at just the right temperature.

 

The 1,500 Watts heating element is located in the base of the unit, which prevents the mineral buildup that can happen in homes with hard water. There are 6 preset heating modes that are specifically tuned to the most popular tea steeping temperatures. They are labeled as Delicate, Green, White, Oolong, French Press, and Boil. A blue indicator light lets you know when the water has reached the correct temperature.

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp in the kitchen

The food-grade stainless steel kettle is non-reactive and can hold up to 1.7 Liters of water. The 360-degree swivel base has a memory feature built into it. If you return the kettle to the base within 2-minutes, it will remember the specific holding temp. It will remain in the “Keep Warm” setting for up to 30-minutes.

What We Liked

The adjustable heat settings is a nice touch for times when you want to make more delicate teas like white and green, that will taste bitter if overheated. The memory feature in the base and the fact that the heating element doesn’t come in direct contact with the water is also handy.

The fact that Cuisinart backs the CPK-17 with a three-year limited warranty is also a testament to this tea maker’s quality materials and design.

Overall

For the most part, the Cuisinart CPK-17 is was well-designed and it has most of the features you want in a quality tea maker. It would be nice if there was a cylindrical tea infuser. The heat settings don’t have a built-in brewing timer, which means you will need to monitor and stop the brewing process on your own.

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp

  • 1,500 Watts
  • 1.7-Liter
  • Great for homes with hard water

Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS Electric Glass Tea Kettle

Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS Electric Glass Tea Kettle

Specs:

  • 1,500 Watts
  • 1.5 Liter Kettle
  • 5 specialty heat settings
  • Steeper holder
  • 1-year warranty

Kitchen Aid is another trusted name in home kitchen appliances. Their KEK1322SS Electric Glass Tea Kettle was designed to be convenient, while also having some design features that appeal to loose-leaf teas.

Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS tea infuser

The 1.5-Liter kettle is made from high-quality Schott Duran Glass. It has a removable stainless steel tea steeper with a special “Steeper Holder.” This is especially handy for brewing loose-leaf teas. You simply set the steeper in the holder, add the desired amount of loose-leaf tea. Then add a little water to wet the leaves and hydrate them. This will reduce the amount of time the leaves float during the brewing process to extract the most flavor and body.

Tea made with the Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS

 

There are 5 specialty temperature settings for the type of tea you are brewing. The heating element uses up to 1,500 Watts for fast brewing. There is also a 30-minute keep warm setting that is designed to hold the tea at 158-degrees.

This is nice for times when you are brewing a more delicate variety of tea like white or green. Yet it might be a little too low for black teas.

What We Liked

The steeper holder is the thing that helps the Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS stand out from the competition. It’s especially nice if you are a fan of brewing loose leaf teas by pre-wetting them.

It’s also backed by a 1-year warranty, which makes a testament to Kitchen Aid’s material and design quality.

Overall

Kitchen Aid infused this tea maker with some appealing features like the steeper holder and quality materials like the Schott Duran Glass kettle. The 1.5-liter volume is just about right for a small family or a couple of tea drinkers.

There is some debate about the 158-degree, 30-minutes keep warm feature. It’s great for white and green teas that need lower brewing and holding temperatures. It also reduces the amount of continued steeping that naturally occurs with keep warm kettles. The temperature is a little on the low end for holding higher-heat teas like black tea and certain herbal blends.

Kitchen Aid KEK1322SS Electric Glass Tea Kettle

  • Best for delicate loose-leaf teas
  • 158-degree keep warm feature
  • Quality materials and design

Willsence KT-S1 Electric Kettle

Willsence KT-S1 Electric Kettle

Specs:

  • 1.7 Liter
  • 1,200 Watts
  • Borosilicate glass kettle
  • 6 programmable
  • Auto-start feature
  • Multiple safety features and certificates
  • 2-year warranty

Willsense is a relative newcomer to the home kitchen appliance industry. They step into the tea maker niche by putting their best foot forward with the KT-S1 Electric Tea Kettle.

Boiling water in the Willsence KT-S1 Electric Kettle

It has a 1.7 Liter borosilicate glass kettle and a 1,200 Watt heating element with 6 programmable temperature settings for different brewing needs. It also has an auto-start feature that lets you set the brew time for up to 12-hours in advance. It also has a 120-minute keep warm feature.

Willsence KT-S1 Electric Kettle

Willsense designed this tea maker with safety in mind. It has a boil-dry protection sensor and a child lock. It’s also FDA, ROHS, and CE certified. They even back it with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty.

What We Liked

The safety features and multiple certificates are a definite feather in this tea maker’s cap. Especially if you have small, curious children in your home. The auto-start feature is also a nice touch. It lets you set it up the night before and it will brew on its own the next morning while you get ready to start your day.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the 120-minute keep warm feature is longer than most of the competition that tends to have a maximum of 30 to 60-minutes.

Overall

There is a lot to like with the Willsense KT-S1 Electric Tea Kettle. It has thoughtful features, programs, and materials you want to see in an electric tea maker.

The 1,200-Watt heating element is a little bit on the low side. Most competitors with a 1.7-liter kettle have a 1,500-Watt heating element. It isn’t a major negative, it will just take a few minutes longer to fully heat the water, which might be a good thing for teas that benefit from a longer brew time.

Willsence KT-S1 Electric Kettle

  • Designed with safety in mind
  • Thoughtful programs with 12-hour auto-start
  • 120-minutes keep warm feature

Viante Electric Kettle. Electric Glass Tea Kettle

Viante Electric Kettle

Specs:

  • 1.7 Liter borosilicate kettle
  • 1,500 Watts
  • BPA-free plastic components
  • 4 preset programs with a keep warm setting

The Viante KET 100 is a relative newcomer in the electric tea maker marketplace. Yet it has most of the features and characteristics you want to see for a unit in this price range.

Brewing fresh fruit tea in the Viante Electric Kettle

It has a 1,500-Watt heating element which helps with fast heating times. There are 4 presets designed to address popular tea brewing times. It also includes a 30-minute keep warm feature.

Viante Electric Kettle

The 1.7-liter borosilicate glass kettle was designed to meet their “Tech Glass” standards for heat and shock resistance. All the plastic components are rated to be BPA-free. The removable tea infuser is made from 304 “Food Grade” stainless steel.

Viante backs the KET-100 with a 100% satisfaction guarantee as well as a 1-year warranty.

What We Liked

The attention to quality materials shines through with the Viante KET-100. Borosilicate “Tech Glass,” BPA-free plastic components, and the 304 stainless steel infuser speak to its underlying quality.

Overall

For the price point, you get a lot of the features and quality materials you want to find in an electric tea maker of this size. The one thing its truly missing is a built-in timer to go with the temperature brew settings.

Viante Electric Kettle. Electric Glass Tea Kettle

  • Quality materials and design
  • 1.7-liter borosilicate kettle
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee and 1-year warranty

COMFEE’ Kettle-MK-17G01B-E5

COMFEE' Kettle-MK-17G01B-E5

Specs:

  • 1.7-liter borosilicate glass kettle
  • 1,500 Watt heating element
  • Temperature range from 120-212 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Digital temperature controls on the handle
  • 2-hour keep warm feature
  • Automatic shutoff and boil dry protection features

Comfee is a British brand that has been steadily been growing its US market presence. Their MK-17G01B-E5 was designed with a wide temperature range to make it versatile as more than just an electric tea maker.

COMFEE' Kettle-MK-17G01B-E5

The borosilicate glass kettle will hold up to 1.7 liters of water. It has a cool-touch handle with built-in temperature controls. This allows you to set a target temperature as low as 120 degrees for doing things like warming a baby’s bottle or as high as 212 degrees, for boiling black tea.

Hot water in the COMFEE' Kettle-MK-17G01B-E5

When you want to use it to brew tea, you simply insert the 304 stainless steel tea infuser and load it with tea leaves or tea bags. If you want to use it as a simple kettle heater, you can leave the infuser out, and simply set it to your desired temperature.

The 1,500-Watt heating element includes a 2-hour keep warm feature. There are also automatic shutoff and boil-dry protection features built into the digital, push-button handle controls.

All materials are made from FDA and UL approved materials. Comfee also backs it with a 1-year warranty.

What We Liked

The simple push-button digital handle controls are a nice feature that makes this tea maker easy to use. The fact that it’s made from FDA and UL approved materials, with key safety features built-in also helps the Comfee to stand out from some of the more basic competitors in this price range.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 2-hour keep warm feature is longer than many of the high price competitors who offer 30 or 60-minute timers.

You also shouldn’t overlook the 120 to 212 temperature range, which adds to this electric kettle’s versatility. Many other electric tea makers aren’t capable of temperatures below 150-degrees.

Overall

You get everything you expect and then some for the price of the Comfee MK-17G01B-E5. Little things like the lack of a specific timer or additional program features would be nice, but they would also raise the price significantly.

COMFEE’ Kettle-MK-17G01B-E5

  • Versatile temperature range
  • A very friendly price point
  • 2-hour keep warm feature

Buyers Guide

Tea has long been a beloved beverage with a history stretching back for thousands of years. In the past, tea was very popular in certain cultures and stood in contrast to coffee in some countries. Today globalization has made tea increasingly popular throughout the world.

However, there is some art and science behind brewing tea properly. Even if you source high-end tea leaves or herbal blends, simply steeping them with a little hot water may not bring out their full aroma, flavor, and possible medicinal properties. This has made tea makers very popular with individuals who appreciate tea and want to make sure they are doing it right.

With that in mind, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when shopping for one of these convenient countertop devices.

Volume and Capacity

Like coffee, the ratio between water and tea leaves or herbal blend will influence the flavor and aroma. It will also impact the amount of material you go through. Since high-quality teas tend to cost more per volume, leftover, unconsumed tea can gradually waste a lot of money. Especially since most tea enthusiasts tend to brew at least one batch per day.

Take a moment to consider how many people in your household will be drinking tea on a regular basis. Also consider if there will be multiple servings, a single large serving, or perhaps single-serving small teacups like Yunomi.

Ease to Clean

The process of brewing tea tends to release a significant amount of fine particles, which can adhere to just about any surface. As time goes on this can alter the color of carafe’s, stain receptacles, and potentially buildup on brewer components.

Programmable Versatility

Not all teas brew the same way. Some exotic blends and cultural classics like Pu-erh need to be brewed for a specific time and temperature in order to unlock their true potential as well as their medicinal benefits.

Some tea makers allow you to adjust the brewing temperature and time. A few also include built-in programs that are easy to use and require little more than one or two touches of a button.

Automatic Shutoff Features

Chances are you have left a pot of coffee on the warmer plate for a little too long, only to find it giving off an acrid odor with a bitter flavor profile. A similar problem occurs with tea.

Excess or prolonged heat tends to break down the chemical complexity as it essentially “Burns” the organic components. A tea maker with a built-in automatic shutoff feature helps prevent this. You will just need to take measures to maintain the tea at the proper temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Much Tea Should I Use Per Cup?

A: The answer to this question can vary by the type of tea you are brewing as well as how strong you want the tea to be. The general rule of thumb is to use one full teaspoon of dried tea leaves per cup of tea you want to brew. When in doubt, it’s better to add a little too much rather than too little.

Q: Can I Use Regular Tap Water In A Tea Maker?

A: The type of water you use to brew your tea can have a significant impact on the aroma and flavor. This is even more likely to be an issue with loose-leaf teas, and teas with subtle flavor like green and white tea.

Depending on where you live tap water can have hard with trace iron, excessively soft, or even carry a strong chlorinated odor. Whenever possible, you should try to use filtered water to allow the flavor and aroma of the tea to shine through.

Q: Is Loose-Leaf Tea Really Better?

A: In truth, there is an elaborate amount of art and science that goes into brewing high-quality tea. One important thing to consider in this vast lexicon of information is the way tea is graded. Large loose-leaf teas generally have more depth of flavor and aroma. Depending on the variety they are also more likely to have superior medicinal qualities.

From there the tea is graded into smaller leaf sizes until you get to what is essentially the dust used in tea bags. Most of these lesser grade teas suffer from oxidation and thus lose a significant portion of their depth and additional benefits.

People who appreciate the more subtle and medicinal qualities of tea will want to prioritize a unit with a fine mesh tea infuser. This will allow you to work with loose leaf teas without having to worry about unappealing material at the bottom of your cup.

With these loose-leaf teas, you might want to look for an electric kettle with a or “Steeper Holder,” or an infuser that will sit firmly in a flat-bottom bowl. This will allow you to lightly wet the tea leaves before inserting the infuser into the kettle. Doing this will reduce the amount of time the leaves float, to maximize the body and brew time of the tea.

Just also bear in mind that there are some loose-leaf teas that are compressed and wrapped in a fine mesh bag. When they are placed in a tea infuser and introduced to the hot water, they rehydrate and expand. This is a great option for a unit that doesn’t have a fine mesh infuser. Many of these teas are also vacuum sealed which makes them a great option for sourcing more exotic varieties that might end up spending a lot of time being shipped to you from the other side of the world.

This is not to say that you can only use loose leaf teas. There are many people who would advocate for disposable mesh tea bags, which can still produce a flavorful batch of tea for a fraction of the price you would spend on their loose-leaf counterparts. In many cases, bagged teas are also easier to clean up, which could be a major selling feature for tea-enthusiasts who live life on the go!

Q: What Is A Tea Infuser?

A: In a classic tea kettle, the tea infuser is a ball that is often hung by a small chain. Chances are if your grandmother ever made you a pot of loose-leaf tea, she used one of them to keep larger particles from getting into the tea.

Of course, this has evolved with modern-day tea makers to make it easier than ever to brew high-quality tea while also being easy to clean.

Q: Does The Water Need To Be Boiling Hot?

A: The type of tea you are using will directly impact the time and brew temperature it needs to extract the ideal flavor and aroma. Some teas like green and white tea do better when they are simmered for a longer period of time. The following are some good benchmarks to start out, and you can then start to tailor them to your personal taste.

  • Black Tea typically does best at 210º F for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Oolong Tea prefers to simmer at 175 to 185º F for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Green Tea expresses the most flavor and aroma when simmered at 165 to 175º F for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • White Tea likes a lower simmer around 155º F for 2 to 3 minutes to extract its light and subtle flavor.
  • Herbal teas can vary depending on the blend. Most need a 3 to 6-minute brew at 200 to 210º.

If this sounds a little more complicated than you are comfortable with, you might want to prioritize a tea maker with programmable settings.

Q: How Do I Prevent Over Brewing?

A: With most teas you only want the steeping process to last a few minutes. Leaving the tea bags of loose-leaf tea in the water for too long can alter the flavor and other important characteristics. An electric tea maker with a removable infuser or other features that make it easy to extract the tea bags helps prevent over brewing. Especially if you plan to use a built-in keep warm feature.

Q: Does Plastic, Glass Or Metal Matter?

A: These days many people are worried about BPA contamination in plastics. It’s even more of a concern when hot water is involved. Fortunately, many quality tea maker manufacturers are aware of this market demand and offer BPA-free plastic kettles or carafes.

Still, there are those who still prefer glass as it tends to be easier to clean. As time goes on, the microscopic textures of plastic can start to trap miniscule particles causing an unappealing and hard to remove discoloration in the kettle.

There are a few units that have a 304 “Food Grade” stainless steel kettle. With these units, you want to clean the interior with a non-abrasive sponge. If scratches start to buildup on the inside it could gradually start to affect the flavor. You should also avoid using salt inside a 304 stainless steel kettle as it could gradually lead to minor corrosion issues. 316 stainless steel does not have this salt problem, but you will still need to clean it with a non-abrasive sponge.

Q: How Can I Keep Excess Tea Warm?

A: Some tea makers don’t have a keep warm setting or their keep warm setting is limited to an hour. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a small amount of steeping will continue to go on even on the keep warm setting. Other units have an automatic shutoff feature helps maintain the integrity, flavor, and possible medicinal qualities of the tea you brew.

In a situation like this, you might need to hold over warm tea at the correct temperature. In a pinch, you can use a glass-lined thermos like Cresimo Stainless Steel Insulated Thermos or Zojirushi AHGB-10SE Vacuum Insulated Thermal Carafe. If you want a more elegant solution, you might want to try using a pump pot. They are especially handy if a tea-drinking member of your household keeps a different schedule.

Just make sure to “Prime” or “Preheat” the interior of the thermos or pump pot by filling it with hot tap water and letting it sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. This will warm the interior, to prevent the tea from conduction cooling when you pour it in.

Q: Can I Use A Tea Maker As An Electric Kettle?

A: The heating elements and volume of most tea makers allow you to use them as a replacement for a standard electric kettle. However, it’s best to stick to using them to heat water for things like cleaning baby bottles or warming water for instant oatmeal.

If you wanted to use it for heating broth for something like risotto, then you want to prioritize a glass kettle or carafe. Plastic tends to pick up the ambient flavors of fats and seasonings that can carry over in the following few batches of tea.

It’s also worth noting that there are some manufacturers who sell an electric kettle that is only meant to heat water. These units do not come with a tea infuser or any other specific brewing features. You can still use them to brew the tea the old fashioned way by pouring hot water into a teacup and using a tea bag. In fact, there are many people who like the versatility of the “Pour-Over” method for times when two drinkers are interested in different types of tea.

Conclusion

Most quality tea maker appliances on the market today share similar features. Yet the programs and versatility can set one apart from the others, based on your needs. Even if you are a veritable newcomer to the world of tea preparation there are units that will help accelerate the learning process.

If possible, try to select a tea maker that can grow with you. A programmable timer and temperature settings help eliminate the guesswork, allowing you to brew a simple pot of tea with the press of a button. As you become more accustomed to the process and your palate grows, you may likely find yourself exploring new varieties and creative ways to produce high-quality tea from the comfort of your own home.

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