April 06, 2008

Spotlight: Zarafina Tea Maker

I received a Zarafina Tea Maker a few months back -- which is an appliance dedicated to making the perfect cup (or 2) of tea. Using the Zarafina, has changed my tea-making habits forever.

The process is simple:
- Fill the water chamber for either one or two cups.

- Put in either one or two scoops of tea in the filter chamber.

- Place the filter chamber in the water chamber

- Adjust the settings

by Type: green, black, white, oolong, herbal teas
and by Strength: mild, medium, strong

- Flip the On switch and.....Voila! Minutes later you have a perfectly brewed cuppa tea, properly decanted in a tea pot - ready to go.

So after my own test run, I researched what other people were saying about the Zarafina. A great review with pix is also listed here: Review

The Pros stated: "Easy to use! Fast! No-Fuss Tea Making! Consistent Brewing! Gorgeous packaging! Sleek Design!"

The Cons: The biggest complaint was that it was too costly. It was $150, but recently has in fact come down to $100, which may have been in response to their feedback.

I mention them here for the reasons that I fully agree with both the positive and the negative feedback from these reviews. Packaging & Design -- award-winning in my book, rivals the people at Apple. The Use and Functionality: A+ - which is why appliances exist - to make tings faster and easier.

But I wanted to say something more to my readers...about WHY I use the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite, and HOW it has changed my tea-making habits. To do this, I had to live with this machine for months, which furthered the delay in writing this review. So, how has Zarafina influenced the Tea Drinking Habits of Madam Potts?

Ok, so by combining the brewing, steeping and decanting into one effieicent step, the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite has actually increased my tea consumption. If you drink as much tea as I do, then you know that tea time is not always a ritual of relaxation and calm. There are occasions where the focus is on other things besides water temperature and steeping times.

Mornings before work are an excellent example. If I start up my Zarafina, I can then proceed making breakfast, doing dishes, packing a lunch and then turn and pour myself a perfectly brewed cuppa tea without having lost a moment for what would have been a multistep process. I can have that morning cup or pour it in my thermos and I'm ready to start my day. That effiency is invaluable....and I prize that.

Other times, I might be cleaning the house or such, and I want tea, but I'm not in the kitchen. I go and start up the Zarafina, walk away and 10 minutes later I can come into the kitchen and walk back out 10 seconds later with my tea. Did I mention that the Tea Maker automatically shuts itself off! They realize in the world that buzzes and moves at a pace that encourages ADD, the added feature of automatic shut-down is both a safety measure and one more step that you needn't worry about.

I feel that by being able to walk out of the kitchen while tea is being made, that the people at Zarafina offer a liberation, a freedom of movement within one's own dwelling, that then rewards you with a cup of tea at a perfect drinkable temperature!

They've taken the guess work out of how much water or how much tea to use. They've taken the obligation out of watching the kettle. They offer the quick and easy cup (or two) of tea. They offer one more option in the tea-making world which is comparable to any other option.

Using my Zarafina doesn't replace but adds to the options. I continue to use my gaiwan. When I have time, I enjoy the multiple steeps with my testubin. I still use the glass kettle when I want a full pot of tea (sadly the Zarafina makes 2 cups tops). And beautifully so, each of these choices are perfect in their own way, based on desired tea experience and the availability of time.

If you drink tea everyday, then it is fully worth every penny. It's not unheard of to have an automatic coffee maker, so why not an automatic tea maker?

Thank you Zarafina for bringing more ways to enjoy tea as part of my lifestyle!


Tea Escapade said...

I have never heard of the Zarafina Tea Maker. I can't wait to read this post in its entirety. I may be the next owner.

Neverwas said...

This is the first time I'd heard about Zarafina and you wrote such a fab review that I had to go check it out. $150 was a bit steep *cough* but $100 for something that would brew the perfect cup, sweet!

Mine was delivered today and am already in love with this appliance! The packaging was amazing with those paper handle strap thingies to ease out the styrofoam and the design of the machine itself is just elegant.

I've already made two pots of tea and it was so nice to drink a cup of green tea that wasn't bitter due to me forgetting about removing the leaves. Now I can get up in the morning and make the perfect cup without any hassles! I am so happy you reviewed this so I could find out about it and get one for myself!!! *woohoo*

Somebodyunfamous said...

BUYER BEWARE! Complaints go unanswered after machine breaks a month into using!

Apparently Zarafina is a sub-sub-company of Sunbeam (known for their cheap knockoff products) and their Technical FAQ for the tea suite is as useless as their contact information!

Please don't spend the outrageous price for this machine, only to be stuck with a broken monstrosity sitting on your kitchen cabinet, waiting for a response. I have a hard time believing that they can't afford a quality technical support team when they charge such a hefty amount for such a shoddy device!

Anonymous said...

I've had mine for nearly 1.5 years and it still functions perfectly. Better yet I bought it at Tuesday Morning for $19.99, the lady at the counter said it had been there for months and marked down several times. I live in the south, everyone here must have looked at it and decided against it because there was no where to put the sugar!