My New Favorite Gadget Completely Changed the Way I Make (and Drink!) Tea

updated Jan 23, 2020
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I can’t live without my cream-splashed morning coffee. But often after that first cup I crave the comfort of another, and another — especially when I’m stressing at work. The problem is, instead of making me alert, all that caffeine makes me sleepy! Apparently it’s a thing and it has something to do with a build-up of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that causes fatigue, combined with dehydration (remember, coffee is a diuretic). 

With that in mind, I made a vow a few years ago to drink only one cup of coffee a day, and then switch to tea. Green tea is supposed to be one of the most antioxidant-packed things we can possibly consume, so it made sense to make a concerted effort to drink more of it. 

I had no trouble finding incredibly delicious teas to build my new habit around. Living in Portland — the birthplace of big tea brands like Stash, Tazo and Steven Smith — we’re happily swimming in tea shops, and I stocked up on sachets of green tea, white tea, and herbal blends. And that’s when I realized, dang, premium bagged tea gets really expensive. A box of 15 sachets of green tea from my favorite local shop costs $12.99 for 1.3 ounces, or about $10 an ounce. A tin of the same tea, in loose-leaf form, costs $20 for 3 ounces, or about $6.66 an ounce.

So I made the switch to loose-leaf, but none of my infusing options made me happy. My stainless steel tea balls never had enough room for the tea leaves to expand, and when I had a cup of rooibos, the little needles and bits would always escape. I bought a couple tea mugs with built-in infusers, but they’d leave a big messy puddle when I pulled them out. Plus, they meant I couldn’t use my favorite mugs. A box of fill-your-own paper filters solved a lot of those problems, but felt a little wasteful. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni

Then I discovered this Teavana PerfecTea gravity brewer, and drinking (and making!) tea got so much easier. Put tea and hot water in the pot, let it brew, then set it over the mug. The rim of the mug presses on the trigger that opens the valve to release the tea. When you lift the pot off, the valve closes and the tea stops flowing. Its 16-ounce capacity means there’s plenty of room for the tea leaves to expand. And it’ll make enough for two cups, which comes in handy when my kids both want a cup of rooibos while doing homework. It comes with a coaster to catch any drips, but I never need it. 

Some reviewers have had issues with leaks around the valve, but I haven’t. And I don’t have trouble cleaning it. I mostly swish and squirt the tea leaves out with my sink sprayer and occasionally pull out the filter for a scrub. The only downside is that really narrow or really wide mugs aren’t the right size to trigger the tea to release, but it fits 98 percent of the mugs in my cabinet. 

There are other brands of gravity tea brewers out there and they all seem about the same. If this one ever breaks I’d like to give the Grosche brand a try, because the company helps fund safe drinking water efforts around the world. 

Do you have any tea accessories that you swear by? Tell us about them in the comments below!