Things i like: the Smart Tea Maker

It's no secret that I love tea. I've even done a TIL post about one of my favorites before. So I figured it was about time I do a post about one of my favorite tea accessories, the Smart Tea Maker.

Honestly, as much as I love tea, I was never a loose leaf tea girl. Tea bags are far too convenient- I always just assumed that loose leaf teas took forever to brew, were more messy, etc. Then one fateful day I wondered into SereneTeaz, on a hunt for a tea chest to store all of my beloved tea bags. And in about five minutes, I was converted to a loose leaf drinker.

And how could I not be? The store is packed with shelf upon shelf of beautiful teas, all with little jars in front of the bags so you can smell them. Not to mention that you can literally have them brew you a fresh sample of ANY tea you want to try. And the will brew you as many samples as you want! I was sure they would kill me when I came up with five I wanted to try, but not only did she prepare everything perfectly, she even put them in the order that I should taste them so as not to ruin my palate.

Anyway, I digress. This is not a review of this wonderful place, but a review of an item they helped me discover. When I first got into loose teas, I bought a product called Tea Sacs. Incredibly useful, disposable, perfect. But then I found myself getting sick of the waste they caused, not to mention having to go buy more every time I ran out.

The ladies at SereneTeaz had always used these amazing little devices to brew the tea samples. Small, non-electronic, and simple to use, imagine my delight when I realized I could buy one! Enter into my life the Smart Tea Maker, another TIL that I'm pretty sure I couldn't live without.

Here's how it works. You put in whatever loose tea you like, this morning it was the beloved Lapsang Souchong. Just measure and dump in! While I started with just one tea per brew, I've since had fun mixing different selections, like adding lavender to a South African Rooibos, which was very tasty!

Then you just add your boiling water (or just under boiling, depending on what tea you are brewing). The size I have brews just enough tea to fill my 16-ounce thermos, although I believe it is listed as the 18-ounce maker online.

Then you just close and let steep for as long as suggested. Or as long as you want! The little leaves float around the entire time it steeps, which I think brings out much more flavor than if they are all crammed into a tea bag or tea ball.

And after about 5-6 minutes, my tea is done!

Here's my favorite part, which might not come out well in the picture. Instead of having to pour anything, this maker has a pressure-release mechanism at the bottom- all you have to do is set it on your cup, and your tea comes out! It took a bit of practice gauging when the cup was full at first, but I got the hang of it within two or three uses. And even after using this thing for months, the mechanism still works perfectly and has never leaked a drop!

Pretty simple little device, but it has made my tea drinking experience so much better! Grounds in one place, perfect tea in another. I think I especially love that it doesn't require electricity, complicated filters, or anything of the sort. Just take out of the box, and it's set to go.

Do you all have a favorite tea? Or even a favorite brewing method?

Just a note: In case you are wondering, I'm not at all affiliated with the company, nor did I get anything for this review- in fact I am sure they'll never even know I wrote it! I assume everyone knows this, but better to be safe than sorry!

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