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Review: Bodum “Assam” Tea press

assam_small My wife works at “Five-bucks” and decided to pick up a Bodum “Assam” tea press pot – since she got a 30% discount. She bought the 1.0 liter version.

The idea of the pitcher is that you can brew your tea and “press” it in order to stop the infusion process. In theory, this works well but I am not exactly sure that it “stops the infusion” since the basket is still submerged in the hot water – even though no new water is mixing with the leaves. pressfilter_smallIf you look at the basket, you’ll notice that the bottom of the basket has no holes. This is where the tea presses into. The plunger does not compress all the way, just to the solid section of the filter, so you don’t have to worry about actually squeezing the leaves – WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO! The brosilicate glass is very light and incredibly clear so you can really appreciate the color of your brew.

The basket on the 1 liter version is large enough for most smaller leaved teas to have plenty of room to bloom. Some larger leaved Oolongs or Purer’s may suffer a bit of claustrophobia, but they should still be able to brew properly. The whole thing is dishwasher safe, so cleanup is a snap.

The one major negative is that the lid/plunger does not have a tight fit, so you have to hold the lid as you pour – this pot pours beautifully. For the price I would have expected a more firmly fitted lid and was disappointed when the lid and plunger fell out of the pot as I poured my first cup. This comes back to my initial point of the claim that the tea stops brewing after you press it. If the plunger comes out that easily when you pour, how tight can the seal be?

I made a second pot, re-infusing the leaves, and there was no bitterness – so I assume that the infusion process stopped, or at least slowed, after pressing the tea. All in all, I dig the pot. It looks nice, performs well all things considered.

If you see this pot in your local “Five-bucks”, and are in the market for an attractive, functional tea pot, drop the $40 you won’t regret it.

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