Posted by: dan | September 30, 2009

this is how we COULD brew it at work (part 2)

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Dan: Jing sent us some tea-making items recently – you may remember Ben discussing his prized tea-iere here. They also sent through their one-cup teapot set, consisting of a teeny teapot and glass cup and saucer. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now so it’s about time I told you about it. Alas, Jing have no demonstration video for this so instead you can have a look at this picture of it I took and I’ll add some more as we go along. I’m going to shamelessly steal Ben’s review style and bullet point the pros and cons too – he’ll love that.

Ben: Style-stealing cad!!

Teapot2

The Good

The first thing to note about this is how simple it is to use. It’s impossible to get it wrong it’s so obviously straightforward. You take the lid of the pot and pop the leaves in. You add water and the tea infuses. When it’s ready you pour it into the glass. The fact that there’s no demonstration video is probably because it doesn’t need one. If you’re getting this wrong you probably think tea should be addressed as ‘Mr.’ (as opposed to Mr. Coffee).

As well as being easy, it’s a pleasure to use. You can see every step of the infusing process – the unfurling leaves, the depth of the colour – unlike other teapots which conceal the leaves in plastic infusers, nothing is hidden from view. Every tea you put in this teapot will show off all its little secrets and workings and you’ll never be confused as to whether or not the tea is ready.

It’s easy to clean. It’s not full of bits and bobs to take apart and clean individually, nor is it created in such a way that there are rims for grime to collect under. Even if there were, you’d see them as it’s all made of lovely thick glass. That sturdiness is great too – the heat stays in and the cold stays out.

Cup

The Bad

Once you’ve made your tea you’re left with some leaves stuck to the metal filter. These are not the easiest thing to get out. Generally it takes a few solid shakes over the bin to get the majority of the leaves out but the stubborn ones will need a swirl around in some cool water before being tipped down the sink. Not a major problem but it’s still an inconvenience.

The spring filter is, for the most part, great. Really simple but massively effective. However there is generally always one small leaf that will wiggle its way through and into the cup. One leaf is not a bad result I’ll admit, but as long as I’m being picky, it’d be nice to be bump that success rate up a percent and stop everything but the water getting through.

That filter has another feature. It can unclip from the pot (I realised this when I came to wash it for the third time and lost it in my washing up bowl – maybe I need that demo video after all?) which is great for cleaning and getting the last tangled leaves out. Its downfall comes when you’re shaking the pot to get the leaves out as I described earlier. With its design incorporating a spring it’s easy for it to pop out – straight into the bin with the used leaves. Fortunately it’s easy to put back in (after washing). Drop it in the pot with the spring down the spout, push on it with your thumb and clip it back in place with your other hand.

Teapot

The conclusion

The negatives here are nothing more than minor foibles I’ve picked up on while using it. It seems extremely picky to even list them here as ‘bad’ points. There’s nothing here to get angry or upset about – the most they’ll evoke is a small sigh before you get on with drinking your tea or cleaning the pot. The leaf-removal process is something you’ll find with every teapot and the filter could be improved with slightly tighter coils and an extra clip.

Everything else about it is brilliant. Simple, quick and useful. If I had been using it at work, I’m sure my only problem with it would have been the cleaning stage but again that’s to do with available facilities rather than any fault of the teapot. The cup is nice to handle and exactly the right size to hold everything you put in the pot.

I’ve been using it every morning before I go to work. It’s a clever and almost perfect design which makes brewing a joy again. No fiddly plungers and no stainable infusers means that this is currently my favourite way of making tea. If you regularly make loose-leaf tea for one, you’d be wise to get one for yourself.

Dan was drinking tea from Jing’s One-Cup Teapot and Glass Tea Cup and Saucer, available at £18.50 and £9.05 respectively.

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Responses

  1. That spring looks pretty cool. I’d consider a teapot like this if I weren’t crazy for silver as I am now. I’m still looking at options for what I’ll do with the loose leaves in my big silver teapot that’s on its way from the store. Ideas, anyone? –Teaternity


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