My original review from Steepster after 1 month of use:
I love this! I had seen something similar at Teavana, but the pushy sales person there led me to look for other options. This is what I settled on, it's perfect and I don’t need to worry about my toddler getting ahold of it and breaking it. In the last week he’s managed to drop it several times on our tile floor and it bounces rather well.
The 16oz cup size is good for me and I like that there is also a 32oz option as well. I don’t have any serious complaints about it, but it doesn’t work with my 18oz stoneware mugs that I prefer to use for tea. Not a serious problem in my book, I’ve got a ton of other mugs that work just fine with it, they just don’t look as pretty.
It does drip a little on the counter after use, but I’ve solved this problem by setting the ingenuiTEA on top of a plastic lid from a 32oz gas station cup. It is the perfect size to fit down in the groves of the lid and it doesn’t depress the bottom and let tea go everywhere. I think I’m seriously channeling McGyver here :)
I love how easy clean up is and running a little vinegar water through it eliminates any lasting smell or taste from my stronger teas. I find that sometimes when I steep something with spices it tends to linger a bit and transfer to my next cup.
- Easy to use, little mess or cleanup
- Makes resteeping easy
- Durable, mine has even been toddler tested and approved
- Filter works well, even with herbal and rooibos teas containing small particles
- Travels well
- Hard to clean
- Doesn't work with all mugs
- Permanent filter
- Retains scents and stains
- Poor heat retention
Where to Purchase
My Thoughts 6+ months later:
I still love my ingenuiTEA, but I have a few more complaints about it now that I've used it for so long. Over time cleaning this device has become a chore since the filter is not removable. You can remove the depression plate from the bottom to clean from underneath, but this isn't always an easy task. I bought some pipe cleaners that I can shove up inside from the bottom to scrub some of the build-up off, but this is time consuming and oftentimes messy.
With the onset of autumn I have discovered that spice teas create even more problems when it comes to cleaning up. The smaller particles tend to get stuck under the filter and cleaning with vinegar does not always remove them. I have also found that chocolate teas tend to leave a hard to remove film on everything. In cases like this I have taken to using a bit of Cream of Tartar to rub on any reachable surfaces, but due to the permanent filter I can't always get the film off the bottom plastic pieces.
This still remains one of the most often used pieces of tea ware that I own, just due to its convenience, and most of the time I can overlook the design flaws. I have considered purchasing a second ingenuiTEA to dedicate to unflavored teas so I can cut down on cross-contamination. The last thing I want is my expensive TieGuanYin to taste like cinnamon because I was lazy and didn't want to clean my steeper.
Suggested cleaners and cleaning methods:
- Baking Soda
- Cream of Tartar
I have three cleaning methods that I use regularly, but which one I use depends on the tea I've made.
Express Wash - I remove the tea leaves from the ingenuiTEA and give it a good rinse with water or vinegar. Many times that is all it needs.
The Works - This is necessary for anything that has left an oily film, such as chocolate. After rinsing the ingenuiTEA with water, wipe down the sides and filter with a little bit of cream of tartar and a tooth brush. This will gently scrub away any lingering film. Rinse well and let air dry.
The Motherload - For truly stubborn scents, stains, and films that just won't go away with the previous cleaning methods I move on to a combination of vinegar and baking soda. This creates a mini-volcano that brings out the kid in me, it's just so fun to watch. It is also important to carefully remove the depression plate and washer, then scrub up underneath the filter with a pipe cleaner. I wouldn't need the pipe cleaner if this had a removable filter.
My Rating: 95/100
Would I order this again? Yes, in fact I have ordered several for gifts this year.
Where to Puchase
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