|"Smartly designed, this single-serving brewer will convert even the laziest teabag lover to loose tea."|
Yes, yes, I know – any tea afficionado worth his salt (or crystalized ginger) will tell you that loose teas provide the richest flavor… that teabags generally contain the lowest grade tea leaves; basically the “leavings” that remain when all the “good tea” is taken by the high grade buyers. Yes, in many cases this is true, but you know what… tea-bags are damned convenient, and brewing a cuppa loose tea is just a royal pain in the ass sometimes. Especially when you drink 5-6 cups a day (ahem) and you only have a few moments to brew a new bit of sunshine in between conference calls.
So yes, I’ll admit it – my old standby is Twining’s Earl Grey, in (gasp) bagged form.
I’ve tried infuser after infuser over the years, but the aggravation just wasn’t worth it. Either the infuser’s hole were too big, allowing tiny bits of leaves and detritus into the brew, or they were too small and poorly-designed, which would either (a) result in an underbrewed tea, regardless of how long you steeped or (b) create an enormous mess, making it nigh-on-impossible to properly clean the infuser of caked in tea leavings once you were done with it. (Yes, I’ve tried the Bodum Tea Press – two different kinds, in fact – and couldn’t stand either).
Anyway, all that is in the past, for I have found perfection… or near enough for my tastes, at least… in Adagio’s IngenuiTEA. This $19 wonder has turned me from a teabag nag into a loose-tea devotee overnight. You fill it with water, dump a spoonful of leaves on top, close the lid and chuck it into the microwave for 3 minutes. Let it steep the desired amount and then just hold it over your favorite mug – perfectly brewed tea falls through the bottom, leaving the gunky mess of leaves up top. Then you dump about 90% of them into the trash with a healthy shake or two, and the remaining 10% are dispatched with a slosh or two of tap water. No muss, no fuss. Just a great design and a fantastic product.
If I had one bone of contention – and let’s face it, I usually have several – its that the whole of it should have been made of glass instead of high-grade plastic. Yes it costs a bit more and yes, it’ll break eventually, but the constant brewing (several times a day in my case) leaves a residue on the plastic which doesn’t really come out, no matter how much you scrub. So after the first dozen or so uses, your IngenuiTEA probably won’t look as hot as it did out of the box… but hey, it still brews a damned fine cuppa tea and that’s all that really matters in the end.
Five stars for Adagio… I’m not completely bowled over by their teas (with a few notable exceptions), but hey, a fine product is a fine product, and this one takes the cake.
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