Today I’m going to introduce a new column, which will appear in the blog from time to time—no particular schedule—and it’s exactly what the title says it is: Stuff I Like
From time to time I find a book, a kitchen device, a food product, a service …. that I really think is great. So far, these have all been products or services or foods or books to which I have absolutely no connection—just stuff I’ve found on my own, not even stuff we sell on my website… just, well, stuff I like that I think you might like too. (If in future columns I ever talk about a product to which i have a financial or business connection, I will tell you in advance!)
So here’s the first “edition” of the column. Short and sweet. I’ll tell you about some device (or service, or food, or product) that has really made my life easier or that I really think is terrific, and if that’s of interest to you, great, you can check it out on your own.
So for my very first “Stuff I Like” column, I’ve chosen one of my favorite new kitchen gadgets: The Breville Automatic Tea Maker.
Tea is the healthiest beverage in the world next to water, and I drink it every day. But I never felt like I was getting the real tea “experience”. I didn’t care all that much since I drank tea for the health benefits, so I figured getting a good, reliable brand of tea in a teabag and holding it under the hot water dispenser was good enough. But I’d been to enough restaurants to know that serious tea people laugh at that. Making tea the right way means different temperatures for different types (green, black, oolong and white all brew optimally at different temperatures) and for different times (ditto).
My Breville Automatic Tea Maker solved the whole problem. My friends—as well as my darling Michelle– laughed at me for buying it. They pointed out that’s it’s not exactly difficult to throw a teabag in a cup or boil some water with a tea immerse. That’s true, of course, but the whole point is that if you want tea the way it’s supposed to be, tasting the way it’s supposed to taste and with the optimal amount of all those tea polyphenols, you’ve got to brew it right, and that’s what this bad boy does. It’s like the difference between a freshly brewed cup of coffee at Coffee Bean and a cup of instant Sanka.
Using it is pure simplicity. You put one scooper of tea leaves in the little “brew basket” for every cup you want. Then, on the control panel, you choose the type of tea: green, black, oolong, white, herbal or “custom”. Then you hit “Tea” and you wait. Period. It couldn’t be simpler. The teamaker boils the water to the right temperature, then, when the temperature is perfect, it lowers the basket into the water, keeps it there for just the right number of minutes, raises the basket back up and makes a little “beep” to tell you the tea is done. Then it keeps the pot warm for another hour. How easy is that?
The controls automatically set the time and temperature to what’s ideal. For example, the perfect combination of brew temperature and time for green tea is 175 degrees for 3 minutes; for black tea it’s 212 degrees for 2 minutes. Right before you hit the “Brew” button, you can choose the strength you want by selecting “mild”, “medium” or “strong”, which adjusts the time (not the temperature) accordingly. You get a perfect cup of tea every time, and the machine even keeps the brewed tea warm for you.
This machine joins my Breville juice extracter on my kitchen counter, and I use it every day. It’s a great investment in your health. When you have this machine, you’ll never have a reason not to drink tea all day—it makes making tea easy and fun.