Bodum Assam Tea Press Review

March 3, 2005

Bodum Assam Tea PressWhile I’ve never messed around much with coffee presses, I have to admit to being real fond of the Bodum Assam Tea Press.

Ever since I took off the “tea bag training wheels” and started brewing loose leaf teas, I’ve been looking for a convenient way of doing it.

I liked the much better variety and flavor of decent loose teas, but I always ended up messing up a double-handful of containers, one to heat the water in, one to brew the tea in, and one to strain the brewed tea in, etc.

Enter the tea press. No muss, no fuss — put the leaves into the brewing compartment, add water of the appropriate temperature (205 or so for black teas, a little cooler for green teas), and swish the plunger around a little to mix things up. After 3 – 5 minutes, or whenever the brew is to a suitable strength for you, press the plunger down, and pour the tea.

There are a lot of tea presses out there, but my choice is the Bodum Assam. Here’s what Bodum has to say about it:

Who knows more about tea than the British? When the British Tea Council asked Bodum to develop a new way of brewing tea, the result was this unique press that’s almost as much fun to look at as it is to use. Simply fill the strainer with tea leaves and add boiling water–a slow process, but well worth the time. (You could also use tea bags, but why would you want to?) The clear jug lets you see the tea as it’s steeping, allowing you to customize its strength to your taste. When the tea is strong enough, slowly depress the plunger to stop the brewing. You won’t have any tea leaves to read at the bottom of your cup, but there’s no mess and no need to remove the strainer before you pour. But be forewarned: the Bodum press doesn’t retain heat quite as well as a traditional teapot, so you might want to use a tea cozy if you’re not drinking the whole pot in one sitting. It’s a shame to cover up such a beautiful design, but that’s the way the tea leaf tumbles.

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3 Responses to “Bodum Assam Tea Press Review”

  1. Alex on October 5th, 2006 9:49 am

    But what does the plunger do, exactly? Does it mash the leaves together, crushing them? If so, that’s a big no-no as it leads to super-bitter, tannic infusions. Or does it simply cut off the leaves from interacting with the water somehow??

  2. Bill Miles on November 28th, 2006 11:41 am

    If you didn’t have the plunger to compact the leaves and separate them from the brewed tea, you have leaves in your tea when you poured.

  3. chris on June 21st, 2007 7:47 am

    @Alex: The bottom of the brewing compartment is solid (no holes). The plunger pushes the tea leaves down below the level of the holes so they no are no longer in contact with the water.

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