The UNITEA One Touch Teapot is one that we are proud to put our stamp of approval on. Since our beginnings in 2011, we have tried countless teapots. Some teapots are horribly complex, with brew baskets and pulleys and flowing water being pulled by gravity. We’ve even worked with machines that remove air from the brewing chamber.
After all of these years of comparison and analyses, we were so refreshed and impressed by the UNITEA One Touch Teapot from Kinto. Seasoned tea drinkers will agree that it’s simplicity is only matched by its elegance. However, at $29.00, it’s still approachable enough to serve as a great introductory teapot for the curious noob.
You can brew any kind of tea in a UniTea One Touch Teapot. Here are a few general tips to make sure you’re getting the best brews possible:
- No matter what kind of tea you’re brewing, first fill your teapot with hot water. A rolling boil is really ideal. Once the pot is full of water, you’ll notice that the glass quickly heats up. Once it reaches it really doesn’t feel like it’s getting any hotter, we’ve reached peak temperature. Then, go ahead and pour that water out and put your tea leaves into the hot, empty pot as quickly as possible. The steam and heat in the teapot will begin to pull the aromatics out of the tea. This will fill the teapot with your teas’ aromas, and yield in a much more aromatic brew. You’ll notice this aromatic welcome as you lift the cup to sip. And after you swallow, those aromatics will bloom onto your palate for a satisfying finish.
- Green Tea & Yellow Tea: These are the trickiest categories to brew, by far. They naturally have a whole lot of these things called tannins. The good news about tea’s tannins is that they contain caffeine and L-Theanine. However, they can also make the tea taste very unpleasant (dry and bitter) if it is brewed for too long, or at too high a temperature. After rinsing the teapot and putting the leaves in, you can hit it directly with hot water. How hot? Well, that really depends on the tea. We really like brewing yellow teas at about 190*F, or 88*C. Green teas are a little more tricky because there is a big range. Take a look at your tea leaves. Young, delicate buds and leaves luckily look young, tender and delicate. Tiny, fuzzy little buds and leaves usually signal a very tender, delicate tea. Examples include Bi Luo Chun and Meng Ding Gan Lu. We recommend brewing these at about 165*F. Steamed Japanese green teas, especially shade grown varieties, also tend to perform better at this slightly cooler temperature. More mature leaves, like Liu An Gua Pian, can take much hotter water, right up to about 185-190*F. We recommend leaving the lid off while the tea brews, so the steam won’t circulate in the pot and cook the leaves. Just put the lid on to strain it when you’re ready to pour. When you do strain the tea, make sure to leave enough water to keep the leaves submerged. Once you finish your cup, you can pour boiling water into the teapot and have a quick second (and third) infusion.
- Oolong, black, and puerh teas: All of these categories will benefit from starting off with heating the pot, as discussed above. However, once the tea leaves are in the pot, this category will benefit from a quick rinse with boiling water. This quick rinse will get the tea to start brewing and releasing oils and juices. After that quick rinse, go ahead and brew as you normally would, but you’ll probably notice much more depth of flavor and aroma. Try and pour out as much water as possible, leaving the tea leaves as dry as possible in between brews.
- Herbal Infusions: While herbal infusions do benefit from the hot rinse of the teapot, they tend to have less depth and patience than true teas. Accordingly, they don’t really benefit from a hot rinse. There’s just not enough oil and juice in there to stand up to multiple brews, usually. So, once you do that quick rinse with boiling water, put the herbs right in there and brew!