New Tea Appliances Impress at World Tea Expo

Sophisticated new multi-temperature brewers were exhibited recently at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas and are now available to those who want extra care put into brewing their tea. Qi Aerista’s Smart Brewer and Bonavita’s 1.0L Variable Temperature Kettle are two to debut.

Qi Aerista Smart Brewer

Qi Aerista Smart Brewer, photo by Elizabeth Dobos

Rick Ha and Karen Wan founded Hong Kong-based Qi Aerista in 2013 to share their love of tea in a fun and customizable way while providing top-notch taste in every cup.

“When I was growing up in Hong Kong, my father used to bring my family to traditional tea restaurants every Sunday morning to enjoy fine teas and savory dim sum dishes, ” Ha said. “One thing that I don’t like about tea, though, is that brewing tea the traditional way tends to be a manual process. If I didn’t pay enough attention, I often ended up with over-steeped tea that stung my tongue and palate.”

Qi Aerista’s team invented the Smart Brewer with its patented aero-brew system that controls the four key elements of tea brewing: temperature, time, water flow and tea leaf immersion. An accompanying smartphone app can program tea brewing.

Ha and Wan launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 and garnered the support of more than 1,100 backers.

“The main feature of our patented Aero-Brew system is that the circulative flow of water for brewing tea is driven by air as opposed to a regular water pump,” Ha said. “Water will first heat up to the desired temperature inside the pot. It will then be driven through a specially designed conduit arrangement.”

Qi Aerista Smart Brewer App, photo by Elizabeth Dobos

Then, water is sprayed over loose tea leaves in an infuser basket at the top of the brewer, thereby creating even tea leaf immersion for steeping the optimum brew. The resulting tea that drains through a filter and into the pot has been brewed to achieve its best possible taste.

The brewer has preset temperatures and brewing times for black, green, white, pu’er, oolong and herbal teas, as well as settings for strong, cold and custom-brewed tea. Brewing temperatures range from 77 degrees to 212 degrees and brewing times range from 2 to 15 minutes.

The 4.8-by-9.5-inch brewer is made of borosilicate glass, stainless steel, FDA-approved silicone rubber and a cast aluminum handle. It is lightweight at 3.3 pounds.

Qi Aerista also has a tea club for people who want quality teas in their smart brewers.  A one-year subscription includes 36 loose leaf teas from China, including acclaimed Chinese teas such as Wild Dragonwell and Anxi Iron Goddess.

Bonavita 1.0L Variable Temperature Kettle

Bonavita 1.0L Variable Temperature Kettle, photo credit: bonavitaworld.com

Bonavita’s 1.0L Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle won the World Tea Award for Best Tea Brewing Device, Electric. The Seattle-based company is on a winning streak as last year its Glass Teapot won in the Best Tea Brewing Device, Non-electric category.

The brushed stainless steel electric kettle heats water precisely to the user’s preferred temperature as it is adjustable in 1-degree increments from 140 degrees to 212 degrees. It also has a 60-minute heat-and-hold and real-time temperature display. A timer meters brewing time and a real-time temperature display monitors water temperature.

The kettle is 11 inches long, 7 inches wide and 7.5 inches tall.