Here’s our Teforia Leaf review.
Back in October 2015, I introduced you to Teforia, a new startup that hoped to change the world with its high-tech, $1,699 iOS-connected tea infuser. Much has changed at Teforia since then. For one, there’s now a less expensive Teforia model available. For another, I’ve been using it for the past month and can’t wait to tell you about it here.
Say Hello to the Teforia Leaf Tea Infuser
Before going too far, I’ll let you know that I’m nowhere close to being a tea expert. My interest in Teforia, at least initially, was solely based on technological reasons. For one, the designers of the Xbox created the machine, which I thought was fascinating. For another, the brewer worked with an iPhone app, which sounded interesting.
Perhaps wisely, the company never sent me a review unit of the first Teforia. If they had, I would have almost certainly started my review by criticizing the product’s price, which was way too expensive for most users., tea connoisseurs or not. The recently rebranded Teforia Classic remains, but at a more reasonable price, $999.
This brings us to the Teforia Leaf, which was announced and launched on the market earlier this month. Priced at $399, the Teforia Leaf looks the same as the original model. What’s going on inside is what has changed.
There’s no denying it; the Teforia Leaf is the best-looking appliance ever to find a home in my kitchen. It’s better than my Kitchen-Aid Mixer with its iconic design, and its design does circles around my Nespresso Pixie, which I still adore after many years of use.
The Teforia Leaf, which measures 12 inches tall by 8.3 inches wide by 12.3 inches deep, is a beautiful device that ships in one of the nicest boxes I’ve ever seen. Each piece arrives safely surrounded by white cloth wraps that you can use later to clean the machine. Included in the box are the Teforia Infuser, Infusion Globe and Carafe, filter, and cleaning brush. You’ll also find a replaceable filter that’s designed to filter effectively through 50 liters of water, or 140 Carafes. There’s also a starter box containing 15 Sips of tea, which you’ll learn more about below.
Once installed, the first thing you’ll notice about the Teforia Leaf is its lack of physical buttons or controls on the front. There’s also no screen like you will find on many coffee machines. Instead, symbols appear on the front face of the device during the brewing process.
So how do you use the device? By swiping one of the Sips of tea on the Teforia symbol at the top of the device on the right. Each of these packs contains a RFID tag, which tells the Teforia Leaf what type of tea you’re asking it to brew.
Time to make some tea
There’s a lot of things that go into making the perfect cup of tea. I knew that there were different kinds of tea, such as Earl Grey, Breakfast Tea, and the like. I didn’t know the taste of tea is dependent on various factors, including where the tea is grown, at what elevation, and for how long. Also important is how the tea is brewed and for how long.
The Teforia Leaf’s infuser controls all aspects of tea making, including water temperature, brew time, steep time, and agitation. On paper, this sounds like a complicated process. Watching it through the infusion globe is a unique, enjoyable process.
Note that to fill the carafe requires anywhere from two to six microinfusions, a fancy name for the technology Teforia uses to make a great cup of tea with different layers of flavors. You can count the microinfusions by the number of times tea drops into the carafe during a brewing process.
About the Teforia app
The Teforia app serves some useful purposes. For one, you need to use it to setup the brewer for the first time. You must connect it to your Wi-Fi network as you would with other devices.
You can use the app to learn more about the tea you’re currently brewing, including the amount of time remaining. Each brew usually takes between four and seven minutes. You’ll also see a listing and details for every tea that you’ve infused. Tea Details include the Senses, Craft, and Terroir. You also can use the app to order more tea or find current deals on Teforia products.
Finally, the app allows you to “add your own tea,” which isn’t nearly as useful as you might think, as you’ll see in a section below.
Lots of tea
Teforia offers a well-stocked tea portfolio both on its website and through the app. Teforia sorts these by the kind of tea, such as black, breakfast, herbal, and oolong. You can purchase these by the Sips or choose from one of the various bundles with names like Explore, Caffeine, and Sunrise Sunset Pack.
Each Sips is priced at between $1 and $6.50, depending on the variety. Limited-edition packs are usually on the more expensive side. You can save 10 percent off your order by using the Perfect Cup monthly subscription. Don’t worry, the subscription plan doesn’t have a minimum requirement, and you can change or cancel your monthly order at any time.
Each Sips (which stands for Selective Infusion Profile System) is 100 percent recyclable and 90 percent compostable and includes all-natural whole-leaf tea leaves. The label, made of injection-molder paper, is not compostable.
How long can I use a Sips? You can use a single Sips container at least two to three carafes, except for certain tea like Ryokucha, which you can only use once. The brewer won’t allow you to brew these types of tea once you’ve scanned its Sips’ RFID chip.
Important things to keep in mind
Early in this review, I noted that the Teforia Leaf looks exactly like the more expensive Teforia Classic and that what’s on the inside is what has changed.
That inside is the type of tea you’re allowed to brew. Where the Teforia Classic lets you brew your own loose tea, in addition to the Sips, the Teforia Leaf does not. That’s right. You need to purchase Sips from Teforia to use the less expensive machine.
(This limitation makes adding your tea to the Teforia app much less useful; with the Teforia Classic, the app will use this information and make your tea.)
My initial take on this obvious limitation wasn’t good until I began using the appliance. The packaging that comes with the Teforia Leaf doesn’t make it clear that you can use Sips more than once. After knowing this, the price per carafe didn’t seem so bad.
For example, I can enjoy three “Daybreak” breakfast teas for just a $1 a day, which sounds more than reasonable. I can even splurge occasionally and buy the limited-edition Darjeeling First Flush Tea (2017) for $6 and still spend just $2 for each carafe.
Isn’t ordering tea online a hassle? No more so than buying something on Amazon.com. Besides, remember the Perfect Cup discount.
You should also be aware that the RFID tags on each Sips will expire after 16 hours, regardless of the number of times it’s been scanned. This limitation better ensures that each cup of tea is as good as the first. Once you’re done with your tea, unhook the infusion globe the throw away the leaves.
The Teforia Leaf certainly isn’t for everyone. It’s pricey, won’t allow you to brew your loose tea, and limits you to buying tea online. Everything else about the brewer is magical. I love its design, enjoy the taste of the tea it infuses, and like learning about new tea courtesy of the app.
And yes, the machine is geeky enough to make this techie smile.
You can purchase a Teforia Leaf via the Teforia website. For a limited time, the company is offering the machine at 25 percent off when you use the code “FREEDOM25” at checkout.
Do you have any questions about the Teforia Leaf? Let me know using the comments below or on Twitter.