Heston’s new Sage tea maker — A review

Sage Appliances Tea Maker

Last week really was a week of two halves.  Monday started with me interviewing Myleene Klass, Friday saw me in A&E for three hours with a suspected broken ankle.

But in the middle something happened that made my month.  My year even.

A Sage tea maker arrived.  You might not have heard of them but me being me, and heavily into tea I had seen they were being launched last month and knew I had to have one.  I am a real tea bag.  I love it.   Well you can’t spend twelve years being called T Brewin and not love a cuppa.

I don’t drink coffee, I don’t even drink gin (but don’t tell anybody about that last one or I will get thrown out of the blogger’s club), I love tea.  We have a whole cupboard of it.   And being at home all day I drink a lot of it.   And you know that feeling when you have had an amazing cup of tea and want another but that means making another mug?  Well this little beauty stops that.

It is an electric tea maker.   And so NOT a teasmade.   And because Heston Blumenthal has put his name to it you just know it is going to be fabulous.  Have you eaten at the Fat Duck?  No, me neither but I have been to his Little Chef in Popham (told you I was a classy bird) and those fish and chips were to die for.

Heston Blumenthal has developed a range of kitchen appliances called Sage, the tea maker is just one of those appliances.  There is also, amongst other things,  a toaster, a juicer, a coffee machine and an ice cream maker.    Sage means wise don’t cha know.     I think it’s a cool name for the range.  Well “Bonkers” probably got vetoed.    Heston is a bit bonkers, isn’t he?  I love everything he does (did you see the giant KitKats and Hula Hoops?!) but he is just a bit bonkers.   And wise too.

In Heston’s own words, this is what he says about making tea:

The younger a tea leaf is harvested, the lower the temperature that bitter tannins are released.”

So like most things, the right time and temperature are critical for a great cuppa.  So as well as being a kettle, this product makes tea perfectly and automatically.  You can even programme it to start before you wake up and watching the basket move up and down is just brilliant!

Whether you prefer green, white, oolong, herbal or black tea this ‘kettle’ knows the precise temperature for it.  You can also control the strength of the tea (from mild to strong).  Once the water has reached the optimal temperature, the stainless steel tea basket silently lowers itself into the water for auto steeping.  The automatic lifting and lowering of the basket allows the tea leaves to circulate for maximum infusion.  Once complete, the chime sounds to let you know your tea is ready to enjoy.  But just in case you’re not ready, there’s a 60 minute ‘keep warm’ button.

Heston’s Tip: When it comes to brewing, the less oxidised teas like green and white teas release their tannins at a lower temperature. If you brew too hot, the bitter flavours over power the tea. Conversely, if you brew too cold you don’t release enough flavour from the leaf. The right balance is all about the right temperature.”

Makes sense doesn’t it?

So having read what Heston says, I thought I would video it and show you just how simple it is:

Sorry about my rubbish video skills.

And I know what you are thinking though if you have seen it in the press…  it’s just under £200.  I know.  It is a lot of money.  BUT if you love tea as much as I do it really is well worth saving up for.   I know people who spend that on coffees from certain high street coffee shops in a couple of months.

And of course if you want more info on Sage Appliances you can look here:  Sage Appliances

Available from John Lewis and Lakeland

If I had one tiny criticism of it, it would be that tea stains things and after only a week the base of the jug and the tea basket are looking very grubby.   It was so shiny when it arrived I would have loved it to stay that shiny, but sadly now they are marked with tea.  The basket is dishwasher safe but still looks dull now, and of course the jug can’t be cleaned so it looks stained.  I don’t know if they could have been black, maybe?   It obviously doesn’t detract from how it works, just me wanting it to still look very shiny on the inside.

Now if you will excuse me, I just heard the beep so I am off for another cuppa.

*****

Disclaimer:  I was sent one of these for the purposes of review as I shouted about my love of tea very loudly.  The fact I got it for free has not influenced the review in anyway.

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  • Oh my goodness. My mum is as much a fan of tea as you are: she comes from a long line of people boiling the kettle for one cup whilst cup two is brewing in the pot and cup three is being consumed. *adds to Christmas List*

  • Hi T,

    Great review, thanks.

    For cleaning we agree this was one of our worries. Therefore we have created a cleaning tablet for the jug of the tea maker to keep it shiny and new. We also recommend boiling the juice of a lemon and leaving over night, or adding 6 tablespoons of white wine vinegar to water and boil, then leave over night. I hope this helps.

    And again, we love the review and video.

    Thanks

    • Hi!

      Thanks so much for you kind words. And more importantly for letting me know about the tablets! Great idea. And I will try the lemon juice and vinegar tips too.

      Really appreciate you taking the time to pass those on

      T

    • Where can I buy these tablets as the only ones available on the Sage website are the Espresso tablets which are only recommended for the coffee machine. Many thanks

  • I’ve just sat completely mesmerised by your tea making video. Who said it was just the Japanese who used tea making as an art-form. I feel all kinds of serene now and in much need of a brew!

  • Wow! That looks an amazing tea maker – very versatile. Thank you so much for trying it with our tea too!

  • Oh my goodness I want one too! I could just sit and watch the water boil, I always think it looks so beautiful with the bubbles rising. I could almost smell the tea – right off to the kitchen – you’ve woken up my taste buds!

  • Just one question: is the keep hot function supposed to last for 60mins regardless of how many times the jug is removed from the base? Mine keeps going off every time I remove the jug to pour a cup of tea. The instruction manual appears to say that it is supposed to stay hot for the whole 60mins. Any ideas?

    • Hi David. Mine does, yes. I will forward your comment to Sage and see if they can come back to you as it is not something I can help with.

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  • Hey MB!
    quite a few months down the line now and mines stained too – Im not sure about the tablets and I tried the lemon and vinegar but didn’t get much luck. I did want to try lemon and bicarb but only had limes and baking powder, it still worked!
    I just boiled the juice and full lime in with 3 teaspoons of baking powder (filled the jug completely and lowered the basket by pressing and holding the basket button).
    Bicarb and Lemons would probably be better, but still lol. The tannin seemed to just flake off in some bits (I think where the limes were touching the metal). I still had to give it a gentle clean with a scourer sponge to shift the majority of it.
    Mines still getting used like teas going out of fashion though ;-P

    • hello hello!!! Glad you are still loving it. I have been tipped off to use Oust. Its a liquid descaler that you can add to boiling water. It is amazing. They sell it in Tesco. I have done it a couple of times and it has come up like new.

      • I clean mine with bleach – and it comes up a treat.
        Take the sieve and lid off the rod and lay on the bottom of the jug, with the ring away from the rod so it doesn’t stick to it.
        Fill the jug 3/4 full of warm water and add a good squirt of bleach.
        Leave for 2 hours and hey presto! Remember to rinse the jug and bits before using again.

  • Thank you both for the tips! Im going to be on the look out for Oust now, its already on the list lol.

    I think I might finish off what tea is left in the jug and give the sieve a bleaching today because its the one thing that didn’t get cleaned properly.

    My latest tea related fad is Bubble tea, have either of you tried that before?

  • I will certainly buy one while the stain should not be a problem. Take just a tablespoon or two of oldfashioned ordinary kitchen soda. The water does not need to boil; lukewarm is enough. Leave it for a while and try the result with your daily dishwash brush.
    Have fun and good luck.
    Carla

  • I’m a tea bag too!
    Do you know if you can put normal tea bags in it? We drink a lot of tea and I don’t have the time or inclination to be cleaning out tea leaves all the time.
    Thanks!