Innovative Teapots

From America's Test Kitchen Season 10: Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Overview:

We tested four small teapots with unusual strainers and dispensing mechanisms that promised to make dealing with loose tea mess-free. In each case, we used the same tea and a four-minute steeping time. The glass model we tested, which makes two cups per pot, presses tea like a French coffee press—but it traps the strongest tea inside the solid, closed bottom of the press insert, producing weaker tea than the other pots. Another model was fussy; if the lid of this one-cup brewer didn’t click perfectly into place, tea leaked out the bottom valve. The lowest rated pot couldn’t brew even one full cup and didn’t contain loose leaves well. Our favorite met all criteria. It brewed good, strong tea and kept loose leaves in check with its ultra-fine-mesh strainer. To use, add tea leaves and water, let steep, and then place the pot over a cup to automatically open a bottom valve—brewed tea will flow into the cup below.

We tested four small teapots with unusual strainers and dispensing mechanisms that promised to make dealing with loose tea mess-free. In each case, we used the same tea and a four-minute steeping time. The glass model we tested, which makes two cups per pot, presses tea like a French coffee press—but it traps the strongest tea inside the solid, closed bottom of the press insert, producing weaker tea than the other pots. Another model was fussy; if the lid of this one-cup brewer didn’t click perfectly into place, tea leaked out the bottom valve. The lowest rated pot couldn’t brew even one full cup and didn’t contain loose leaves well. Our favorite met all criteria. It brewed good, strong tea and kept loose leaves in check with its ultra-fine-mesh strainer. To use, add tea leaves and water, let steep, and then place the pot over a cup to automatically open a bottom valve—brewed tea will flow into the cup below.

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  • Product Tested

  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    ingenuiTEA by Adagio Teas

    This teapot brewed a good, strong cup and kept loose leaves in check with its ultrafine-mesh strainer. You place the pot over a cup and the tea flows automatically through the bottom of the pot (where the strongest tea collects). Feet on the bottom of the pot lift it up to prevent the bottom valve from accidentally opening. A simple swish of running water cleans up spent leaves.

    $14.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Not Recommended

    Bodum Assam Teapot

    Though beautiful, this pot made weak tea. A stainless steel mesh strainer insert inside the glass pot holds a mini-French coffee press, which pushes steeped tea leaves to the bottom of the strainer. But the tea did not circulate well beyond the strainer, and the solid press trapped the strongest tea inside the solid, closed bottom of the insert. What’s more, the insert became stuck inside the pot after use.

    $24.95

  • Not Recommended

    Bonjour Smart Brewer

    This pot brews into a cup through the bottom of the pot, but it was difficult to figure out if the teapot was fully clicked into the “closed” position. Though it managed to brew a strong cup of tea, the pot leaked if it wasn’t clicked perfectly into place. As a result, a tester put the closed pot on a slightly raised surface and it leaked everywhere.

    $19.95

  • Not Recommended

    Easy Pot by Northwest Designs

    Far from being as “easy” as its name, this small, awkward pot could barely make one cup of tea or keep spent leaves out of the pot.

    $19.99

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