You don’t have to be a Brit or Chinese to appreciate a nicely brewed cup of tea. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or an enthusiastic amateur, we’ve got you covered! We’ve spent 20 hours researching tea makers on the market, sifted through hundreds of chaff, and arrived with the best models currently available for purchase. In this guide, you’ll learn what it is and what types are there to choose from. By the end of the guide, we’ve reviewed the TOP 7 Best tea Makers and shared our tips and tricks to brewing an authentic cup of perfect tea.
- What’s a tea maker and how it works?
- Types of tea makers
- TOP 7 Best Tea Makers
- Pros and Cons
- Temperature and Timing tips & life-hacks: how to make the perfect cup of teacup of tea
My husband is crazy for tea. We’ve got dozens of different herbs and tea leaves at home, dainty cups, and saucers of egg-shell china, miniature sugar-dishes, and silver spoons, everything for an authentically real “five o’clock tea” experience. My husband continuously experiments with different blends and brews, meticulously searches for new tastes and leaves at local markets, eagerly talks to sellers and ramage books and blogs for new ideas.
And while he likes to brew tea manually, from choosing herbs to checking the temperature of water, he appreciates the technology that takes the guesswork out of the brewing process. This is where a tea maker comes to the rescue. However, there are dozens of options, from really ace ones to outright crummy. So before you hit the buy button, you should really take time and effort to research a product and consider dozens of other criteria that can affect your choice. So let’s right get into it.
Tea makers are, in fact, very diverse, but they all serve a common purpose, that of brewing tea. There are different names for it across cultures, from kanaami and gaiwan in Asia to samovars in Eastern Europe. They might look and work very differently, but the results are almost always the same: exceptionally brewed delicate cups of tea. Teapots have been used for centuries starting from the Yuan Dynasty (as long ago as in 13th-14th century) and are still popular today. Electric kettles and infusers didn’t see the light of day, however, up until the end of the 19th century. The modern devices combine both the heating and infusing processes into a piece of single equipment, making it much easier to brew.
Read also: 7 Best Iced Tea Makers.
Electric tea makers are the ones that take the guesswork out of tea making. They have a set of features that allow to fully customize the brewing process: from pre-set temperatures for different kinds of tea to choose your own desired temperature. Other popular functions include auto-on and off, timers, alarms, and keeping the water warm for a pre-defined time.
A teapot is a classic version of a tea maker. And while it’s tried and tested appliance for brewing tea, it really needs hard work, if you come to think of it. In teapots, leaves are placed in the basket that sits in the middle, or put at the bottom of the pot and then filtered through the holes in the spout.
French press is another popular device to brew tea: you place the leaves at the bottom of the carafe, pour hot water, and press the strainer plate down when you see the tea is ready to be served.
Tea infuser mugs and bottles are designed with special strainers or infuser chambers and are good for a single-serve cup of tea or drinking on the go. There are also individual strainers and meshes that can be put into any mug, cup, or pot.
Commercial ones are used in an industrial setting where a huge amount of tea is necessary, like hotels and restaurants.
Here, we’ll describe the best tea makers that made it to our TOP, among those are simple infusion devices (around 20-40 dollars) and sophisticated models (around 200 dollars) with a number of features that would be greatly appreciated by both amateurs and aficionados alike. At the end of this guide, we’ll cover french press and single tea infusers, in case you want to try those as well.
Electric Loose Leaf Tea Infuser | Gourmia - portable tea maker
This is one of the least expensive appliances on our list, but it’s also different from the others, as it stands out with its innovative design and a pretty cool look. It’s able to produce a perfectly rich and nuanced cup of tea at the touch of a button. All you have to do is fill its four-cup tank with water, put your favorite tea leaves in the brew basket, turn the device on, and it will bring the water to the optimal temperature. There are actually four pre-set modes to choose from, including options for light and strong brewing. There’re a glass carafe and a stainless steel brew chamber with an extra fine stainless steel strainer. The device can also be used for coffee if you’re a fan of both.
The buyers were impressed with the quality of tea this device brewed, many saying they would never get back to the boiling water and regular teapots, or that it was both space and life saver. If you don’t have a huge family to enjoy tea with, then this portable device is definitely a buy!
Gourmia: Check the current price
Electric Glass Tea Kettle | KitchenAid - tea maker with keep warm mode
This item is a little more sophisticated than the one from Gourmia, it’s also above 100 dollars. Don’t be deceived by its simple and minimalistic form factor, it’s actually pretty powerful.
The glass kettle is a fantastic way to observe the magic of a tea making process. The stainless steel tea steeper is both handsomely designed and durable. There are five specialty tea settings to preserve each tea’s unique flavors and aromas: green, white, oolong, black, and herbal, with a pre-defined temperature for each. There’s also a “keep warm” mode that keeps water in a kettle at 158 F, for up to 30 minutes, or can be used to brew delicate teas afraid of boiling water. The features are extremely easy to use, so even if you’re no on a friendly foot with gadgetry, you’ll be able to figure it out pretty quickly.
The major disadvantages of this device, reported by the buyers, were the plastic and rubber parts of the structure that affected the taste: there’s a silicone ring around the inside bottom of the kettle and the inside of the lid is plastic.
KitchenAid: Check the current price
One-Touch Tea Maker | Breville - best one for the loose leaf with LCD screen and timer
This is the most expensive item in our TOP 5, but it’s also the best one. Breville is like Apple, only in the coffee and tea industry. If you decide to spend 200 dollars on this beauty, you’re not going to be disappointed, this one will serve you for years.
This machine is fully automatic but also extremely customizable. There are numerous advanced features to choose from and an LCD screen for convenience and full control of the brewing process. Pre-programmed one-touch functionalities and settings allow you to create ideal brewing conditions for black, green, white, herbal, and oolong teas.
There are also auto start and keep warm functions, which would keep the water warm for as long as 60 minutes. You can also determine the strength of your brew from mild to strong. The basket is fully automatic and can even move up and down, gently agitating the leaves to precisely infuse your tea with the freshest aroma possible for balanced or nuanced flavor.
Breville: Check the current price
Hot and Cold Brewed System | Shark/Ninja - tea and coffee maker with built-in milk frother
This machine is something different for a change, it’s a whole brew system for different specialty drinks, ranging from regular coffee and frothy brews to iced and hot tea. There’s an intuitive display with a range of functions to choose from, different for coffee and tea. In fact, you can choose five coffee brew styles and five tea styles, as well as a tea type from five options available (herbal, black, oolong, white, and green). There are six serving sizes from a single cup to a full carafe. Other cool and useful features include programmable delay brew, build-in fold-away milk frother, individual coffee and tea baskets to keep flavors separate. There are also two ways to enjoy iced coffee or tea: cold or hot brew.
The respondents were pretty happy with the machines they received and how they operated, however, a few complained about the carafe, which was difficult to clean due to a very small opening on top.
Shark/Ninja: Check the current price
PerfecTea | Teavana - budget plastic tea maker
This is the most inexpensive device, it’s also the simplest, but with a lot of positive feedback from consumers, so worth a shot. With this one, however, you need to boil the water separately, cool it down a bit to the desired temperature, add water, and put it on a mug. The tea will slowly drain through a strain into your cup with the leaves left in the device. The construction is made of plastic, which is obviously a downside, but it’s fully disassemblable, so you can remove all the parts easily for cleaning.
The customers said they loved how easy it was to brew tea with the device, how it was simple, yet effective at brewing just the right thing.
Teavana: Check the current price
French Press Coffee & Tea Maker | Bodum
This Brazil French press brews an excellent cup of coffee but can also be used for brewing tea just as well. All you have to do is put leaves at the bottom of a carafe, add hot water, and press the plunger down, as soon as you see the brewing is finished.
Although this is not the best way to prepare tea because the leftover tea leaves can become bitter if left in water for longer than needed, but it can be used for everyday use without compunction. This French press features a heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a BPA free plastic handle and base, as well as a three-part stainless steel plunger with the finest mesh filter that helps extract your coffee or tea aromatic oils and flavors. Besides, it’s priced affordably, available in two colors, and four sizes (ranging from 34 oz to 51 oz).
Bodum: Check the current price
Tea Infuser Set - Reusable Stainless Steel Strainers & Steepers for Loose Leaf Teas | Chefast
This set of tea infusers is an absolute bestseller in its category. It looks both stylish and sleek and would be a wonderful addition to your tea making kit at any tea party or ceremony. These little steepers would definitely impress your guests or loved ones and would make you look like an authentic connoisseur who knows what he’s doing. With this set, you’re getting three premium steepers in two sizes, so you can strain your tea and your partner’s, or brew tea for an entire gathering! Included is a multi-functional scoop with integrated bag clip to add just the right amount of tea to the basket, then twist and let your tea live in your cup without unwanted sticks, leaves, and other debris in your cup.
The infusers are made with an extra fine, premium-grade stainless steel mesh that won’t rust or break easily. Besides, what’s even more important is that the infusers would allow the tea leaves to properly expand to give out their best flavors, so you don’t have to worry about leaves getting stuck in-between mesh holes without properly blooming their best aromatic oils or living their best lives in your cup or teapot. What’s even more fun and cool about this kit, is that it comes in a gift-wrapped box, ready to be given away to your best friend, who just happens to be a tea lover.
Chefast: Check the current price
Comparative chart of Tea Makers
|4 cup/800ml tank |
4 Pre-Programmed Brewing Settings
Glass and Stainless Steel Brew Chamber + Carafe
Extra Fine Stainless Steel Strainer
Glass and Stainless Steel Construction
5 Specialty Settings
Stainless Steel Steeper
Keep warm 30 min
Glass and Stainless Steel Construction
5 Specialty Settings
Tea Basket Cycle
60 minute Keep Warm
Variable temperature control
|Glass and Plastic Construction |
5 coffee and 5 tea brew styles
5 tea types
6 serving sizes
|Plastic four-piece construction |
Patented drain mechanism
|2 colors |
Glass carafe+stainless steel plunger
|3 steepers in 2 sizes |
- You don’t have to watch the temperature or control steeping times, the electric kettles with programmable settings will do that for you
- Timers, chimes, and alarms guarantee you’ll get the best cup of tea just at the right time
- The cupping and steeping magic can be lost since you don’t really have to do anything except push up a button
- The best machines come at a price, usually around 100-200 dollars
Rule of thumb: a good cup of tea is always one teaspoon for one cup of water per person.
However, in China, the second or third brew of tea is considered the best, which basically means that if you use a tea of exceptional quality, you can brew the same leaves several times, with new flavors and nuances releasing with each new brew.
Other tips provided hereinbelow have been gleaned from various sources on the internet, from trustworthy and reliable educational websites, such as the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and East Tennessee State University, as well as shared by my husband:
1. Water should be filtered, boiled and cooled down, or boiled to the right temperature (almost always below boiling point, far below 212 °F).
2. The temperature for different leaves:
Green and white teas around 158°F
Black and oolong teas 185°F
Herbal 210°F (from which chamomile 194°F)
3. Steep times for different tea leaves:
White: allow from one to three minutes of steeping for the first brew, and a little less for any subsequent.
Green: brew from one to two minutes for the first brew
Oolong: thirty seconds for the first brew
Black: from forty-five seconds to one minute for mild tea, and up to three minutes for stronger tannic flavors.
4. Preheat a cup or a pot from which you’ll drink (pour hot water in a cup and then pour it out)
5. Fine teas are always better in porcelain cups
6. Milk and sugar. Seriously? No. Unless you’re British
Here’s an interesting video on the art of making loose tea:
Can you use a tea maker for coffee?
Yes, you can. But should you? If there are two separate infusers available for tea and coffee to separate flavors, then that’s okay, but if there’s only one, then it’s better not.
How to use it?
It’s usually pretty easy and straightforward but depends heavily on a particular model. There’s no single recipe here, so you really should follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, or watch videos if available.
How to clean it?
Most of the devices are not dishwasher safe and should be washed manually. Usually, the manufacturer specifies exactly how to wash a purchased tea maker. For everyday care, it’s best to rinse the device under hot water (with unscented dish detergent or soap). For thorough cleaning the process is a bit complicated, but doesn’t really differ from basic electric kettle cleaning: add water and a splash of vinegar into the carafe, bring water to boil, then let it sit for about 30 minutes and discard the liquid. Repeat the steps, if necessary, then do a couple of rounds with boiling water without vinegar and tea, and you’re good to go.
Which one is the best?
Breville is the best, no surprises there.
What is a samovar tea maker?
Samovar is a traditional device used in Russia back in the old days, it’s actually still used in villages and babushkas’ houses. Samovars are made of metal and have an urn-shaped container and a metal pipe in the middle.
What’s the best for office?
I think, you’d better invest in something that does both coffee and tea, because some of the office employees would want something stronger than green or black tea, or complain heavily that there’s no “good” coffee in the office and use it as an excuse to go catch a cup of Joe in a coffee shop downstairs. So, Ninja will work.
Is there any tea maker for a car? for travel? for camping?
You can buy a portable french press, like this one from Sisitano.
What’s the best one for home?
Breville is amazing!
Is there any tea maker for bedroom?
Surprisingly, there’s one just for you: Swan’s device with an alarm clock.
Can you recommend a device for one?
You’d probably appreciate the beauty and style of the Gourmia, it brews exceptional tea and doesn’t occupy much space.
Can you suggest a good tea maker for a hotel? Or a dorm? A restaurant?
Wilbur commercial tea brewer is a decent choice.
Having described the best tea makers on the market, we’re confident you’ll be able to brew the best cups of tea at home, in the office, or wherever you happen to be. If you can invest in Breville, then you’d probably should: after drinking tea from this tea maker, you would not want to return to your old-fashioned teapot.