35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2002
I'd been looking for a small teapot for months when I ran across this tea press. I love having herbal tea on cold evenings, but one cup is not enough and a standard teapot is way too much. This pot is just right. Since it's a tea press, you can steep the tea exactly the way you like it, without having to fish out a tea bag or mess with a tea ball. I have an electric mug warmer on my desk, and the pot fits beautifully. With the tea leaves out of circulation, I don't have to worry about a stewed tea taste, but my tea is properly warm all evening.
I do have two minor quibbles. The first is that the plunger will sink to the bottom of the pot all by itself. I have to tilt it slightly while the tea steeps. The second problem is that the lid fits only when the tea strainer is in the pot, so you are stuck with leaving the strainer in place. I still love my little pot, but it's a four star experience. Fix the lid, and it's five star all the way!!
54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Okay, I admit, cute is a big draw, however, as most Bodum products, this is a very functional item.
JUST THE RIGHT SIZE:
This is a perfect size as a personal teapot. It holds a full 16 oz., about 2 mugs worth. For my purposes, it is enough to drink in one sitting of reading a chapter in a book. Though it cools, it does not cool enough to be unpalatable for the 2 mug capacity.
PLASTIC INSERT COULD BE BETTER DESIGNED TO STAY PUT WHILE POURING:
The plastic insert, though it has these ear things to catch on the glass pot, when you are pouring the last bit of tea, is inclined to plop out. You need to hold the top on, while pouring that last bit. It is too bad this does not rotate in, so that it latches better. If you have a cat sitting on your lap while reading two hands are just not available.
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO STOP BREWING MAKE SURE PLUNGER IS ABOVE WATER LEVEL:
I found that if the plunger is below the water level, it quickly drops, stopping the brewing process, you need to be sure to leave it above the water level to avoid this. It is too bad it was not done a bit different to avoid this. I found I had to play with it a bit to get it where I wanted, prior to stopping the tea from steeping. Once it is done it does a great job of stopping the steeping. Just don't try to say that out loud.
DON'T KNOW HOW IT IS WITH LOOSE TEA:
I only used this with tea bags, as I had no loose tea on hand. I don't know how it will do. However the holes in the basket looked a bit large, so a very fine tea may get out; creating sludge.
Bodum does a nice job designing. I liked this tea pot without a protruding spout. It takes up less room, and is not so vulnerable in the dishwasher. I was concerned that it would weep down the side of the pot when I poured, but it did not. I am a tad bit dissappointed in the plastic insert in that it falls out easy, but for the price I think it is okay.
55 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2002
The design is completely upside-down. It should have been done where you lift the tea up out of the water rather than press it into some compression chamber. If they had done it that way they could have had a far finer, more open mesh in their infuser basket.
As it is the infuser basket is very closed off, with only a few hundred holes, of over 1mm in diameter, in contact with the surrounding water (compared to thousands of tiny holes in a wire or plastic mesh infuser). This means that there is very little circulation of the water via convection, and means that inside the infuser basket the liquid will reach saturation quickly while outside the infusion will be far too weak. You therefore must manually circulate it in order to get proper infusion. Some leaves will get through as a result of this pumping and the larger holes.
Furthermore, one simply *must* make the full 16oz or so of tea with this design, as less liquid will not reach the infuser basket because the compression chamber is at the bottom! Duh!
And to top all that off (or bottom it out, as it were), the damn plunger sinks of its own accord, cutting off even more of the infusbale area. There is no simple way to stop this from happening. They could have put a couple little nubs at the bottom and top of the pole, which one would twist into a slot and would firmly keep the plunger up or down as you wanted it. Instead, you have a delicate balancing act.
Worse off yet (if it could get worse), the whole stated advantage of the product is leaving the tea sitting there post-infusion time without it oversteeping and getting bitter. But the glass is beaker-material and while it stays warm OK is nowhere near as effective as the good old lined cast iron teapots that you heat up with boiling water first and then infuse with a proper mesh basket that reaches all the way to the bottom and gets lifted out when done. So with this thing your cold tea isn't oversteeped. Bonus.
The thing is designed to appear clever but falls on its face (or on its plunger). They deserve this wrap on the knuckles.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2005
I keep this pot at my desk at work. It's size is perfect and the brewing insert leaves plenty of room for the tea leaves to unfurl naturaly. I have completely abandoned the plunger. I don't even use it anymore. I simply place my tea in the plastic insert, and pull it out when the tea is done brewing (careful to drain the excess tea by tipping to the side) and set it on a napkin or paper towel.
It's great for filling up right from the hot spigot on the water cooler. Also, if I'm drinking green tea or an herbal, I keep the plastic tea holder to the side and reuse for a second or third pot.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2006
Normally I love Bodum products but this one is a loser. The loose leaf tea gets stuck in the holes of the infuser and is nearly impossible to get out. Add to that a terrible spout and a plunger that drops when it should be up (while brewing) and goes up when it should be down (while pouring). But wait there is more! This is my second press. The lips on the plastic infuser and parts of the plastic lid have broken on both pots. Replacement parts are available but cost almost as much as a new pot when you count shipping costs. The parts just couldn't stand up to daily use.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I use loose tea. I wanted to like this but there are too many drawbacks:
It's almost a trick pot (spout isn't good so it drips at the bottom. I don't overfill, I put exactly 2 cups of water in it and puur slowly to minimize the effect.)
The infuser doesn't always get clean in the dishwasher.
Nothing keeps the plunger up. I just put the cap on tilted so the plunger won't go down by itself.
I've bought a better teapot since then. I'll keep this one as backup if the other one is dirty or something.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2001
I seem to drink more and more loose tea, and I find cleaning single serving teaballs a serious inhibitor toward the idea of making another cup. This pot allows me to make two cups of tea, which I find to be the perfect serving. It's very easy to use - fill the resevoir with tea, place in pot, add water, brew to desired strength, then press the plunger. It works just like a French press coffee pot. Then clean up is a dream - just rinse out the holder. And, best of all it makes a delicious cup of tea.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
I love loose-leaf tea, so this little teapot seemed like the perfect item for me. And it would be, if the geniuses who designed it had any idea of how to correctly design a teapot.
To start with the nitpicky complaints: First off, the plunger doesn't stay up very well, so unless you actually hold it up or leave it off altogether, the tea will stop brewing as the plunger sinks to the bottom of the chamber. Secondly (and as others have noted), there is nothing holding the plunger in, so you have to hold it on yourself when you pour your tea.
I could live with these two problems, as they're admittedly a bit nitpicky. But the biggest problem is that the spout is very small and somewhat rounded, so any time you pour the tea when the pot is more than half full, a significant amount dribbles down the side of the pot instead of into your cup. And I'm not talking about a few drops--we're talking 65% goes into your cup, and the other 35% ends up on the table or worse, in your lap. I'd really like to know who the tester was at Bodum who thought, "Hmmmm, a significant amount of near-boiling liquid is running down the side of the pot and landing on whatever is beneath. Nah, that's not a problem." Hello, McFly?? Anybody home?? If you hear about Bodum getting sued because somebody wound up with a lapful of hot tea, well, you heard it here first.
So go ahead and buy it if you want, but take my advice--be sure to hold the pot over the sink when you pour that first cup!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2003
Before I start reviewing the Bodum Assam Tea Press, you should know that prior to my buying it, I brewed my morning tea in the mug with an infuser. I could prepare my pop tarts and nuke my tea water within 1 minute and 45 seconds. Because it was inconvenient to take the dripping infuser out of the cup, I would just drink faster or drink bitter, overbrewed tea.
Someone told me to slow down...OK, I thought. One area for slowing down in the morning was my tea. I read about these cool chinese Yixing tea pots. They look so cool, but I correctly reasoned that going from 1 mug and 1:45 to heating my water in something, pouring that into a fancy teapot, then pouring the tea into my mug was a bit of a stretch. This is for my morning caffeine after all.
I got the tea press, and can still nuke the water in the glass pot (a big plus for me). While that's going for 3:35 in the microwave, I get 2 teaspoons of my favorite Earl Grey or Assam tea and put into the strainer. I also pick a banana for breakfast.
When the water is done, I place the strainer in there and let it brew for 4-5 minutes. Whether or not there is proper amount of water circulation, or too few holes, it works fine. In fact, I can control how long it goes and have a really good cup of tea. The weather has recently allowed me to go onto my deck and enjoy the cool mornings of late summer while drinking a mug and a half of fine tea.
I never had any problems with the plunger sinking over the tea like others mentioned. I fill the pot about 3/4 full, and the plunger seems to float at water level. Before I pour tea into my cup, I depress the plunger to stop the brewing.
I do get some tea particles in the water, but I can live with that...I got that much when using the stainless steel infuser. If you use decent tea, it has much larger leaves than typical grocery store tea and brews better in this vessel. You have to get away from bags, it's just not what tea is supposed to be.
My only complaint is that, when pouring tea from the pot to my mug on my back deck in the cool Colorado mornings recently, invariably tea spills because of the fit of the strainer--and you have to hold the strainer while pouring, or it turns sideways and tilts out.
I would love to see a stainless or glass version of the strainer cup...tea purists won't store their tea in plastic because it has a tendency to absorb tastes and odors. I suspect that the same will happen with the strainer, but for now, the tea tastes great and the tea press works fine, lasts a long time.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2009
Having owned one of these for at least 5 years I feel I can speak with authority here! It's a good size, looks nice, I've had no plunger issues though bits of tea do get caught in the strainer holes. The cavity at the bottom of the plunger shaft that holds the tea leaves post plunge also holds a quantity of water, always a nuisance when you're trying to shake old leaves into the bin.
But.. the biggest issue by a long way, and the reason I dislike the pot greatly is that it *invariably* spills when you pour. It's nothing to do with lining bits up, it's a simple design flaw in the glass pouring lip. If the pot is over half filled with water (and if it's not, the water won't hit leaves anyway!) when pouring be ready for a steady dribble round to the bottom of the pot and on to the floor.
I find it incredible that a teapot.. designed for one thing, and one thing only, has such a fundamental flaw in its operation. Surely the designers used it before releasing it on the unsuspecting public?!
So don't buy this. Buy something else. I'd never buy one again, regardless of how cute they look.