Welcome to 2017, the year in which your kitchen counter could very well host a fancy Keurig for making coffee, a pricey Juicero for making juice you don’t need the Juicero to make, and a new $400 device for making tea.
The app-enabled Teforia Leaf claims to brew tea to perfection, as opposed to whatever pedestrian bag-dunking method you’re using. Depending on the type of its branded tea you crave, the gadget employs a series of short “microinfusions” and adjusts elements like water temperature and volume to “unlock each tea’s true character and depth of flavor,” per a description on Williams-Sonoma.com.
Gizmodo reviewer Libby Watson, a “literal British person” who drinks tea, reported the complexity of it all gave her an “existential crisis” while making her first cup. The tea, she concluded after questioning everything she ever knew about tea, was “fine.” And of course, some Twitter users were quick to chime in, critiquing the gadget as unnecessary and expensive since, you know, making decent tea really isn’t that hard.
Teforia Leaf hit the market last week as a cheaper version of the $999 (!) Teforia Classic, which debuted in 2015. The Leaf is currently available only online via the Teforia website, Williams-Sonoma and Amazon, where it has mostly positive reviews for its beauty and flavors.
Its $399 price tag includes 15 “Sips,” Teforia’s answer to K-Cups, which come in “varietals” from classic Earl Grey to more adventurous “Velvet Rubies” black tea. Just plug one in, and Teforia Leaf brews your specific tea to alleged perfection with its “advanced algorithms.”
One thing it can’t do is go in the dishwasher: “The Carafe and the Globe are not dishwasher-safe, which seems to really miss the point of being rich enough to spend $400 on a tea machine,” Watson points out.
Wild as it sounds, the Teforia Leaf does have a benefit: Optimal brewing time and water temperature do indeed vary by tea type, and while we humans may not often take time to consult the rules, Teforia knows them by heart.
However, that certainty comes with costs, both financial and in time spent washing the gadget. The Sips pods (between $1 and $6.50 when purchased individually) are recyclable, but you’ll need to separate them into three pieces and mail the lids back to Teforia in order to dispose of them properly.
Sounds like the regular ol’ brew-and-pour method would be easier, indeed.