Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you drink more than two cups of tea a day. And if that is the case, I highly recommend the Micom hot water dispenser by Zojirushi. Although I, too, love the process of drawing fresh water and listening to the sound of gentle winds rustling through the pines as I heat water for my daily cup of humanity (no offense to Okakura), I’ve come to love the convenience my Zojirushi Micom 5L hot water dispenser offers me even more. I love it so much, in fact, that I can’t imagine living or working without it in our teahouse and at home. This nifty little unit boils, de-chlorinates, and keeps your tea warm at a preferred temperature for you of 208, 195, or 175 degrees F. Retailing at around $170 at various stores on the web, it may seem like a lot of money for something that just boils water and keeps your tea hot, but at the rate I use it, it’s well worth it. Not only do I always have hot, de-chlorinated water for tea, but also for pasta, soup, or anything I need to cook. In addition, I can use it if I need really hot water to clean or even gently heat something. Not only that, it saves energy because it reduces the amount of time it takes to boil water repeatedly on the stove, and I don’t have to use as much hot water from the tap when I wash dishes because I can use this water for removing stubborn food debris. I’ve had my Micoms for over six years, and they’ve been incredibly reliable, having never given me any problems despite taking a bit of a beating being hauled and banged around. The model I have also has a descale function, which is great when I have calcium deposit buildup. This function works like a dream, enabling you to rinse or even just swipe out the dispenser when the cycle is finished.
For use at the teahouse, our Micom is invaluable for all the tea tastings and seminars we do both on and offsite. It’s great having hot water to make tea on demand at these events, and it’s portable, unlike our Bunn 5x 5-gallon dispenser, so we can have our tastings anywhere. These handy units have also saved us during many a busy lunch service when we’ve had problems with our Bunn dispenser. If you’re in the market for a hot water heater, I highly recommend the 3L, 4L, or 5L Japanese-made Zojirushi Micom. If it offers you a few more free moments in your day to celebrate and enjoy your tea, it just may be worth it to you.