Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
Attractive and Functional
on July 27, 2006
BACK STORY: I bought the Tea Drop to replace a Mrs. Tea unit that was MANY years old (but still working). I like the shape, color, and weight of the Tea Drop much better. For tea purists, the fact that automatic tea brewers do not bring water to a boil is problematic. For me, it matters not. I am a pragmatist. I just want a good pot of tea with a minimum of attention to the process. I want to push the button, go take a shower, and know that my tea will be waiting when I return. I brew my tea "in the pot"--the same way I had to do it with the Mrs. Tea.
INSTRUCTIONS: Here's my Tea Drop process: Open the top of the water chamber. Remove the holder mechanism and the filter. Fill the water chamber with no more than 30 oz. of water. Replace the holder mechanism, but NOT the filter. Press the chamber lid down at the side tabs until you hear them click and make sure the little directional spout tray (under the word 'Sunbeam') is fully pushed in, otherwise your water will escape as steam and the pot won't fill properly -- I learned that the hard way ;) With in-pot brewing, it doesn't seem to matter much which setting you choose (mild > strong).
Remove the teapot lid and place 4 tea bags in the glass pot. (You can use loose tea, but it's messier and you'll need a strainer when pouring tea into your cup.) When I want just a hint of flavor. I use three black tea bags and one specialty bag (e.g., Earl Grey, Ti Kuan Yin (oolong), orange herb, apricot, mint, etc.) Replace the pot lid, place pot in machine, press the 'on' button and walk away!
It takes about six minutes for the water to heat and pump from chamber to pot. The tea will reach a temp of about 170 degrees F. Well, that's too hot for me to drink, so I generally turn off the power switch and let the tea brew and cool for a while (sort of like sun tea, which also doesn't reach 212 degrees, but is delicious nonetheless!)
RATING: All in all, I am very pleased with the Tea Drop and would recommend it to anyone who, like me, doesn't want to stand around waiting for the proverbial pot to boil. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because of minor problems with the water chamber lid and the directional spout which could, of course, be considered "operator error." However, the words "Click to close" on the lid would help, and a click-tight spout fitting would not allow the spout to be dislodged so easily if tapped when removing the glass pot.