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Recent Tasting Notes
Since buying the 32 oz, I’ve been drinking insane amounts of tea, and I’m very happy about it. My only complaint is that a few times it’s completely drained the remaining contents of tea, but that hasn’t happened since the first week I got it. There’s some minor leaking but if you use the little saucer with it, everything stays in! One of my best purchases of the year; maybe even of all time!
I use this everyday, several times a day and I can’t imagine loose leaf without it. The strainer is like an armored wall of defense against stray bits of tea, even for rooibos. The only thing that bother me is that sometimes not all of the liquid drains out on its own. Some of the liquid will be left underneath the strainer and I will have to manually push with my finger until everything drains out.
Hello all, it is time for another Tea Gear Review! excited cheering from the audience yes yes, I know these are exciting because we tea drinkers tend to ogle and hoard gear as much as we do tea. Possibly even much so since the tea gear is what brings us our delicious cups of liquid happiness. Today we are looking at the Shudei Kyusu from Den’s Tea, yes the one that I babble about periodically.
Backstory time! I first ran into the concept of the Kyusu (or Kyuusu) when I was in high school and going through that ‘obsessed with Japan and Anime’ phase (not that I have left that phase, it just has been nerfed a bit) and studying Chado and their tea culture. I was able to find a Tetsubin pretty easily but I never saw a Kyusu outside of books and online. Of course the prices online were intensely high and I am in the mindset of ‘when I buy a new piece of equipment, don’t spend too much money on it because chances are you will break it.’ I wanted a practice piece, and while browsing I found this beauty and its lovely price.
This Kyusu is made from Shudei, or red clay which has a higher level of iron oxide (and reminds me of the clay I would play with growing up in Georgia) which gives it a lovely color. There is a mostly convenient built in metal sieve for filtering out the leaves that try to escape. I say mostly convenient because being built in means it can be a real pain to clean.
I have used it quite a few times since I bought it back in late September and each time has been a treat. The size is optimal for two cups, but since I am the only one in the house that likes Japanese Green tea I usually only fill it up halfway. I like having the option of more servings should the opportunity arise. My favorite aspect of the kyusu is holding it, the handle is the perfect size for my grip and it just feels good pouring the tea.
I have noticed that it is not retaining any tea aromas or flavors (unlike Yixing) but judging by the sheen I am pretty sure this teapot has been given a glaze making it safe to use with multiple teas. Not that I am going to use it for anything other than my various Japanese greens. I am very happy with my Kyusu (it needs a name…I like naming my teapots, suggestions?) and I actually feel I do not need a fancy expensive one for my collection.
For blog and photos (and a few helpful links!) http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/11/dens-tea-shudei-kyusu-tea-gear-review.html
This is a good tea “ball”. It is just a tad smaller than an open top steeper, so there is room for the tea to move around. The only complaint would be that it has larger holes on the top of the “ball”, so smaller teas/debris escapes easily. However, this is great for using in my favorite tea pot because if I stand it up like in the picture (it has three little pegs on the bottom so you can stand it up), I am able to fit it in my teapot perfectly. It fits so that the water stops at about the line near the top. It was like it was made for my teapot! (p.s. the teapot I am talking about is the James Sadler Teapots – Tower of London Heritage. This makes clean up way easier on me than just straining the tea.
So, overall: This has its flaws and is a tad overpriced for the product, but it worked in my situation perfectly. I would only use this for smaller/medium tea pots or single cups. I would also avoid small leaf teas with this product.
Forget everything else I have looked at.
This is what I want for Christmas :-)
This basket works great! It doesn’t let anything through except for the extremely fine dust in some low-quality teas, and then barely any of that can even get through.
It has room for the tea leaves to expand, and it’s super easy to clean.
I can’t think of anything that could be improved.
Now I have used a variety of tea infusers and my biggest complaint is that there are tea leaves in the bottom of my cup. This tea infuser prevents that. The mesh works wonders and I never find any tea particles in the bottom of my glass. I have two of these (medium) and they fit well in mugs, but also 2-3 cup tea pots. I highly recommend this infuser over any other infusers on the market.
LOVE! Got the glass one with the bird on it and its the cutest thing :) I also love the infuser basket- my boyfriend has one of the balls from Teavana and is super jealous of the infuser in my perfect mug because literally not one leaf of tea escapes and he is left with lots of errant tea in his cup. If he’s good, I just might buy him a mug for Christmas (plus, the 2 for $30 sale is on now and I reeeeeally want the teal one :) ). This mug is AWESOME!
I LOVE my Husband!!! He got this for me as a present. I really, really, really wanted it but felt bad asking for it or buying it for myself. I showed it to him while in Teavana and he went back and got one for me. He said he shopped around for it and the price was the same every where. Teavana seemed to have the best return policy-after reading reviews and talking with them about it. Williams Sonoma was a close second but he felt that since Teavana introduced it to me, he would patronize them.
I can think of nothing but CONS for this machine. It is a dream for brewing different teas. I will note, that yesterday, I tried to brew a cup and it would not start. I almost cried, how sad is that! So, I looked at the kettle and wiped it down. I took it off the base and wiped it off too. I let it ‘dry’ for a couple hours and then tried it again. BaBam-it worked, and I danced! Lesson learned-do not get water near the base, be extra careful about this.
I absolutely LOVE my Breville. It is the best, just like my Husband!
OK, so I’m a bit late to the party. I won’t rehash everything else that has been said about this, but its all true! What a great machine. I find myself drinking more tea now that I have it (not a bad thing). This won’t replace all of my other pots, and I would not want it to. I still have a small collection of Yixing pots and Gaiwan’s for Gong Fu. This is not a pot for Pu Er. I only have two (very small) negatives. The fill lines are behind the handle and somewhat hard to see. Secondly, the basket, is somewhat difficult to clean. I find that the leaves tend to stick to the inside a bit and are harder to detach under running water then some of my other baskets. Other then that, just a fantastic machine.
Lets be honest, I drink a lot of tea and I am also antisocial. What does that have to do with anything, well I live in a house with other people and there are long periods of time where I don’t want to have to go to the kitchen because it almost always means interacting. The kitchen was where my stove was and if I wanted tea I had to submit to being around people. This became even more of a problem when I became a full blown tea blogger since I needed access to the kitchen more.
Luckily I have an awesome mom who got this beauty for me as an early birthday gift so I can have tea in my room. Also she knew my lament at having to use the ‘Chinese water boiling technique’ instead of having temperature control, it was a perfect gift. This kettle does a wonderful job of heating water to the desired temperature, even my most finicky greens come out perfectly. There are no weird tastes from the kettle that taint the water. There is also a function to have it turn on at a specific time so you can wake up to water ready for tea, I have not used this function yet but the idea is pretty awesome.
I have only had it about a month so I cannot really speak to durability, but I do use it multiple times a day, switching between temperatures, and using it at various water levels and it is still going strong.
Complaints? It is loud! I find the roar of the water heating up comforting because it means tea, but it has woken my boyfriend up a few times during my nocturnal tea drinking times. Also the noise terrifies my cats though they are getting used to it! The cord is pretty short, easily fixed with an extension cord.
My mother and I decided to go splits on a set of four since neither of us really needed more than two each, they certainly add a level of whimsy to our tea gear collections. I have decided to lovingly call them ‘fairy cups’ because they look magical and they are so delicate that it is not at all hard to imagine fairies or even Tolkienian elves sipping from them.
They are very tiny, perfect for a really rare tea where you only have a small amount or if you are doing a ton of steeps and don’t want to end up sloshing when you move. These are not everyday cups, very much so a special occasion or just ogling the design kind of cup.
The price was very reasonable for the set of four, probably the best price for this style cup that I have found (and I browsed around a lot). My only complaint is I am so afraid of breaking them, my hands are arthritic so I tend to drop things a lot so HOPEFULLY I have not doomed these cups to a nasty floor smashing by owning them.
Gets the job done
how did I ever live without this thing? Seriously, it gets more use than any other appliance in my kitchen. STEEPER 4 LYFE!!!!!!!
I really really wanted this product and was given it as a Christmas gift in 2012. Love at first steep. The appliance is so easy to use and the instructions were really clear and easy to understand. I am a tea girl. My boyfriend knows it, my girlfriends know it and my family knows it. I love how you can make any type of tea with this tea maker and it keeps it warm, you can automatically set it. I started working from home at the end of 2012, so this was a perfect gift to get in my beverages throughout the day. So much less hassle, don’t have to worry about forgetting you brewed a cup of tea, it keeps the tea warm for you, it allows you to brew it to your liking.
In April, my tea makers handle was loose and I called Breville and they dealt with it right away. I boxed up my tea maker and sent it to them and they sent me a new one within 2 weeks of me reporting the issue. Great customer service, fast quick. I did have tea depression for the 2 weeks without it, but it made me appreciate it all the more and when I got it back, I will never be without it again. This is the perfect gift for the tea drinker, especially if they don’t drink coffee (like me.)
- beautiful to look at
- doesn’t take up a whole lot of space on the counter
- easy to use
- doubles as a kettle as well for other things you might need boiling water for
- works with many different kinds of teas
- I drink more tea because of this
- easy company to deal with for warranty issues
- expensive, get it on sale to ease yourself with the price – but do know it is worth every penny
- it’s somewhat easy to clean but not as easy as it could be – because of the base not being able to be submerged in water
- makes minimum 500ML so sometimes you want just a quick small cup, but have to make at least 2 cups of tea
What others have mentioned and what I have to say about that:
The Plastic issue:
Mine was labelled that it is BPA free and for the most part none of the tea comes in contact with any of the plastic pieces. The carafe is made of glass and German glass at that, the handle is acrylic, the lid is combination of metal and plastic. Again, the only thing that comes in contact is the basket which is part metal, and a little plastic. The basket lid is acrylic plastic. For those that have said it’s a deal breaker for them, I’d like to know if they eat canned food, use aluminum water bottles (which are coated with a plastic inside,) etc. For me it is not a deal breaker. I have never had tea taste like plastic, and basically I think if they get tea that tastes like plastic they aren’t using the product correctly.
AMAZING. Great to deal with, didn’t have an issue.
I will say that at first I felt that my tea was starting to taste like other teas I had brewed in there. However, I have since become more diligent with rinsing it out after each use and emptying the tea leaves and not letting them sit overnight, or for extended periods of time (like it says in the manual.) I also clean it with baking soda only, which does wonders. I put a generous amount of baking soda and boil over the max hot water limit with the basket and more baking soda in it. I let this side for an hour. I empty out the carafe and then take a cloth/old clean sock/paper towel and wipe. The unit still has to be hot for this to work as well. When you wipe it, you will see all the tannin from the tea that has been previously steeped come off. It makes your tea maker look like new and the brown tinge that develops over time is eliminated from the tannin being removed. This goes for the basket. the carafe and the lids. Then I reboil with clean water. Let stand. Rinse and voila. I do this once a month to once every two times a month.
Never had an issue with different “smells or tastes.”
All in all I recommend this to ANYONE that has even one canister of loose leaf tea. You will increase your consumption of tea and it will be a joy to drink. One of my friends has bought one and I give them as gifts when I see them on sale for bridal/baby showers. Tea is a very calming and relaxing thing and I believe what better than the gift of relaxation and convenience.
Try to take reviews with a grain of salt, whether positive or negative. Try it, if you don’t like it, take it back :) But I doubt you will once you use it :D
Honestly, can’t think of a bad thing to say about the digital Zojirushi water dispensers… I actually have a different model, the 5L size in the same color, and I have run 2 of them side by side at 175 and 205 degrees. It just makes it so incredibly easy to infuse tea whenever you want… Highly, highly recommended (although I do agree, these are NOT cheap!)
What’s not to like? This does not take up a lot of counter space and does exactly what it says. You can program any temperature you want to bring the water to. There are some standard presets but you can use the up/down arrows to set your own. It remembers your custom temperature, so no need to reset if you use the same one. The spout is perfect, allowing you to fill even a very small teapot. Lastly, there is a built in count up timer, so you can time your steep.