Tea is a social drink and a symbol of hospitality in many countries. Next to water, it’s the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It’s the drink you sip on after meals, at social functions, on cold days in front of the fire, and after a hectic day. It’s also a tranquil drink in times of reflection or in need of solace.
Although there are only six kinds of tea, there are enormous amounts of different varieties and blends that come prepackaged or loose so you can create your own fusion. There are lots of tea shops that offer classic blends, botanicals, seasonal favorites and exotic infusions that you can take home and brew yourself.
Tea is best drank fresh and at the right temperature. Though most teas taste pretty decent when made with boiling water, some of us may not realize that depending on the type of tea we drink, a specific temperature is required to enjoy and benefit from its natural vitamin, mineral content and healing properties. Most of us probably don’t know what those optimal temperatures are, but there is an easy solution, the Breville Smart Tea Infuser.
Breville Smart Tea Infuser
The Breville Smart Tea Infuser comes with a glass jug/kettle, a stainless steel base, stainless steel basket, BPA free outer and inner lid and a user manual. The base has all the settings which you can adjust to the tea you are brewing or to your personal taste.
The Breville Smart Tea infuser will brew Black Tea, White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Herbal Infusions or Tisanes and Blends. Once you decide on the tea you will be brewing, consult the base to determine the right temperature for your tea. Green tea uses the least amount of heat – 175ºF, while black tea uses the hottest temperatures – 212ºF. All the other teas are somewhere in between these two temperatures. This information is also available in the user manual.
Depending on how many cups of tea you’ll be making will determine how much tea leaves you will use. The manual offers a ‘water to teaspoon’ chart as a handy guide and quick reference, but if these don’t resonate with you, go with your own formula. For instance, if you were going to make 2 cups – 16 oz of tea, then it’s recommended you use 2 teaspoons of tea leaves. You might use 3 teaspoons because you like your teas with a bolder flavor.
Once you add the water to the jug, press the temperature button until it reaches the required temperature. Then press the start button. It will heat the water up to the ideal temperature and beep three times when it’s done. Then you remove the inner lid by pressing the detachment button and place the stainless steel basket filled with your tea leaves into the jar, then replace the lid. Incidentally, if you don’t have loose leaf tea, you can use your organic tea bags in the basket, but fresher teas definitely have more flavor.
Some people love mild tea while others enjoy a strong brew. It’s all a matter of steeping. The steep time on the Smart Tea Infuser allows you to adjust the strength of your tea. I’m more of a mellow tea drinker, so I only steep for 2 or 3 minutes and I enjoy the flavor. When the steep time is done, the unit will beep three times as well.
Once the tea has finished steeping, you’ll need to remove the tea basket by lifting the inner lid. They’ll come out together, so you’ll have to press the detach button and the basket will release. Then replace the lid back on to retain the heat. Now your tea is ready to enjoy. The tea will stay warm for 30 minutes if left on the base.
Just as a side note, I have a family member who wants the benefits of herbal teas, but has a hard time with the flavors. So, I add some anise or cut up slices of orange and lemon and drop them into her cup and she loves the combination – so do I.
I found the Breville Smart Tea Infuser so much nicer to use than your basic kettle and teapot. Plus, there was less mess to clean up. I like the idea of temperature control and steep time preference as well. When we leave tea bags in a teapot, it continues to steep and we end up with super strong tea that is not palatable or potable. I’ve thrown a lot of tea out for this reason.
My family and I drink moderate amounts of organic teas for their health benefits and we want to get the most value out of them. Knowing we brewed our teas properly is consoling. I think the Breville Smart Tea Infuser is a handy kitchen appliance that takes all the guesswork out. It’s the perfect brewer for making a fragrant and flavorful cup of tea at the right temperature. I absolutely love it!