Breville Tea Maker - Yay or Nay?

I’m considering buying a Breville tea maker. Would you recommend it wholeheartedly or not? I tend to drink lots of different teas throughout the day rather than just sticking to one. I’m wondering whether I’d be better off with just a teaiere or something else…? :-)

36 Replies
Ricky admin said

After using it for a while, I’m a neh, somewhere between a yay and a nay. The two things I really like about the Breville is that it keeps your tea warm after it’s done and you’ll never mess up a cup of tea from over steeping the tea leaves. Dislikes, I hate how the Breville retains the smell of your previous tea or teas. Mine currently makes more of less everything taste like bai mu dan. See this thread >> http://steepster.com/discuss/2213-how-to-remove-smoky-odor-from-breville-tea-maker

Personally, I prefer using my Zojirushi and Finum gold mesh more than my Breville, but it has its place.

I am a yay, I have been using mine for a while too, I clean it pretty regularly (several times a day) to avoid everything smelling or tasting like everything else, particularly when I’ve had something rather strong smelling or tasting, so I can’t say that I’ve had the same issue as Ricky.

I love my Breville. But then, I think I’ve only had mine a short time compared to Ricky.

Ricky admin said

Yeah, I think that might be the issue. I leave mine in the Breville for hours, so it really seeps into the plastic. It probably doesn’t help that I have the lid on the whole time while the tea is keeping warm.

Yeah… I usually unplug mine after I’ve poured so that it can begin cooling, and then as soon as it’s cooled I rinse it out. If I’ve had a strong flavored/scented tea I wash it out. About once a week I do a soak on it as suggested in the manual. So that helps… so I guess I would say YAY to the breville as long as you’re willing to invest the time to keep it clean and odor free!

i make about 500ml a pop on average and pour one large mug and one travel mug with lid…then vinegar or lemon rinse, tried a baking soda scrub once too

then again i clean everything with vinegar, litterbox, windows…

it’s gotten harder since i moved to texas to keep it clean with the awful hard water here

Ricky admin said

But see… I like the whole set and forget approach… I don’t want to deal with cleaning it immediately :(

I did the lemon rinse that was recommended and it cleaned up most of the hard water stains on the bottom of my kettle. I also realized I had to scrub it a bit… haha, I was thinking it would just rinse right off. I think after another treatment and some scrubbing with a toothbrush it’ll be good as new.

Thank you both for your replies. I’ve pretty much decided the Breville is not quite right for me. I’m leaning more towards one of the temperature-variable kettles. I’m particularly interested in the Bosch one :-)

Ricky admin said

We have a PINO Digital Kettle Pro at Steepster. The cons for this one is that you can only set it from ~104 to ~206. It takes a lot of work to change the temperature that we don’t really bother anymore. You literally have to keep tapping the plus or minus arrows and it makes this really loud beeping noise every time you click it. It doesn’t automatically shut off, so at times it might be boiling water the whole day. It supposedly shuts off when there’s no more water, but we haven’t been able to confirm this yet. I’m pretty sure it was still trying to heat something when there was no water inside. Oh yeah, lastly if you want to heat the water to 140F, it doesn’t really do that… it boils the water and then cools the water down to 140F… kinda defeats the purpose :(

I’ve had the PINO DKP for a year now. I love it, but my needs may be quite different from yours. The vast majority of the teas I drink are black and require boiling water (212), which necessitates only hitting the “on” button. Now and then I’ll make a green or oolong, and go through the process of setting the temp at 180, 190 or whatever. I don’t have to tap repeatedly, one degree at a time, though; if I keep the plus button depressed, the temperature setting keeps going up until I release the button.

I got the new “Cuisinart TEA-100 PerfecTemp Programmable Tea Steeper & Kettle” (http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-TEA-100-PerfecTemp-Programmable-Steeper/dp/B005RRBI9I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325284187&sr=8-1) for Christmas and I LOVE it!!!! I make mostly fruity teas, though, so I haven’t had to worry about the smokey issue… But as a cheaper alternative (about the same, even, as the variable temp kettles) it’s actually pretty awesome. But, again, I’ve only had it a few weeks so I can’t speak for long term :)

Ooh, it might not be on AmazonUK yet, though. It took my boyfriend an hour to look it up in a store, even though I had found it IN the same store at another location and he had a PICTURE of it. It’s THAT new haha.

I don’t think it’s here in the UK yet. It sounds great!

I have had mine since the day it was available

i love it

i clean it with some vinegar or lemon quite often

but i am prone to oversteep so it’s a lovely thing

sooby77 said

I’m the one who started the thread on removing the smoky smell from my Breville. I got the Breville for Christmas and I am really loving it, especially when brewing more delicate teas. If all you drink is black teas that calls for boiling (212F) temp, then the Breville is a bit overkill. I love green teas and the more delicate Chinese teas, so the Breville works great for me. The fact that you can adjust the water temp digitally in small increments (5F) and not just a bunch of presets is crucial for delicate teas.

I always pour out the left over tea and do a quick rinse immediately with just water. Then I let it air dry. The pot is usually still a bit warm, so that evaporates the moisture after rinsing quite well. So far, it seem to be working. I’d imagine that with any teaware, you’ll have to clean it well periodically since tea will stain no matter what. Obviously you can’t submerge the Breville in a cleaning solution, but with teapots and cups, you can. I think the disadvantage of the Breville is cleaning. Other than that, I really do like it. Then there’s the fun of watching the basket goes down and up! :)

The Cuisinart machine looks interesting, but there’s so many parts to clean! The Breville has the kettle lid (VERY easy to clean), the basket and lid (also easy to clean), and then the pot. That’s it.

The lesson I’ve learned from brewing a strong Lapsang Souchong on the Breville is to always brew strong smelling tea on a separate teaware that you can clean easily, or dedicate a teaware for it!

The cuisinart is just about the same… Kettle and basket… The basket is connected to the lid, though, which makes it a little pain to clean!

DC said

Personally, I would think the process of brewing Chinese tea is an experience in itself. Mechanizing it is really a shame as you take the pleasure out of admiring the tea leaves unfurl, smell the lid of the pot and breathing in the fresh aroma, the experience of nurturing an yixing/zisha pot and the satisfaction of brewing a perfect pot for your guest.
Pressing a bottom doesn’t do that for me.

Hi Derek, what’s a yixing/zisha pot? I’d love to find out more about this

sooby77 said

Derek – love your blog very much. I don’t disagree with you at all regarding the brewing experience. If I’m still in Malaysia, I’d have even greater opportunity to expand my tea experience from the Chinese community. But living in the US and am just getting into tea drinking, the Breville is a fool-proof way to go until I’m more experienced and confident. Then I’d consider investing in a yixing pot.

DC said

Hi Precious Williams
A zisha pot is a pot made of ‘purple clay’- a porous material. As the material originates from Yixing town in Jiangsu, China, it is also known as an Yixing pot.
It is unique in that it absorbs the taste of of teas brewed in it and tea oils so over time, a well-nurtured pot makes tea tastes even better. At the risk of seeming like shameless self-promotion, I blogged about this.
One thing though, if you only have ONE pot, don’t buy an yixing pot unless you are certain you are only brewing one type of tea, forever.
Mixing teas for the same pot doesn’t work well.

Hi Sooby77,
I will post a simple way to brew pu-er (which also works well for black teas (including lapsang souchong) and oolongs) on my blog shortly.
It doesn’t quite work for green teas though.
Hope it helps

Thanks Derek. I like the sound of that. If I get into oolongs I might buy one

Mike317 said

I got the Trinitea for Christmas and I love it. It comes in at 99$ and appears to do all the Breville does at 2.5 times less the cost. So far so good. Will post as I use it more, but so far I think it’s a good buy.

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