Zojirushi

Recent Tasting Notes

100

Best thing ever.

Basically, I drink so much tea that I kept breaking cheap (< $30) electric kettles every year/year and a half. After going through my third one (the base leaked water and it became an electric hazard), I figured I’d save up over the summer for one of these and wound up getting it a little before classes started, which was almost two weeks ago. I’ll try to remember to update this over time.

So far, no complaints. I picked this one (instead of the 3L Champagne Gold model) due to its larger capacity and vaccum-electric hybrid, which is supposed to help reduce electricity consumption (which would hopefully lead to a slightly lower electric bill than if I’d gotten the 3L model). The music notification irritated me, but pressing and holding the “Unlock” button for several seconds can set it to Beep or Silent mode, so I set it for the former.

There are three temperature settings (in F): 208, 195, 175, and a Vaccum Insulation-only mode.

The only two things I want to point out:

It always boils water first, then lets it cool to the temperature specified. This is probably the only big flaw I can see for tea drinkers who want to make the most out of their water by only letting it heat up to the temperature they want and not go over that.

For college/grad students (or people who do a lot of moving and live in small spaces like studio or efficiency apartments): This is kinda big. Not massive, but definitely a little bigger than I expected (it has a 4L capacity, after all). But it shouldn’t be too hard to find a box for it if you don’t have the original and need to move. And it’s not oddly shaped like a gooseneck kettle, which is a huge plus when it comes to packing.

Cwyn

Awesome review, was wondering how this thing actually works. Seems like it would take up an additional room all to itself! 4 L is obscenely huge and incredibly tick. I think the boil then cool is the way to go, it follows the method for Japanese tea, and would also boil off any odd tastes and stray bacteria in the water. If the local water supply goes bad you would be all set for that too!

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100

Duplicate entry because there are two listings for this product and I am a big fan…….
I have been using the 12oz Zojirushi stainless steel travel mug for about 18 months – I use it daily and I absolutely love it. I tried the ever-popular Timolino (several models actually) and I was not really satisfied / not impressed. The Zojirushi beats them hands down IMHO. I love them so much, I bought a 16oz and I just picked up another 12oz recently.

They keep things hot all day long and do not “contaminate” the flavor at all. Fill it and drink out of it for hours knowing my tea’s temperature is just as I like it and then I brew and refill it again. If I want to drink out of a small cup, I use it as a teapot because I do not enjoy drinking lukewarm tea. Highly recommend to all.

looseTman

Which Zo model # do you have: SM-KHE48AG or SM-KB48TM?

DigniTea

The travel mug do not know have the number in front of me now.

DigniTea

My specifics:
I started with the Zojirushi SM-KHE48NL (16 oz size. Still have it and use it. Paid $25 on Amazon.
Tried the 12 oz size a few months later and I find that I use this smaller one more frequently (SM-KHE36A6 and SM-KB36TM). Paid $23 for these; 1st 12 months ago and the 2nd about a month ago.

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100

I have been using the 12oz Zojirushi stainless steel travel mug for about 18 months – I use it daily and I absolutely love it. I tried the ever-popular Timolino (several models actually) and I was not really satisfied / not impressed. The Zojirushi beats them hands down IMHO. I love them so much, I bought a 16oz and I just picked up another 12oz recently.

They keep things hot all day long and do not “contaminate” the flavor at all. Fill it and drink out of it for hours knowing my tea’s temperature is just as I like it and then I brew and refill it again. If I want to drink out of a small cup, I use it as a teapot because I do not enjoy drinking lukewarm tea. Highly recommend to all.

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100

I love this boiler, I have the 4 Liter version and it’s absolutely amazing it’s one of the best items I could ever invest in. Keeps water hot all day and has 4 temperature settings including a delay timer that I always use before I go to bed. I’ve used it for more than just tea, I use it for my pour over coffee and ramen noodles to instant potatoes!

Preparation
Boiling

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46

I don’t want to be snotty but I have both the Breville and the Zojirushi. Although the Zojirushi was fine for me at first, I still had trouble with over and under steeping. The Breville is soooo much better. I know the Breville is more expensive ($250) but I got it on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $190. I know that they are not completely comparable but the additional money is well worth it to me.

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100

AMAZING. Virtually a glorified kettle, but I can’t imagine life without it. I live out in the country, and have to be up VERY early for work (with a long commute) and I set my Zojirushi before I go to bed. I wake up to water that is already at the perfect temperature, steep my tea (or cook my hot oats) and head out the door.
It sings a little song to let you know the water has reached the correct temperature, which I find endearing.
I have also used it at parties so people could make hot chocolate on demand.
FYI: The sides are magnetic, so mine now has tea-themed magnets all over it!

looseTman

Hi TeaRawcs,
How long have you had your Zo hybrid? Thanks!

TeaRawcs

Hi looseTman,

I’ve had it about 1.5 years now. I’ve never had any problems, but I live in the country and my water is VERY hard on it, so I buy jugs of spring water. The company sells a citrus cleaning thing (the machine collect minerals over the year, but you can just wipe it clean), however I used Lemon juice and boiled it and let it sit, and wiped it clean!
Let me know if you have any more questions!

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100

Love love love this Zojirushi Water Boiler, saves time and the hassle of getting that right temperature. I currently have 2 of them, the first being almost 2 years ago and the second I’ve had for several months. The water comes out clean tasting every time and its very easy to maintain. This is one of the best investments a tea drinker can make.

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Forget everything else I have looked at.
This is what I want for Christmas :-)

MissB

Nice! I’m still a Breville convert, only because it steeps it all for me as well as ensures the temperature is perfect.

CelebriTEA

Hmmm…lol…you keep me thinking, but I love the fact that it will keep the water your preferred temp ALL DAY!!

MissB

Ah, yes. That is the one default/downfall of mine. I do wish it kept things hotter, longer, especially when I’m brewing a liter of tea at a time.

looseTman

Happy New Year CelebriTEA, What did Santa bring you for Christmas?

mrmopar

looseTman good to see you back!

looseTman

mrmopar That’s very kind of you!
I’m very glad to be back. I’ve been out of town for several weeks helping my elderly parents. My father just had successful total knee replacement surgery. I’ve been too busy to taste & review tea or even to logon to Steepster. My diminishing stash of TeaVivre Premium Keemun Hao Ya & Verdant Laoshan Black teas have kept me going. I missed all the Christmas tea sales too! :-( As you can imagine, I now have a quite a backlog of teas to review which will take time for me to work through.

mrmopar

I am just glad you guys are ok! Tasting notes and reviews are not what caused my gladness!

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95

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!)

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99

I received one of these for my birthday this year. I had wanted one for a while, but figured that my electric tea kettle was pretty good and I never really was planning to buy a Zojirushi. Now I don’t know how to live without it. Water is ready to go when I wake up thanks to the timer feature and gone is the constant reheating water and waiting for it to cool to the right temp. This never seemed to be a big inconvenience at the time, but I don’t think I could get by with out the Zojirushi. I even bring it to work with me! The downside to this product, however, is that my tea consumption has gone way up and I have been buying much more tea than in the past!! (Although…on second thought…that really is not a downside!!)

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94
This is a review for the 4 liter one, but I can’t find that one on here and I’d rather not start another page for it so here we go.

This thing is pretty awesome. It heats up water quite fast and then it sings a little song when it is done. You can have it turn off for up to 10 hours and then it heats right back up automatically. I do wish that it had a longer standby setting than 10 hours (14 or something) but I’m glad it has one at all.

I put only filtered water in this and I think that’s what it says in the manual, not that I’ve read the manual in a really long time. You should rinse it out on occasion and that’s a bit of a pain to do, but this is otherwise a pretty fantastic water heater.

And it fits on my desk while hidden by the half wall of my cubicle such that the dreaded standards people can’t see it from the hall and tell me I shouldn’t have it. My coworker’s got a Keurig in plain sight for that.

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95

I don’t have this EXACT one – I have a 5litre black one with the descaling function – and I adore it. I use it constantly and drink way more tea than I did – The only one thing I dont like about it is that it doesn’t dispense properly all the time – almost like its clogged (it’s not) it dispenses the best when it’s between 2.5-4 litres – other than that it dispenses slowly (if that makes sense) I still love it thou and am so glad I bought it!

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100

I’ve had mine for about a year now. I’ve been through 3 kettles prior to this one… no contest Zojirushi. Granted it takes longer to hit up the water, so it isn’t a ‘Now-for-NOW’ thing. I mostly ‘plan’ my tea drinking so I’m more than OK with it. Keeps water up to temperature as long as needed and has a timer setting which I use for the mornings.

To be honest, right now my favorite ‘feature’ is the cleaning. I live in DC and the water is HEAVY. Damages most kettles fairly easily and most say you can clean them but really residue always stays behind and water tastes awful. This one on the other hand hasn’t.

Claire

I have a zojirushi and I can’t imagine living without it now!

Mahamosa Gourmet Teas, Spices & Herbs

I also have a zojirushi & it is the best!

JC

I agree with both of you 100%.

TheTeaFairy

I am seriously contemplating the idea of this for the Holidays… hum, a gift from me to me maybe? JC, I read there are preset temperatures on it, but I’m assuming they are for the keep warm feature and that you can set the exact tempature you need if you want and not just the presets?

JC

Well you can’t preset your own temperature. You can choose from 4 presets that are also ‘keep warm’ sets: 140, 175, 195, 208F. Lower temperatures take longer because it HAS to go through the Boiling process then lowers the temperature. But it keeps the water in the correct temperature all day and longer if needed.

The timer can also be set to an specific temperature. The cool thing about it is that it takes into consideration the ‘cool down’ time, so if you want 175f water it will start boiling with enough time so it will cool down to the proper temperature by the time you planned. Honestly I think the temperatures are perfect. if you need an ‘in between’ just use a small pitcher and pour hotter than wanted water count around 30 seconds and it would have easily dropped 5-15 degrees depending on your environment. Hope this helps.

TheTeaFairy

Great, it helped a lot, thanks for the details JC :-)

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100

I’ve been eyeing this for a while and I finally got it for my birthday. Although I did not get mine from Mandala (sorry Garrett), I figured I might as well use this thread.

I love this thing. I was REALLY starting to slow down on drinking tea just because I didn’t feel like going downstairs and going through the hassle of heating the water on the stove and all that. This thing is a lifesaver. The hot water is there when I need it, no hassle necessary. There are even different temperature settings perfect for every type of tea (208, 195, 175, and 140). It keeps THREE LITERS of water at the perfect temperature, all day. A simple press of a button and you’re only minutes away from a cup of tea. It’s great for gongfu brewing and also wonderful for western style. Now I can drink tea all day without having to heat water.

I highly recommend that anyone who is serious about their tea should get this device.

Will Work For Tea

Happy Birthday! :)

LiberTEAS

Yes, happy birthday!

I love my breville so I don’t see the need for this device at time, and I think that my husband would flip out if I told him I needed another pricy tea gadget. LOL But the breville does everything I need it to.

Alphakitty

Happy birthday!

Ninavampi

happy Birthday! Great birthday present! :)

ashmanra

Happy birthday! And oh boy, what a great present!

Indigobloom

Happy Birthday!! hope it’s a great one :)
that is an awesome gift!!

Invader Zim

Happy Birthday!

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100

OK, so this isn’t a tea, but it is what I use to heat water for tea (as well as other things which require hot water). It’s a bit on the pricey side (~$100), but the auto-timer, four different temperature settings, and HUGE capacity make it well worth the investment if you’re an avid tea drinker.

Garret

One of my zojirushi kettles is over 8 years old, another one over 6 and my youngest is 5 yrs old. They are used and abused here at our tea shop and the coffee/tea houses that we sell these to are quite happy with them. They are workhorses and my life has not been the same since getting my first one :)

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100

Used this baby last night for a pu-erh session with hubby and a movie. Not once did I have to leave my seat to make water or anything. I LOVE THIS! LOVE!
Upping rating to 100!!!

LiberTEAS

I considered getting one of these before I got my breville, but, I don’t think I need it. Sure, it’d be handy (and nice) to have, but, I don’t think I’d get the use out of it to justify the expense.

Azzrian

Well I don’t and won’t get AS much use out of it as I do my Breville but it sure is nice to have when you know you will be sitting and re-steeping a lot. I usually avoid my better re-steepable teas because I really don’t have time to keep going back to my breville. HOWEVER with this now I can use it in the evening or anytime I have sit my rear down and enjoy my life time and use my Breville for when I am working and just making a few teas through out the day. Oh also this is so light and easy to carry around with the handle I am going to take it when we go to St. Louis in a couple of weeks. That way it will be in the hotel already hot and ready to go when I want a tea and I can get in the room – steep the tea – and get out again. :) So I would say if you have any desire for things like that – it is TOTALLY worth it.

ashmanra

Doggone it, I didn’t think I needed anything like this, but now you are talking me into it!

Will Work For Tea

That’s a good point – using it on the road. Please update after your trip and let us know how it handled as a “traveling companion” :)

Azzrian

I shall update after the travels! I just anticipate without it I would suffer not having time to steep good tea. This I can put in the water, leave and come back and the water is ready to go – even for a black it reboils quickly as it holds the heat at 208 if that is what you set it at.
Timer allows for up to 10 hours which is AWESOME!
Also I know how I am in the mornings – on travel its even worse! This is going to make mornings SO much easier on everyone haha.
I would not dare take my breville on a trip and while I do have my kettle with the thermometer on it which would be handy to take it still would not be as simple as having the water right there.
This thing reminds me of something you would see at a convention, or a wedding party, or something.
There are a ton of different styles but this is one of the smaller ones which is perfect for me.
I don’t know if they all have a handle though and the handle is NICE!

LiberTEAS

I don’t do a whole lot of traveling… but I can definitely see how this could become a necessary item if you do a lot of traveling… very good point!

Azzrian

Looking on Mandala it looks as though they do all have the handles.

Kittenna

Damn…. I really want one. It’s such a pain to be constantly heating water, especially for multiple-infusion teas.

Azzrian

You should get one when you can. At least you won’t be buying TEA lol

chadao

My only problem with the Zojirushi is that it only has three set temperatures. A super-high quality green or white tea (which I don’t drink often these days, considering a tight budget) responds much better to a slightly hotter temperature, maybe 180-185 degrees. I have seen water heaters that will heat water to the degree, but they are hard to come by and more expensive than Zojirushi. In the meantime, I will have to deal with watching for the shrimp eyes at the bottom of my saucepan.

Azzrian

Well for the most part I got mine for pu-erh however does have that added benefit of transportability but the re-boil feature was the big draw for me.

Babble

I’ve thought about one of these. I’ve heard great things about them. Did you get yours from somewhere special or get a good deal on them?

Azzrian

I got mine from Mandala Teas online.
I love Garret the owner.
The prices were fair, online with what you would see them for on Amazon.
I did find one about 4 bucks cheaper but I prefer to buy from Garret at Mandala.
When I was looking into yixing pots and such, he spent over 45 minutes to an hour with me on the phone just chatting about tea. He took the time and was not in a rush, he explained things, answered a million questions, responds to email, facebook, and here on Steepster quickly.
He not only is a tea guru but he runs a spiritual healing business which is in the genera of work I am in so that is cool as well.
I just like the guy and its always great to keep our money invested in small business.
I paid 125.00 for mine and has been worth every cent.

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100

Zo and I – as I am affectionately calling him have just had our maiden voyage. Okay I have not made tea with him yet but he got a first boil clean out.
So far I love this thing!
Handy as all get out, cute musical alarm to tell me the water is ready, four heat settings, reboils water SUPER fast for those small repetitive infusions of tea, a nice nifty handle to move from one room to the other with if need be, and small enough to sit on my coffee table to enjoy pu-erh all day long!
I am going to be in heaven with this thing!
YAY!

Thomas Smith

Been considering this for a while. I don’t like the notion of maintaining high heat of water for any serious amount of time but I can’t really say I could call out a difference between a Zoji and freshly boiled in my heavier teas. This review is swaying me more towards the “I should buy this” mindset.

Azzrian

Well the reason I did this – as I do have the breville as well – is that I know I will not only drink more pu-erh but ENJOY it more with this. I mean to sit at my coffee table on the floor with a bunch of pillows, or take it into my meditation room / exercise room and enjoy it … quickly having the water the right temp RIGHT NOW for another steep – with the steeps being so small and frequent. Just could not see myself doing this with a stove top kettle or breville.

TeaBrat

We have one of these at work and it is convenient, but I swear my tea tastes better at home when I use boiled water from the tap…

Azzrian

Do you think it is the office water or the machine?

TeaBrat

Both the water from my apartment and from work come from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir which is supposed to be very clean. Honestly I have no idea. Maybe it’s just that everything is better when I’m not at work, or maybe the water tastes better when it’s freshly boiled rather than sitting in the water heater for a period of time.

Thomas Smith

For most teas there’s definitely a difference in flavor between water that’s kept warm for a prolonged period and fresh cool water brought up to temp since most gasses dissolve in water more easily at lower temperature. Most people will tell you it’s oxygen but I don’t buy it since O2 is tasteless. Dissolved CO2, however, forms an equilibrium with carbonic acid which produces a crisp taste. At the extreme end of carbonic acid saturation there’s carbonated water, to give you an idea of the effect it has on taste (try both freshly opened and after a few hours as it bubbles out of solution as carbon dioxide, going flat).

Azzrian

Yeah I can understand that concept – I don’t plan to let it sit around all day though – I hope at least to have an hour sitting time with my teas then I will either dump the water or at least change it over.

Garret

I have been using these for 9 years! Love them! At home, at our tea shop, these things rock! Funny that you called it Zo because that is what we call it, too!

You also don’t have to let it go through its boil mode and then cool back down to say, 175. Let’s say you set it for 175. As the temp is heating up and it gets to 175, you can simply unplug the Zo for 4-5 seconds and then it will switch off from “reboil” and hold it at the 175. It’s quicker that way, too!

We do a lot of tastings using the zo. Pretty darned convenient. And unless that water has been sitting along time, we have a hard time discerning a big change in the waters qualities. Quality water to begin with is a huge contributor to that, as is not using the reboil mode, especially using it frequently.

As the old Chinese tea books say, one can also add more fresh water to an old pot of water to bring it back to life. Or change the water completely.

Garret

Great! Someone reviews the Zojirushi and we are out of stock on them!! Sheesh :) We are waiting for a new shipment.

TeaBrat

Garret – how do you clean it? that maybe part of the issue with the one in my office as well.

Garret

Hi Amy! Not with vinegar!
This is the only way to fly with it:
http://shopmandalatea.com/tea-wares/water-heaters/zojirushi-water-heater-cleaner-descaler.html
Or find citric acid and follow the Zo cleaning instructions. It makes the Zo more efficient and gets rid of all the calcification and funk.

TeaBrat

thanks!

Azzrian

@ Garret yeah that is a bummer that your all out :( Maybe you should set up a Pre-order on your site so people can get them and you can ship them as soon as they come in! Just note that they are not in stock yet maybe.

Garret

Azzrian -If I wasn’t about to take off on a 5 day meditation retreat, I’d get on that. I soooo need to back away for a few days from my business and have some solid meditation and qigong time. I am going to be without electronics and computers and phones. Need some serious recharge time. I’ll get all the Zo stuff taken care of next week. But you have a great idea there, my friend!!!!!
We are having a major heat wave here right now. Local tea sales ground to a halt yesterday. Funny thing is, I drink hot tea no matter what the weather. I’m sure our locals are icing their teas right about now!

Azzrian

Enjoy your time Garret – sounds wonderful.
I will post updates to my Zo experiences though to keep the love alive :)

Garret

I would expect nothing less, m’dear, nothing less :) I leave this evening and will check in throughout the day today, though I’ve a few massage sessions to do. Drinking some incredible wild arbor gong ting pu’er right now. The cakes just arrived yesterday!!! I had 200 of the 250 gram cakes pressed of this amazing material. After 3 months since commissioning the pressing, they arrived yesterday and it was like Christmas in July for this young man!! It is tea-licious!!! While it is quite tasty now, I really look forward to what 2 and 3 years is going to bring to it. It’s gonna open up wide in 2014/2015!

Azzrian

Oh I bet you were so giddy having them all come in! Are they on the site yet? I can go look – ignore this post and go enjoy your retreat!

Garret

Not on the site yet! It’ll have to wait until I get back. I’m going to put them up for a special price for the first 25 cakes. I’ll post it to Steepster once I do.

Azzrian

Nice! Will keep my eyes open for it!

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