Review: Sorapot tea pot. Verdict: Tea is officially sexier than coffee

sora1.jpg

Photos: Heather Beschizza

Sorapot is a stylish and expensive teapot made from stainless steel and pyrex. Designed by Joey Roth, it is undeniably a beautiful creation. There’s even a matching teacup.

But is tea brewed in it any good? I used it casually for a few days, including a blind test against a Brown Betty-style pot, and found it perfect as a compact tea-making gadget — a role that has its charms — but too small and fiddly to replace a traditional pot for hardcore tea addicts.

Pros:

• It’s gorgeous. Anyone who keeps it in a cupboard must be sent to industrial design appreciation camp. Pretty on kitchen counter and office desk alike, it’s also tidy. The “rectangular” base and short spout make it easy to store on a crowded shelf.

• The metal used is distinctive and heavy-duty steel, not the junk they make cheap kettles out of.

• It makes enough tea for two good-size cups: along with its small size, this makes it an effective way to get the business of brewing tea out of the kitchen and on to your desk.

• Watching tea infuse and seeing the leaves unfold is mesmerizing.

• None of the components will affect the brew’s flavor.

Cons:

• Small capacity means you won’t be making tea for more than one or two people.

• It cools quickly. The open spout, and perhaps the thin pyrex, are to blame. This is not so much a problem for fans of herbal teas, but black tea lovers will want to craft a “Soracosy.”

• You can’t stir the contents. The lack of a vent means that it can glug when poured, though it wasn’t too difficult getting used to it.

• Ground teas may escape through the large holes on the spout’s grille.

• The process of opening Sorapot is very clever, but likely to end in tears if you’re not careful. You cannot just whip it open; follow the instructions or risk breaking the flask or having a heavy chunk of steel crack the countertop.

Conclusion:

When it comes to getting a perfect brew, especially if you need lots of it, Sorapot’s little flaws mean that it’s not quite the equal of traditional pots. That said, it’s much better than garbage like the Sunbeam tea maker.

It’s especially good for those who tend to make tea by the cup, squeezing flavor out of lukewarm, milky teabags after a 30-second steep. Getting a Sorapot will civilize you, you filthy barbarians. Likewise, if you hate to lug around a bulbous, unweildy, desk-scorching traditional pot, Sora’s portability will do you good.

For the rest, it’s just a $200 work of art, and you’ll either like it or you won’t.

Sorapot [Joey Roth]

sora0.jpg
sora2.jpg
sora3.jpg
sora4.jpg
sora5.jpg
sora6.jpg

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Review: Sorapot tea pot. Verdict: Tea is officially sexier than coffee

  1. HeatherB says:

    The Klingon Kettle.

  2. Tommy says:

    $200? And it doesn’t work as well as my $30 Beehouse?

    Be my guest, but I’d much rather spend that $200 on good quality tea.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I recommend this one:

    http://www.adagio.com/teaware/ingenuiTEA_teapot.html?SID=36bcdc67a79f51e2f4635407f721a847

    which has the convenience of the french press approach, but none of the crushing. you put in the tea and water, and when time’s up, you just put it on top of your mug and it drains through the filter at the bottom — perfect!

    (also, in general, if you want a 2nd cup later, it’s better to re-brew by putting more water onto the same leaves, rather than letting the 2nd cup sit and steep to extreme bitterness before you want it.)

    cheers,
    acm

  4. Alys says:

    I don’t even own a teapot, yet I drink tea every day. I probably wouldn’t spend money on this though, gorgeous as it may be. I can just see one of my cats knocking it over onto the floor when they jump up onto the counter.

    I do need to buy a teapot though. Thank you for reminding me – it’s going on my list now. :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    That is the most over designed thing I’ve seen in literally years.

  6. MrPhoton says:

    I get real tired of overpriced fancy crap. Don’t get me wrong… I appreciate some fancy crap designs but why reinvent a worse version of the wheel? Cos it’s prettier? Bah!

    p.s. I make tea in a $20 secondhand french press which most of the above pros and none of the cons are applicable to.

  7. vespabelle says:

    It seems small to me, but maybe I drink too much tea.

    I’m so anti-gadget that I don’t even use a kettle to boil water for tea. regular pan (1959 vintage Revereware!) is good for boiling AND steeping! Then all you need is a cheap thermos/air pot to keep it hot.

  8. technogeek says:

    I like watching tea brew — exercise in convection currents and diffusion — so glass sounds fine to me, especially for some of the fancier tied teas which rehydrate into floating flowers.

    But even a vacuum bottle will lose some heat to radiation (which is why they’re typically silvered). And that would increase the fragility, which apparently is already questionable.

    I agree that the french press or something like it seems a simpler solution, unless you’re really into displaying your sophisticated teaware.

  9. Rob Beschizza says:

    You shouldn’t brew (black) tea in a french press because the glass used is typically too thin to chance pouring boiling water on it, and because pressing tea leaves will release tannin, which will make it bitter.

    Assuming it’s a nice pyrex one and you’re not actually depressing the sieve all the way, though, I’m sure it would be fine, except you again have the problem of heat escaping too quickly.

  10. tim says:

    I was taught how to make tea by Mr. Twinings some years ago. Fresh water, not previously boiled. Heat, pour a little of the getting hot water into the pot, swirl it around to warm the pot and throw away the water. Put the tea leaves in the warmed pot and wait for the kettle to boil properly. Pour the boiling (note to Americans – actually boiling, not out of a ‘quite hot’ spout on a coffee machine or one of those dreadful instant-hot-water taps) water into the pot and leave for 3-5 minutes to brew. Pour through a sieve into a china cup with milk already in it.

  11. clueless in brooklyn says:

    WTF?

    tea? have you not seen this already on 5 other blogs already and saying it’s cool but won’t change the world and certainly not worth $200

    is it b/c it produces “steam”?

    ugh. the water container is douche with a capital bag.

  12. dculberson says:

    Clueless is jealous because it’s prettier than him.

  13. lectroid says:

    ok, this is beautiful industrial design, and I’m not adverse to paying for what is, ultimately, a moderately practical piece of art. So, if I wanted something gorgeous on my high toned black granite kitchen counters with my stainless Sub Zero fridge and Viking range, I’d totally go for this.

    But, as I do not have the granite, the fridge, or the range, I find that this object:

    http://www.kitchenu.com/shop/product.aspx?ref=shopping&sku=2382

    to be quite pretty, with fewer of the cons (being glass, there’s still the problem of heat retention) and a MUCH better price.

    And it keeps the 2nd cup from overbrewing while I’m drinking the first.

  14. Rob Beschizza says:

    You know, the glass bodum teapots are very pretty. If nothing else, that does highlight the fact that the Sorapot is very much about owning the very best in design rather than a teapot o’ the line. It’s rather like buying a fancy sports car: it goes no faster than a cheap sports car, and is probably a bigger pain in the ass to boot, but hey: it’s a fucking Lotus.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The most beautiful teapot that I have used is actually a GROSCHE model called the Merlin.
    Its got a nice infuser, and I use it as a kettle as well on my gas stove to boil my filtered water,
    The steeper basket is the right size for 2 tsp of loose leaf oolong, and its steeps nicely in it as well. Lits of comments fro mmy guests on how gorgeous the Merlin is!

    I bought mine on Ebay…
    http://stores.ebay.ca/kitchenhaus?refid=store

    Try the link, they have some really cool items from the same company )Grosche(

    Sip away!

  16. HotPepperMan says:

    There is only ONE teapot to rule them all.

    http://www.brownbettyteapot.com/index.html

    and here also:

    http://www.englishteastore.com/brbete.html

    This classic is known to be THE best for making tea. Its shape is such that it allows the tea to circulate freely and also retains the heat. It has the added benefit of allowing people to make their own tea cosy with whatever crafting skills there are. I used to have one of these with an aluminum insulated clip-on cover and of course a knitted/crocheted version also.

    I can only assume that the comments about not being able to find good tea in mainland Europe are as a result of people not being able to speak the language and/or failing to go into one of the supermarkets where there is an incredible range of teas available. I live in Spain and travel to Netherlands, Germany, France, and Belgium regularly. There is no problem getting good tea in my experience (except at the Oktoberfest of course).

  17. Marley9 says:

    All my friends in Britain say that tea water should never boil, but just get close. Unless your in the Boston Harbour. Anyone? Bueller?

  18. gouldina says:

    Marley9, I’m British and I’ve never heard anyone say that. It is meant to be boiling. There is less agreement on whether to add the milk before or after the tea and I’ve heard reasonably convincing arguments on both sides.
    In my experience of drinking tea in the US though, you need to worry less about fancy teapots and get some decent tea. I could never get it strong enough. Same goes for continental Europe.

  19. Marley9 says:

    Gouldina, thanks.

    One thing, I have noticed while living in Germany. When you ask for tea, or an apfelschorle, or a glass of milk, they will always bring you the same thing…Bier. I love it here.

  20. gouldina says:

    Marley9, that does sound rather hard to fault yes :D

  21. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    And you can use it to make sure your shelves and counters are level.

  22. strider_mt2k says:

    Eww you guys just got Gizmodo’s two year old test sample passed along to you, didn’t you?

  23. Rob Beschizza says:

    I love the taste of Lam in the morning.

  24. Marley9 says:

    They should have used heavy gauge glass pyrex, and a finer mesh screen, but otherwise, this is win win win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

More BB

Boing Boing Video

Flickr Pool

Digg

Wikipedia

Advertise

Displays ads via FM Tech

RSS and Email

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. Boing Boing is a trademark of Happy Mutants LLC in the United States and other countries.

FM Tech