With both work and the holiday season keeping me busy and away from the blog as of late, I didn’t get around to holiday baking or taste-test reviews. As upset as I was when I realized how fast the time flew, I figured the next best thing would have to do. And what better way to get back in the groove than through my own gifts? Since Christmas was the perfect time to ask for tea and related accessories, I asked for a gift I’d been eyeing for months: Hiware’s Good Glass Teapot with Stainless Steel Infuser. Boy, was I excited when I unwrapped that box!
According to its Amazon listing, this cute teapot is just what I needed for my growing loose leaf collection:
- Stovetop safe? Check!
- Built-in infuser? Yep!
- It’s a micromesh infuser? Even better!
- Simple, modern design? You better believe it!
- No odd taste seeping in every other brew? Just what the doctor ordered!
See, I have a stainless steel tea kettle. It works well, and it keeps my water warm for a long while; however, I can’t help but notice, much too often for comfort, that I have to fight that awful metallic taste. It frustrated me so much last month, especially since nothing I did seemed to stop it for long, that I went back to microwaving water in a cup or running water through my coffee pot. And that’s simply not good enough for a good cup of loose leaf tea.
So, I read the different pros and cons regarding the different teapot and kettle types, and while I understand many people had a problem with glass teapots breaking, I couldn’t help but be drawn to them, especially since many companies claim to have improved their glass durability, which has lead to highly rated products. Plus, it helps that the look is just nice compared to others. Whether I’m drinking by myself or having a nice cuppa when my tea-loving, Scottish grandmother visits, a glass teapot looks classy, and it even sets the mood for afternoon tea as you watch it steep and see that color deepen.
Of course, one other factor played into my decision to try Hiware’s product: cost. I never go for the cheapest product I can find, but I also didn’t want to ask for something more expensive, seeing as how I’ve never even used a glass teapot to know how I like it. I’d hate to waste a loved one’s money! Luckily, Hiware’s glass teapot was a good middle ground. At a $23.99 price, it was a good $7 to $9 more expensive than the cheaper glass teapots I found, but it also has a good set of reviews, 80% being four or five stars. Plus, the reviews showed it did just what I wanted: It safely heated water on a gas or electric stove.
With all this anticipation, combined the frustration with other methods, you can imagine how my Christmas morning went. I had the teapot opened for less than an hour before I washed it out and headed straight to the stove.
Upon opening the box, the pot was seated nicely in bubble wrap, and there were directions for use that were important to read. In fact, the directions had me a little nervous in the beginning. First of all, they recommended pouring hot or warm water into the teapot before steeping tea, just to let the glass come up to temperature safely. That didn’t make the pot sound safe for a stovetop! For loose leaf tea, the company also recommended to then insert the tea into the infuser and pour boiling water over it and into the teapot. What good does that do if I have to boil it elsewhere? I asked for a ‘two-in-one,’ darn it! Having read the many reviews on the product, however, I knew many people did use the pot to boil water on the stovetop, so I figured the best course of action was a compromise: I filled the pot a little over halfway with lukewarm water, then I turned the gas eye on low. This way I avoided a drastic temperature change from cold refrigerator water to the hot stove eye. The verdict? No problems.
I’ve used the teapot numerous times since receiving it, and everything works fine with the previous precautions. I also don’t let it boil long, just in case, but the water is so hot even with barely a bubble churning that you really don’t need to let it get to a full boil. It doesn’t take long at all to heat the water, period, and it steeps my tea just perfectly. There’s nothing like watching the water turn color and smelling the mouthwatering aroma of a freshly poured cup of loose leaf tea!
By filling Hiware’s 27-ounce teapot to about three-fourths full, I can make two full cups of tea (average coffee mug size). Plus, with the micromesh stainless steel infuser, I even successfully brewed a cup of Twinings English Breakfast loose leaf, tiny flakes of leaf and all, without ending with a cup full of leaf specks. In other words, it’s great for brewing any loose leaf tea.
One thing to note is that the teapot gets extremely hot when heating. You will need a pot holder to grab and hold the teapot without burning yourself, and never forget that, even when you’re just taking off the metal lid. I’m not sure how it would work on a warmer, but always be prepared, as glass is a good insulator of heat. I would not recommend using this teapot around kids, unless you are using it to steep and serve without boiling in the teapot itself. In addition, be aware that the handle is kind of small, even for the small hands attached to this 4’9″ body, and it feels even smaller when you use something to pick it up. In other words, just be careful.
All in all, my first impression is that I love it! I’ve greatly enjoyed the tea brewed in it so far, especially the difference it made in flavor compared with the stainless steel kettle and quick-and-easy microwaved hot water. I also like that it doesn’t make too much or too little tea. I received many tea samplers for Christmas (reviews coming soon!), and one sample pack of tea brews a perfect two cups in Hiware’s glass teapot. This is so much better than my usual method for two-cup use: pouring hot water over my used tea bag and hoping it steeps well a second time.
If you’re looking to test out a glass teapot, definitely give Hiware’s a shot!