I have previously posted this on Amazon, but someone recently asked me what I thought of it, so I decided to post it on my own site also! I plan to soon hack this and modify the times with an adriano micro-controller, so stay tuned for plans and updates.
The Fine T Tea maker from IQ innovations.
-Makes 4 cups
-Has a rinse feature for tea. Although I would like to tweak that a bit.
-Mostly stainless steal and glass.
-Mostly very well made.
-Self cleaning, handy.
-Infusion basket is full size, so the tea has room to expand. It also is removable, and easy to clean sense it is stainless steal. This was one major draw back of the Zarafina, it’s infusion basket was only half the size of the amount you could brew.
-Timer, it can be set the night before to make you tea in the morning!
-Has an automatic function for a second brew.
-Keeps tea warm for up to 30 minutes.
-Very little temperature control. I though this would be the best part of this machine, with the lcd display and menu interface I assumed I would have more temperature chooses then 205 and 160. This also is to cold for some Black teas, and a bit to hot for some white teas.
-It’s huge! Well this really is not that bad, but it is almost twice the size of the Zarafina and does not really fit under my cupboards on the counter. Of course it does make 4 cups.
-Some oddly cheap plastic parts. For example the infusion lid is made of plastic and puts off a plastic smell when brewing black tea.
-An interface only a programmer would love. It is not terribly user friendly, yet it is not hard ether. It does end up being tedious to deal with.
-Bad viewing angle on the LCD, I am taller, and find myself leaning over to see it clear. If it had more features, I would be impressed, but when I can not even dial in a temperature I wonder why we need it for the basic settings. That is until you use the timer for tea in the morning, then you will like it.
Over all it has a feeling of a beta tea maker. A great first attempt for them, but obviously has a few bugs and corners that were cut un-neededly. You can tell they really understand what is important about brewing tea, with features including the pre rinse, but for some reason they fumble with only two temperature settings. Maybe they had internal pressure to cut costs or to rush its release? The tea comes out tasting great. Sure it is not as good as a gung fu method, but it is fairly close if you do not have time to make it by hand. So long as you don’t need to brew at a temperature besides 160 or 205. If this tea maker was not so expensive, I would be more impressed, but at a retail price of $299 I would not recommend it unless you really needed 4 cups at a time, would like to wake up to fresh tea, or are independently wealthy. Now if you can pick one up on ebay for cheap, then thats a different story.
Ignoring price, it is better then the Zarafina. But considering retail price, the Zarafina is a much better buy.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.