If you’re not familiar with my perfect cup of tea formula, now’s the time to acquaint yourself with it:

W+3T = Perfect Cup of Tea

W = delicious pure water and 3T = temperature, time, and tea (excellent whole-leaf tea, of course).  It almost goes without saying that no tea can be outstanding without first starting with optimal water.

Mavea water filtration systemSo when I was asked to review a water-filtration system by Mavea, I couldn’t resist.  Upon opening the box, my heart sunk – assembly was required.  As a long-time feminist, I’m ashamed to confess to my initial impulse to call my husband and ask him to put it together for me.  Upon further consideration, however, I realized that if I was truly to evaluate this product, I must do everything myself.  With my heart in my throat, I unwrapped everything and started to read the manual.  Much to my delight, it wasn’t difficult at all.  In fact, I had it washed and put together in less than five minutes.  Truth be told, my husband could have done it in half the time.  But suffice it to say, the setup was easy.  Finding the design pleasing to my aesthetic, I had no objection to having the product sit on my counter or table.  After two run-throughs to clean and prime the charcoal filter, I was ready to try the water.  I was impressed that they recommended using the undrinkable water for plants – I’m a huge fan of water conservation.  We all must be if we expect to have sufficient water to quench the masses.  The unique design allows you to fill the pitcher right through the lid and lets you know it has reached its maximum capacity by closing itself.

My first glass of water was delicious, so I knew my tea would be more than happy swimming around in the pot.  And boy was I right.  I thought white tea, having the most subtle of flavor profiles, would be the best to assess the water quality and the harshest judge.  The results were as I had expected – all tea – no unpleasant flavor or taste that didn’t belong.

I also appreciate the electronic component, which, once activated, reminds you that it’s time to replace the carbon filter.  According to the company, they use a three-way meter that measures “volume of filtered water, water quality (hardness) and time.”  They estimate that the filter will need to be changed every two months, but, of course, it is heavily dependent on usage.  If I had one complaint, it was that the pitcher doesn’t hold much water.  However, given how quickly it filters through the carbon filter, it’s really not such a big deal.  I wouldn’t want the overall size to be any bigger, so short of that, there doesn’t appear to be any other option.

I’d decided to give this to my daughter, but she reminded me that she has a water filter system at her sink – thank you very much.  When I asked her when she last changed the filter, she said “about a year ago.”  Need I say more?

Thank you, Mavea, for creating a beautiful and important product for tea drinkers in America, France, and Spanish-speaking cultures – just wanted to prove that I read the manual.

For more information, check out Mavea’s blog.