For anyone who has ever seen the episode of ‘Father Ted’ where they buy the house-keeper - Mrs. Doyle - an electronic tea-maker in the bid to make her life easier and, in the end, she murders it with a screw driver…well I know what she was going through!
The Craftea Tea Maker at first may seem like a great idea: aimed at lovers of fresh teas and Chai teas, the Craftea will boil the water, steep and brew your tea all via pre-programmed settings. Depending on what type of tea you have chosen, as well as options for the user to program temperatures and steep times, it will also memorise personal tea and Chai settings after use. With a 1L (34 fl. oz.) you can get 3 healthy sized cups or 4 small cups in one go. It is dishwasher safe, with a removeable filter and (with some effort) a removeable lid. Other features include a slip-resistant handle and all the parts that come into contact with your tea are BPA free.
So, what made me want to stab this appliance with the entire contents of my tool box? Well the first thing that got my back up was the instruction manual wasn’t particularly instructive: I managed to put the stirrer on the wrong way around, as there were no clear pictures or explanation. The Craftea has the cheek to suggest it could replace your kettle, but with the small capacity you are forever refilling it! Talking about refilling, I must mention the lid: it really is a lot of fun. It flips up with such force that it splashes water into your face and then slams closed again due to the momentum. Getting the right pressure to open it without getting soaked becomes a bit of a game. The folks at Craftea also suggest it would make a perfect personal tea-maker at work…trust me, if you have this in the office, you will get fired at best, murdered with it at worst because of the constant noise it creates! There is a series of options you need to select before it gets going and every press on the big ‘check’ button results in a horrible, loud and unnecessary screech that will eventually make you want to tear your ears off. This noise also goes off when the programme comes to an end. When it starts to work it is also very loud, with the motor making a noisy buzzing noise.
With the noise, wayward lid, small capacity, large unit size (6.65" x 10.04" x 12.6") and need to wash it after every single use, it just makes the process of making tea more frustrating. This is without even mentioning the occasional jamming of the stirrer that produces an ‘Error’ reading and the temperatures being off by about 7-10 degrees. The spout is also quite poor and spills over the side if you tip it too far. The tea it produces is fine, but it tastes no better than what you could make without this appliance.
Ideal for rich, deaf, Chai addicts with an OCD for cleaning, who enjoys an occasional splash in the face from the lid and has a lot of time on their hands. RRP $199.00
0.5 out of 5
The tea will taste good
3 button controls are easy to use
Awful beeping noise with every action
Whole thing needs to be washed after each use
Lid opens with too much force
Takes longer than kettle and tea pot
Stirrer occasionally jams
Temperature is slightly off