; Cwyn's Death By Tea: $1000 Teforia Wedding ;

Thursday, April 26, 2018

$1000 Teforia Wedding

New Teforia with 1960s Mushroom lamp

The toughest thing about giving up coffee in the morning for me was the convenience of a coffee machine, of pushing a button and pouring a ready-made pot in ten minutes or so. I am at the point where I need a maid or a partner. Since winter this year, my back and hips feel all the worse when waking up from sleep. I must spend a few minutes of stretching in bed just to get up. After all that, as soon as I leave my room I am assaulted by cats and house mates who want something even before I can manage to go to the bathroom, which is never by myself since my cats insist on busting open the door. Then I have to heat up water for tea, wait around, and by then somebody else needs something. I just want to get back to my room and enjoy my tea.

As far as I am concerned, the main reason to have a partner in life is to have someone wait on me hand and foot, but for whatever reason nobody seems to understand this very simple idea. Any sort of human partnership at my age is an annoyance at best since they usually disapprove of large tea collections. Also a real human partner generally expects taking care of, and I am too busy with my tea to bother taking care of other people. Can I just get a cup of tea in the morning without doing any work??

Last year I looked at some of the new Gourmia tea makers after deciding I miss my morning coffee maker (which is now appropriated by a house mate with French Roast). I talked with the Gourmia reps at the World Tea Expo after one of them emailed me, unsolicited, at the hotel offering a free tea machine for listening to a sales pitch at their booth. OolongOwl got the same email and we went together and spent more than a few minutes listening to the pitch and looking over the machines. While I might be happy to consider reviewing a free machine, the Gourmia offer evaporated after the Expo.

I deserve the $1000 wedding and new Teforia for a partner. I won’t pay that kind of money and luckily I found one on eBay for $140. Now, this machine is not for ME to brew sheng puerh, I have a gaiwan and a gazillion little teapots for that. I need something for hongcha in the morning and maybe green tea during the day. After spending some serious time with this machine, I am glad now I waited for this thing because it is really awesome. I don’t care if I lose every reader of this blog, at least I have some “body” to make me tea.

Before this purchase, I spent a couple of months using a Kamjove Gravity Steeper, and I tried to like it. It makes decent enough hongcha, but is a pain to clean out. The Kamjove strainer is dome shaped, and leaves get packed down around the strainer and won’t tap out over the garbage. Even when using a spoon the leaves are tough to get out without damaging the strainer, and worse the plastic rod connected to the button pops out when trying to scoop out the tea. Using a Kamjove I rinsed a lot of tea leaves down the drain.

The Teforia machine tries to mimic gongfu in a similar way to the Kamjove in that the small chamber for leaves must be infused three times and quickly expressed into the carafe. Unlike the Kamjove, the machine heats the water and expresses the tea forcefully, pushing liquid out of the tea rather than dripping it through. I found I only need 1-3g of leaves rather than the 4-6g hongcha I use in a gaiwan or the Kamjove, because the machine extracts the water with more force.

Unlike the Kamjove, the Teforia infuser and carafe are double-wall insulated. The interior layer is glass. The exterior is plastic to prevent breakage, but only the glass touches the hot tea. All I need to do is fill the back chamber with water which lifts out of the machine with a carrying handle, and add a couple grams of tea leaves.

The machine is run by a Bluetooth app, which requires a paired device like a phone or tablet, but does not require internet once set up. The app has a list of tea types, which matches the teas originally sold by Teforia (now sold by Adagio teas). Since I am using my own tea, I can ignore the names of the teas. I just pick one of the tea types from the list.

From what I can tell, the brewing temps are based on the coder (perceived) caffeine level of the tea, which is how differing types of green and black/oolong teas are distinguished in the app (low, medium, high). I can also adjust the strength which lengthens the amount of time the leaves spend in the water.

The cool part is starting up the machine from my bed. I reach for my IPad or phone, pull up the app and press the button. Most of the teas take 5-7 minutes. I don’t need to leave my room which will trigger the cats and people in the house, although I expect the cats and people will eventually figure out the machine is triggering Mother to get up. I also like that the carafe and infuser lock tight in the machine, so no chance the animals will swat them onto the floor. One of my cats in particular has learned to knock over my tea ware when wanting attention fast.

Teforia, for all the crazy hype, really makes excellent hongcha and green tea. My biggest surprise is green oolong, a tea type I do not own very much of, and in the past I apparently over-brewed with boiling water baths. I have a few green oolong teas to use up, and they come out with honey sweet after-tastes. Yunnan large leaf red teas are great for the first machine brew, but I can get more from these by gaiwan in subsequent infusions because I steep them longer than the app will.

The machine has a setting for sheng puerh, but I have not tried that. I cannot see that brewing sheng in the machine will save me time because of the boiling rinses which must be tossed. Sheng needs hand brewing to tweak the best from it, though perhaps the setting might be useful for fresh sheng, essentially brewing it as a green tea. But again I didn’t buy the machine for puerh. I plan to try Korean teas as well during the summer when I get a craving.

Best of all, the Teforia has a self-cleaning cycle. I don’t even need to clean it! The leaves mostly dump right out, and then the carafe and infuser globe just need rinsing. I won’t need to do vinegar cleaning as with a coffee machine, since the machine will clean with a press of an app button. I also got a microfiber cloth cover in the box to protect it in the kitchen or use as a towel to wipe any tea drips. Really the only downside is the app rather than manual buttons, but why would I want a manual button if I must get out of bed to press it? The whole point is tea without work, orthodox Saturday every day if I program it by the clock ahead of time.

I absolutely love this thing, it’s my new spouse. This is the best tea machine, period. I know a few of you have bought it for puerh and are disappointed, but we don’t need it for puerh. I drink plenty of other teas and having my tea made in the morning for me is well worth the $140 price. I plan to buy an extra carafe and infuser globe from Adagio while they are still for sale, just in case I need replacements. If you want one, try Best Offer on eBay and get the best price you can. I notice that Teforia is planning to start up business again next year with a new $249 model, which compares with the smart Breville currently selling at $250. If the new Teforia also delivers tea from the kitchen to my bed, I’m sold for another.

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