By all accounts, the Breville Tea Maker BTM800XL is a technological triumph designed for avid tea enthusiasts. Although its high price tag and need for consistent cleaning make it less attractive to those who aren't passionate about brewing the perfect cup of loose-leaf tea, this highly rated kettle is the crème de la crème of automated tea makers and doubles as a standard variable temperature kettle.
High-tech, hands-free. Different teas require specific water temperatures and brewing times, and this nifty kettle takes all the guesswork out of the equation. Not only does the Breville Tea Maker BTM800XL come with preset and customizable temperature options for various types of tea, but it automatically lowers and lifts the tea basket into the water for perfectly timed infusion. According to ApartmentTherapy.com, the brewer's automated functions are ideal: "The tea type and strength presets are on point, but at the same time it is easy to override these and select a custom brew time or temperature."
Cleaning isn't a hassle. Because the Breville boils the tea itself rather than just water, it does need to be cleaned regularly. The product manual advises cleaning it about once a month with boiling water and lemon juice, baking soda or vinegar to remove tannin buildup. Otherwise, the interior of the jug can be cleaned with mild soap or just hot water, and the stainless steel tea basket is dishwasher-safe, says ElectricCordlessWaterKettle.com. Most experts and owners call the BTM800XL an incredibly intuitive, user-friendly gadget.
BPA-free construction. This kettle contains plastic components, but according to ElectricCordlessWaterKettle.com, Breville's customer service confirms that all plastic parts are free of the potentially harmful toxin BPA. Most Amazon.com users like its automatic shut-off function. The kettle doesn't come with boil-dry protection, but considering its intended use as a tea infuser that does the job in two to four minutes, such a feature may be unnecessary.
1. Apartment Therapy.com
This homemaking website publishes reviews of cutting-edge kitchen appliances. In her evaluation of the Breville BTM800XL, Ho lists its primary features, advantages and drawbacks. Although its price is steep and the kettle certainly isn't a necessity, Ho says, she recommends it for regular tea drinkers who want to own a high-tech piece of brewing equipment.
Review: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker, Emily Ho, June 3, 2010
This tech review site calls the Breville "a little glimpse of the automated future" that offers "entertainment while automatically brewing and steeping a pot of tea." Products are said to be rigorously tested in a laboratory setting, but Krepshaw mentions no specific methodology.
Review: Automated Tea Brewer Like a Glimpse into the Future, Brian Krepshaw, April 29, 2010
This online community for women who love tea publishes reviews of tea-brewing products. This informal evaluation of the Breville BTM800XL is nonetheless informative and sheds light on the consumer experience. The author says using the kettle seemed "too easy."
Review: Product Review: One-Touch Tea Maker from Breville, "Liberteas" , July 25, 2011
This review addresses the technical capabilities of the Breville BTM800XL, with the author calling it "well built and user friendly." The article includes a "how to clean your kettle" section and outlines its specific preset temperature functions.
Review: Review: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL, Editors of ElectricCordlessWaterKettle.com, Not dated
At this website for herbal tea enthusiasts, editors strongly recommend the Breville BTM800XL for avid tea fans who brew different varieties on a regular basis. However, they warn that it's difficult to remove the scent of extremely spicy or fragrant teas if you brew them regularly.
Review: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker Review, Editors of HerbalTeaSource.com, Not dated
Editors list the benefits of the Breville BTM800XL for tea enthusiasts but call its high price a drawback, so it may not be worth it for those who don't drink tea frequently. Formal testing doesn't appear to have been performed, but it's clear the author used the device firsthand.
Review: Breville One Touch Tea Maker Review, Editors of BestGreenTeaProducts.com, Not dated
The Breville gets an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 after more than 300 customer reviews. A few users say they received defective products, but the overwhelming majority says their kettles brew the best tea they've ever tasted.
Review: Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2013