Every once in a while, the perks of being the editor-in-chief of the #2 tea blog are particularly sweet.  I saw the Capresso PerfecTea pot a few weeks ago and was eager to give it a try, so I contacted the company and they sent me one for my review.  As some of you may remember, I’ve been using the Zojirushi electric dispensing pot for years as I believe having hot water at the ready is key to drinking lots of tea throughout the day.  My recent concern about this appliance is that it’s got plastic components that house the hot water.  There has been a lot of scientific evidence that plastic, when heated, releases toxic compounds.

Although the manufacturer assured me that BPAs were not released into the water, I’d still prefer to eliminate the plastic entirely.  Remember how safe we all felt about nalgene water bottles initially?  When I saw Capresso’s glass canister, I was intrigued.

The Capresso is attractive and easy to use, with five temperature settings ranging from 100 to boil.  I love the fact that it can heat water to temperatures other than boiling.  That allows for optimal oxygenation of the water.  I promptly filled the carafe with the minimum allowable amount of water – which is 16 ounces – a bit more than I’d like.  If I’m making tea for myself and my partner, that’s perfect.  But if it’s just for me, that’s twice as much water as I need, which causes me to have to wait longer than necessary for the correct temperature – which in my case is just under two minutes for 195 degrees.  If I can get the water started before I get my tea ready, I find that I’m not waiting long at all.  The first few heatings released an unpleasant plastic odor, but it passed after that.  I suspect it came from the plastic lid, which fortunately doesn’t touch the heating water.  After I pour my eight ounces, there is considerable condensation on the carafe as I leave the remaining water to sit.  Since the water didn’t boil, I’m willing to leave the filtered water in the carafe and refill it to reach the minimum water level.  I’d prefer having a smaller carafe, but I realize I’m not the typical tea drinker and most consumers want more than eight ounces of water when preparing their tea.

All things considered, this is a tea-making appliance that will get lots of use at my house.  It’s a big step in the right direction.  With a price point of $89.99, I think it’s a healthy alternative for having quick hot water available in less than a few minutes – no timer or thermometer needed.