Technologising the perfect cuppa
Sage Teamaker By Heston Blumenthal Price: €250 from Harvey Norman Rating: ***
I am regularly berated for getting the tea "wrong". Sometimes the charge is "not enough milk", but usually it's miscalculated strength. So I'm quite impressed with this gadget, which introduces a dollop of predictability to proceedings.
It uses a thermostat and a motorised timer to extract the 'right' level of flavour (or 'tannins') from the tea. Set your time and your temperature and it will lower the leaves ( tea bags also work, but are less predictable) into the hot water for the right amount of time.
There are different types of tea accounted for in the settings, too. For instance, green tea shouldn't have boiling water and the gadget takes account of this. The only downside is that this looks like a little like a blender: you won't want it sitting beside the 'good' china.