Revisiting a Product Review: The One-Touch Tea Maker from Breville

UntitledWhere to Buy:  Breville USA

Product Description:

The new Breville Tea Maker is a revolutionary tea experience. The fully automated tea basket moves down, then up, gently agitating the leaves to precisely infuse your tea. Push the basket button and watch the basket cycle in and out of immersion. Seeing is believing.

Learn more about this product here.

Product Review:

Yeah, I know I reviewed this before.  I’m revisiting this product because if you’ve been reading my recent posts, you are aware that I recently had a tragedy involving my beloved One-Touch Tea Maker:  I broke the carafe or “jug” as it’s called by the manufacturer, Breville.

I was devastated.  I was so depressed about it that I failed to write reviews for a few days.

This appliance – seriously! – is my most used appliance in the household, second only to the refrigerator.  The refrigerator counts as the most used only because it’s always running.  But, I operate my Breville One-Touch more often than I use the stove or washing machine or toaster or any other appliance besides the one appliance that needs to be plugged in and running constantly.

So, when I broke the carafe, I was heart-broken.  I’ve had this appliance for four years now and had become dependent upon it.  It not only brews my black and green teas as well as tisanes perfectly, but, it also heats water to the perfect temperature so that I can brew Oolong, yellow and white teas properly.  (I brew Oolong and Yellow teas in my gaiwan and my white teas are steeped in a separate teapot because I find that the bulk of the white tea leaves works better in a ceramic teapot.)  How was I supposed to heat water now?  Ack!

Yeah, I know.  #FirstWorldProblems right?  Or maybe it should be #SpoiledTeaBloggerProblems.

Anyway, I broke the carafe on a Sunday.  I visited the Breville website where the parts and accessories are sold.  And there, I could buy a replacement lid, the power base, basket, basket lid, even the cute little tea scoop that comes with the unit.  But the jug was no where to be found on the website.  What?  How could that be?  I sent off a customer inquiry email to inquire about how I could go about getting a replacement carafe.

By the next day, my devastation has turned into despair, so rather than waiting and hoping for a reply from the inquiry email, I called the customer service line the next day only to learn that the reason they don’t sell the jugs is that it’s not cost efficient.  It’s a complex piece of equipment, and apparently it would be too expensive for them to manufacture them for sale.  My option at that point was to buy another unit.

My husband assured me that we’d get another one, after all, he knew how important it was to me.  (I have a pretty good hubby, even though he doesn’t always understand my obsession with tea.)

Later that Monday afternoon, I received a call from the customer service department of Breville, and it was as though a ray of glorious sunshine shone down on my doom and despair!  They offered to send me a refurbished One-Touch Tea Maker at no charge to me if I sent them my still in working condition power base.  So, I sent them my power base, and I was notified immediately by email that my “order” was being processed.  My new (well, refurbished!) Tea Maker arrived a week later and now I’m brewing tea again!  Yay!  A happy ending to my depressing tale.

There are two reasons why I am revisiting this review:

  1. In its absence, I was reminded of just how awesome the Breville One-Touch really is.  If you are a frequent tea drinker – if you drink more than one or two cups of tea a day, you really SHOULD get yourself one of these remarkable appliances.  You will love it.  Yeah, I know there’s a certain charm to brewing tea the old fashioned way, but, once you realize how much more tea you will enjoy with one of these devices … you will be happy you got one for yourself.  It’s the best thing invented since Shennong had a few leaves from a tea tree fall into his cup of hot water.  (Check out that story here.)
  2. I really felt I needed to comment on Breville’s spectacular customer service!  Hey, they didn’t HAVE to send me a refurbished unit at no cost.  I had my Breville for four years!  And I used it every single day of those four years, save a day or two when we might have been on a day trip or something (we haven’t been on vacation in a while!)  I am BIG on customer service.  I refuse to buy another Samsung product because I received shoddy service from them many years ago.  And by the same token, if I find a company that treats me well, I’m going to be sharing my story of love for that company to anyone who will listen.  I love Breville, and when I buy other products (I need a blender soon as well as a food processor!) I’m going to be looking for Breville because I know they’re a brand I can trust.

Thank you Breville!  Thank you for your exceptional customer service!  You have a customer for life!

Earl Grey #1 from Kally Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Kally Tea

Tea Description:

This is a traditional favorite in most western cultures. Our #1 blend is created with high grown Sri Lanka Ceylon tea, along with citrus bergamot fruit flavoring oils, not artificial flavorings. These flavorings do not mask the taste and characteristics of the tea itself. We here at Kally Tea felt this blend deserves a #1 behind it as the taste is traditional Earl Grey, but yet has a very distinct characteristic that other Earl Greys do not match. As our product line expands, we will present to you other blends that are of equal quality, but will have different traits. So please enjoy this first offering; Earl Grey #1!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve said it on numerous occasions, and I’ll say it again:  I love Earl Grey!

There have been many stories told about how Earl Grey tea came to be, I really don’t care about the legends and tall tales behind it, I’m just glad that it did happen, that somehow someone out there decided to combine the essence of bergamot and black tea together to create this marvelous drink.  There are few teas out there that make me happier than a good cup of Earl Grey!

What does surprise me is how different they can all be.  It seems like every tea company out there has an Earl Grey … but they aren’t all the same.  So, it amazes me (and kind of irritates me, if I’m being honest) when I hear of someone claiming they don’t like Earl Grey.  I want to ask them “How many Earl Grey teas have you tried?”  “Which Earl Greys have you tried?”  Because it’s such a generalized statement to proclaim that someone dislikes Earl Grey.

I mean, yes, there are some pretty grody Earl Grey teas out there (Yes, I was a valley girl), but for every bad Earl Grey tea that there is, there are at least two or three good ones, and at least one or two AMAZING ones.  This Earl Grey #1 from Kally Teas falls somewhere in between the good and amazing.  It isn’t the best Earl Grey that I’ve had, but it is definitely a good one, and perhaps even a bit better than just good!

This is really CLASSIC Earl Grey.  It is bergamot and black tea.  The bergamot is good and strong and has a vibrant flavor and aroma.  It is distinctly bergamot.  It doesn’t have a fake, perfume-y kind of taste to it.  It tastes like tangy citrus fruit with notes of flower.

The black tea is a strong tea – a Ceylon, which I typically think of as mild, but here it plays a stronger role than I anticipated!  It has a fair amount of astringency that starts off soft and gradually builds, and then begins to taper off as the tea cools off.  I suspect if served iced, this would have only a mild amount of astringency.  Served hot, it has some, but, I don’t find it bothersome, in fact, I think it enhances the bergamot flavor.

Overall, a very good cup of Earl Grey – this is one I’d be happy to have on hand for that time when I just NEED some Earl Grey!  And I have those moments often!