About two years ago, while I was still working at my prior employer, a co-worker of mine and I were discussing hot tea. I have been a tea drinker most of my life. I usually have had to watch it in the past few years as hot tea would make me sleepy more than anything else. Hot drinks do that to me – they have for quite some time. But I love the flavors of hot tea, especially black teas.
I remember, as a kid, that we used to use a Mr. Coffee machine to brew fresh tea for dinner each night, and my thermos for school usually contained hot tea. Of course, the thermos that came with my lunchbox wasn’t one of the really premium quality “Thermos” brand, but hey, it was high quality or stylish; obviously, I had to have my Ghostbusters lunch box and matching drink carrier. But I digress.
The simple fact was, fresh tea, daily, was a major part of my life. As I got older, I started drinking less of it (during high school, and then in college) until I hit almost 22… at which point I started drinking it more frequently again, though mostly at night since, once again, the caffeine wasn’t as powerful as the heat, so it put me to sleep more than anything else.
At any rate, I started drinking it occasionally for work again in 2005, and in late 2016 I started looking for loose tea again in stores. And to my chagrin, I found that it was actually not an easy find anymore. Tea bags, convenient as they are, were really all you’d see in most grocery stores, save a few limited, very expensive choices.
As I said, I was discussing tea with my co-worker, and I mentioned how frustrating it was to not see much of a selection in stores for loose tea. Her suggestion was to check out a company called Adagio. I started looking at the products, and honestly, I liked what I saw. I made a mental note to order something and give it a try.
Yeah, it took me over 2 years to get back to that mental note. But finally this week, I looked around and found a very neat Apple Cinnamon black tea, and ordered a bag. I also ordered a tea maker. Namely, the Adagio VelociTEA. It’s a moderately pricey unit, but the reviews from customers led me to think, “OK, this seems like a slightly expensive, but very effective investment, so what the heck, I will try it.”
As it happens, the purchase of a bag of tea and the unit also nabbed me a free sample of my choice, so I decided on a Scottish Breakfast tea. I’m a black tea person.
The unit came in yesterday, along with the teas. First, I have to note that the entire unit was very nicely packed, very secure and well protected, with a few layers of bubble wrap around the box for the machine, and some additionally padding inside of the product box itself. So obviously, they care to protect their product. Set up took all of 5 minutes, most of that was reading the instructions and doing a quick wash-out of the actual tea pot.
5 minutes, and then another 8 minutes, and I had a fresh pot of tea, ready to go. I’m not kidding. This machine nicely brewed and steeped a pot of black tea to a very good strength and temperature in about 8 minutes. Now maybe that seems like some silly statement. Big deal, you can put a tea bag in and have tea that way in 4 or 5 minutes. Yes, but the quality of the flavor…. the fact that the heat was just right for the flavor, and the fact that it just tasted…. fresh. Look, I’m not saying everyone can justify spending money like this. The tea pot is $120, so it’s not exactly cheap. Then again, if you look at it as an investment, and you are brewing the gourmet blends at home rather than paying a premium at a coffee shop or restaurant, the eventual price per cup will come down pretty quickly.
I’ve already brewed at least 3 pots of tea with this machine. I use 10 oz mugs, and I get 4 mugs worth from a pot. So I’ve brewed 12 cups of coffee. Right now, that’s $10.00 per cup. I imagine during the winter I’ll be brewing at least a pot a day. so by the time winter ends in Buffalo, that probably means about 120 days (hence 120 pots) of tea. 480 cups. That’s $0.25 a cup. And the estimate for how much the tea costs at that volume ends up being about the same. So $0.50 per cup for any tea flavor I have. Even McDonald’s charges at least $1.00 for a cup, and it’s not necessarily a nicer premium blend flavor.
So did I make a wise investment? For me, absolutely. For my family? Sure! My kids love tea, and so does my wife. There are a lot of great flavors out there, and we intend to try more. Is this a purchase for everyone? No, not by a long shot – if you’re not much of a tea drinker, you probably won’t be interested. But I’m pleased with the unit. I’m pleased with the tea. I’m enjoying a Thermos (an actual Thermos brand container) full of it today at work. I’d say it was worth doing. My tummy agrees.
If you are interested in checking the maker out, here is the link for it. And check around their site. They do sell many of the flavors in tea bags, if a machine isn’t in your budget, or you can’t justify the money.
At some point, I will also do a bit of a review on the Thermos product, but that’ll be some other time.