Breville - BTM500: Best Overall
Tea lovers wax poetic over the Breville – BTM500, and we understand why. It has five programmed settings for black, green, white, herbal and oolong teas, each of which has a different temperature. Black tea is pre-set at the highest temperature of 212°F, and green tea is at the lowest temperature of 175° F.
The Breville took about five minutes to heat water to the selected temperature, at which point it beeps three times and waits (patiently) for you to add tea to the infuser. No other tea maker we tested had this feature. Whereas they all beeped when it was time to add tea, we only had a few seconds to add tea before those kettles would shift into steeping mode.
The Breville gives you the best control. Once the tea is added, you select one of five steeping times from two to four minutes. Herbal tea needs the longest to steep for its full flavor to be released; black tea needs only two minutes. When your tea is fully steeped, the Breville alerts you with another beep, and it automatically shifts to keep-warm mode for 60 minutes.
Another feature unique to the Breville is its magnetic lid. When the tea is fully steeped, the infuser needs to be removed, or the tea will turn bitter from over-steeping. You simply push down on the lid, and it magnetically attaches to the infuser, so it can be lifted out without your touching it.
As usual with many Breville products, build quality is beautiful. The kettle is made of borosilicate glass and brushed stainless steel, so it’s both sturdy and pretty on your countertop.
The Breville makes everyday tea-making a pleasure. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and it makes a perfect cup of tea.
- Five accurate programs for brewing and steeping black, green, white, herbal and oolong teas
- A countdown timer alerts you when it’s time to add tea and when your brew is fully steeped
- Easy to use, easy to clean
- High-end quality, made of borosilicate glass and stainless steel
- More than double the price of other tea makers.