Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Review of the Bodum Assam 1L Teapot

Today, I am changing things a bit and including an atypical, yet not off-topic, review for your enjoyment! As might have been evidenced from the title of this blog, if not also from some of the posts, here, I love tea. For me, having good, functional teaware takes the process of making tea from a chore to something I enjoy doing.

Enter the Bodum Assam. I actually purchased this 1 liter teapot over four years ago, and it has served me well over that long period of time. My first impression of this pot was how much it looked like a fishbowl. However, not to be dissuade by the humor (or the price, which may be a bit daunting), I took a chance and purchased it. With every subsequent use, I find myself more and more convinced that it is completely worth the money and may even become a daily-used item for others, as it did for me.

Not much has changed in the design of this pot, since I purchased mine, four years ago. There are now four different colors offered (black, red, lime green,  and off white), whereas, before, only black was available. Additionally, for a slightly higher price, a model with a stainless steel filter can be purchased. Bodum, also, now, offers a 0.5 liter version, which I will review soon.

This teapot may seem fragile, but looks can be deceiving. The handle is attached with a high quality glue that has never given me issues. While the walls may seem thin, this teapot has survived several drops on both linoleum and carpet (while empty). The glass also seems to be scratch-proof, though I have not used this pot in situations where such would be tested, aside from stirring the contents with a metal spoon, on occasion.

Another word on the glass: unless you drink a lot of tea quite quickly, intend to use this pot for entertaining guests or making cold tea, or utilize a tea cozy, a warning must be provided. I have not found that hot contents will remain hot for very long, even if the top of the pot is covered. In my experience, a full pot of tea will cool to lukewarm (or cooler) in about thirty minutes. That being said, filling the pot completely is not necessary, based on personal preference.

The filter is the one aspect of this pot that I feel could be somewhat improved. The high grade plastic is quite sturdy and dishwasher safe (as is the teapot itself). However, while using the press, the plunger on the filter will often not remain at its highest position. This does not impede the steeping of tea, but it does seem to be against the original design. Additionally, the lid on the plunger mechanism settles into the top of the filter quite loosely, which can make inserting and using the plunger a bit of a clumsy operation.  I cannot speak to the design of the stainless steel filter, as I have not had the opportunity to utilize it. (I tend to avoid any filter issues, all together, by putting my loose leaf tea in the pot without a filter, but this is, again, personal preference.)

Overall, I feel that this was one of the best pieces of teaware that I have ever purchased. The versatility and quality of the Bodum Assam is unmatched by many other teapots, and I highly recommend it for those, who are new or experienced with tea.

The 0.5L next to the 1.0L

The Bodum Assam 1L teapot with high grade plastic filter can be purchased through the Bodum website, here, or from a number of other retailers. (I bought mine from Peet's Coffee & Tea.) This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.

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