Wife got me one for Christmas. Totally fantastic. The ability to have it steeped and ready when you wake up like so many coffee makers is a full on killer app.
I agree, this is a fantastic kettle (did anyone mention you can use it just boil water to a precise temperature too?)
I have been experimenting with modifying my appliances so I may control them from my phone - with tea kettles the reasoning was that I would go to boil the water, wonder off somewhere and then promptly forget only return to luke warm water. Same story by the time I got to making the tea. My first version had to work with the old mechanical switches that you chunk on: http://twitpic.com/aoq07v - functional but a bit clunky. I looked for electronic solutions to streamline things and came across Breville’s BKE820XL - http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BKE820XL-Variable-Temperature-1-8-Liter-Kettle/dp/B001DYERBK/ - for version 2 this was wonderful and simple. I just popped in my own electronics and could turn the kettle at the office on before I got to work (there are a bunch of safety overrides.)
It was around this time that I discovered the One-Touch Tea Maker - I got it with the intention of going big or going home - control all the things from one’s iPhone - but after using it for a week I found that it did such a fantastic job with it’s standard functionality that all the internetey bits weren’t too essential.
It boils water, makes the tea, and keeps it warm. It does it in a way that is scientifically reproducible so one finally has consistency in tea-making and actual progress in finding a certain blends optimal strength, brew time, and temperature. It’s magical. At $250 it was a painful purchase but I always look upon it fondly. More robot than machine.
this tea maker and their electric kettle both are absolutely fantastic. two of my favorite kitchen appliances, i enjoy their use multiple times every single day. temp settings, temp hold, never had an issue with either one. i love most breville appliances, their toaster oven is equally well thought out.
their milk steamer/frother on the other hand is a steaming frothing pile of you know what…
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics average prices, for $250 in Sep 2014 in the US, you could buy about:
337 pounds of potatoes or rice
480 pounds of flour
176 pounds of beans
164 pounds of chicken
132 dozen eggs
or 70 gallons of regular gas.
I think I’ll hold out a while longer and just keep microwaving mugs of water. (Mug, $.50 at Goodwill.)
Electric kettles, especially ones which can be set to produce water at specific temperatures, are useful things. Full-on tea-brewing bots like this one are clearly a luxury, and I am not sure that I would say they will always make perfect tea (for example, I wouldn’t recommend steeping your tea longer to make it stronger - use more leaves, not more time, many teas become bitter and astringent when oversteeped). Even when it comes to temperature, you can train yourself to recognize water at various temperatures as it nears boiling, based on sound, bubbles, changes in the surface - that’s how generations of tea masters in China, Japan, and Korea have done it. Or you could buy a cheap kitchen thermometer and let it cool off for a minute or two after it boils. I think everyone should drink more tea, but I’d also like people to experiment more with making it - saving time in the process seems counterproductive, making tea should be an excuse to slow down for a few minutes.
Here in the UK exactly the same gizmo is on sale in department stores, albeit with a famous molecular gastronomist’s name as branding, for £169. Or US $269, of which 20% is tax. Hint: visiting American shoppers might pick up a bargain if they can buy one in the UK and claim the VAT back.
My experience has been equally good with their steamer/frother, FWIW.
As for the tea maker mentioned here: I use a Cuisinart variable temperature electric kettle with separate pre-set buttons for various tea and coffee temperature needs, which has been sufficient thus far, but the fact that the above machine actually moves the tea basket in and out of the water, and even swishes it about a bit, means the value-added aspects do justify the greater cost. When/if the kettle dies, this looks like a worthy replacement upgrade.
I’m glad you were one of the luck few to get a working induction heating frother. if you read the amazon reviews, about 1 in 5 work like a charm and are awesome machines. lucky!
the design seems like a good idea, but many units will auto-shutoff if anything other then room temperature milk is put in them meaning no cold milk from the fridge and no restarting with partly frothed milk. room temp only, and their frothing discs won’t spin up unless oiled and twisted/nudged while empty, to get it going etc. the coil supposed to spin the disc just isn’t putting out a strong enough magnetic field. so you have to let your milk sit out and add it after the disc is spinning. i had a junker car in high school that i had to do less things to get to start and work. there are those lucky few like yourself that have one that works perfectly no matter what, i wish i was one of them.
Oh, no, I got this brand because friends of mine in Europe swear by it: they also have none of the issues you’re talking about. We all just use cold milk from the refrigerator and press the button. Never any problems with the disc spinning or anything like that.
Well, OK, it doesn’t work well to dump cocoa powder and cold milk in and expect it to blend and froth from the get-go…the milk needs to have been frothing for a bit before adding the cocoa. But cold milk on its own is no problem.
Maybe I like the misery.
Dang it, you beat me to it by like a whole day.
“Yes, this really takes the misery out of making tea!”
“Maybe I like the misery.”
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