Friday, October 26, 2007

Travette and Tea.

Hey all,

I hope you're all enjoying having more than one or two posts a month. Considering the amount of product reviews that I have in the works, this should last easily until the end of November! Remember - product reviews and reader suggestions are what most posts are made of!

Recently, Steve of Timolino sent me their Travette Tea Pot to see what I thought. The first thing that hit me when I removed it from it's shipping box was the product packaging! The box itself is definately pleasing, and looks very nice all by itself. The box, however, is certainly not the best feature of the Timolino.

When I took it out of the box, I was actually surprised at just how nice it looked on my table. It definately has appeal. But often I receive a pretty product that does nothing besides look pretty - not what you want in a Tea product! The Timolino, however, is as functional as it is aesthetic.
If you look at this picture of it, you can see the elegance that I am referring to. The teapot consists of several components. First is the base with the black handle. The base of the Travette is very durable, and has some rubber on the bottom for traction. Inside, it contains polished stainless steel with what appears to be a safety coating (which is why it is a slightly different color than the brushed steel on the outside) - a good move!

The second component is the filter-lid, which contains two parts: The filter cup and the lid. The lid sits on the pot very well, with no twisting required. A gentle push sets it firmly on the base and a gentle pull removes it. The effort required to take the lid on and off is also very important to the overall quality of this product!

With non-twisting lids, you often have a lid that either takes too much effort to remove, which can result in a mess if you're dealing with liquids (especially hot tea!), or a lid that doesn't affix firmly enough, making it somewhat difficult to handle the product without removing the lid. The Travette represents a fantastic balance between the two. It's seems to require just the right amount of pressure to install and remove the lid. I couldn't imagine it working any better.

The filter mesh is also impressive. It's quite large (probably the largest I've seen on a portable product like this), and able to handle any herb or tea you might place in it, while allowing plenty of room for the leaf to expand. The filter mesh is easily removed from the lid for filling, and slides back into the lid just as easily, with no clicking or pushing required. A great feature of the lid is the cover that closes over the filter mesh. You can lift the cover to watch your beverage brew, or you can tightly close the cover to avoid any spillage. One particularly good side effect of this is that you can add to the filter mesh while the beverage is brewing! I found this to be especially useful.

The third component is an optional one. When ordering the tea pot, you can add $2 to have it included. That third component is a drinking lid. This has definite implications regarding convenience - you can brew and drink your tea from the same pot easily, however if all you use the pot for is basic brewing, and prefer to pour your tea into smaller teacups, then you'd not have need for this. I feel that making it optional was a very appropriate move.

Now, considering some of the very positive advantages of this teapot (including it's ease-of-use, aesthetics, etc), I must consider disadvantages. One thing I might note here is that the filter mesh is made of nylon rather than the higher quality stainless steel that many other pots use. The advantages of stainless steel over nylon are durability, and less residue (nylon sometimes can leech chemicals). Nylon is, however, slightly cheaper, and some might find that it is easier to clean.

The Travette is one of the best designed products I have reviewed to date. It is simply done very, very well. It's convenient, it's easy to use, it's aesthetically pleasing, and it does everything it claims to do - and does so quite well.

I'd recommend this product for anyone looking for a small and portable one to two person teapot.

Thanks again to Steve from Timolino for making this product review possible!

Over and out,
Relznuk Zero Relznuk