I’ve had my Breville tea maker for about a month, and I absolutely adore it. I have made black, green, and herbal teas, as well as chai, and it does a great job with everything. For iced tea, just make it a little more concentrated, and pour over ice when it’s done.
This certainly isn’t an appliance I would have bought for myself, but since I got it as a gift, it has been indispensable. Before I got this tea maker, I would struggle to drink any tea on work days because I wouldn’t have time to make tea and drink it before I left the house, and once I got in to work I would hardly have time to drink from my travel mug. Now I set the auto timer the night before, and my tea is ready when I get up, plus it keeps warm so I can put some in a travel mug just before I leave.
One thing that surprised me about this tea maker it its small size. It is really quite slim. The maximum amount of tea you can make in it is 1250ml, which is about 5 8-oz cups, and the minimum is 500ml, which is about 2 8-oz cups or approximately one large mug. This is a good range for me, but if you were making tea for a crowd or used to drinking tea in daintier amounts, you might take these limitations into account.
As far as maintaining the tea maker, it’s pretty easy. After I’m finished with my tea, I just rinse out the pot and shake and rinse the tea out of the basket. For easier cleanup, or to keep fine particles like rooibos contained, you can put the tea in a tea sac and tie off the end. You can also easily place tea bags in the basket — I just tear off the tag so it doesn’t get soggy and weird.
The tea maker does retain the flavor of the previous tea you steeped — the same as if you used a teapot. I’m use to drinking tea by the cup, so I do clean the pot by just soaking for a minute or two with a splash of vinegar and warm water after making flavored teas. There are instructions for cleaning in the manual, but the pot doesn’t need a thorough cleaning every day — just a rinse and wiping dry with a cloth is fine.
All in all, this is a great appliance. It only does one thing, but it does it very well. It is easy to use and maintain, and doesn’t take up much counter space. I would highly recommend this for busy tea lovers.