Tuesday, December 5, 2006

ingenuiTEA by Adagio Teas

When I first ordered this little teapot, I was fascinated by the “ingenuity” of the design. It’s meant to be an “all in one” brewing system, wherein you can heat the water (in the microwave), add tea leaves, watch them steep, and then set the teapot on top of a cup which releases a valve to drain the tea directly into your cup. It’s very convenient and easy to use, and dishwasher safe as well.

I use my ingenuiTEA at work for the convenience. I do not heat water for tea in the microwave under any circumstances – it tastes flat (don’t believe me? Check out this article in TeaMuse) and seems to cool faster than water heated more conventionally. I have an electric kettle at my desk that I use for heating water, and then I use the ingenuiTEA for steeping and decanting the tea. It works pretty well, and the leaves come out fairly easily when dried. A quick rinse and wipe with a paper towel, and it’s ready for the next day.

I prefer to use other means of brewing at home though. The ingenuiTEA has it’s flaws, most notably that it is plastic, which means it doesn’t hold heat as well as a porcelain or Yixing teapot. I have put mine through the dishwasher, but prefer not to, as errant little bits of food and such tend to get stuck in the filter, and the seal doesn’t seem to work as well afterwards either. Hand washing really is the way to go for this little pot, in my opinion, and I hate to do that at home (I rarely wash it at work, to be honest – just dump the leaves out, let whatever leaves are left dry out, and dump that out, then start again. Call me lazy.).

So overall, it’s a great little pot for use at work (and it would be great for traveling too, since it’s plastic), but not as good as more traditional methods for home use, in my opinion.

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