Monday, August 31, 2009

- Favorite Things: Alfi

I had dinner last night with friends & discovered there were avid tea drinkers among them, so I made them a pot of tea and expounded on my love for my Alfi. That made me realize I should share my delight with other potentially like-minded souls!

First, let me position my tea drinking habit: I am a tea philistine. I like black tea, fairly dark, with a lot of milk and sugar. My needs and requirement are simple and unrefined. I just like the taste. I do not worry about whether the water is boiling, just under, or whatever temperature releases (or does not release) unattractive tannins. Whatever! For me the issue is simply: does the water turn dark enough and if I put a lot of milk in it, does it stay hot enough (but not too hot) to sip and enjoy immediately?

Like a baby gosling, I am imprinted on Twining's Earl Grey blend as my tea of choice, but I've been willing to branch out--Bigelow's English Teatime, Twining's Irish Breakfast & have even liked some loose teas: Red Blossom's Keemun and their Hunan Black are in my cupboard

So why do I think this Alfi is great? Well, in general, I make myself a pot in the morning & then drink it throughout the day. I used to have various tea cosies to fit various tea pots to try to keep it warm, etc. but by the third cup, I needed a microwave to warm it up. Yes, I have done it and lived to tell the tale. If you microwave with the milk in, you don't have to do it as long & usually it tastes OK to me.

But this Alfi has an internal glass thermos with a sealed lid that opens and pours with a finger press. It keeps that pot of tea (without a stained tea cosy) beautifully hot and drinkable for a very long time. Even if you're a more refined tea drinker (or even a coffee drinker who may not care for having the coffee pot sit on the heater for hours) I think you'll find the Alfi a highly useful and lovely addition to your life.

I still use my tea pots for loose tea, but the Alfi is my pot of choice for tea bags. I only use one tea bag per pot and get about three mugs of tea per pot. And it's very cute! Once I realized how wonderful the Alfi was, I ordered 10 more to be sure I had one in every house I spent time in (that is I gave them as Christmas presents to all close family and friends...).

My handy plug-in Capresso water boiler (pictured on the right) was used it in my office, but I've migrated one use at home as well, so I never have to worry about forgetting water on the stove. In my office, an Alfi, a water boiler, a small refrigerator for milk, a supply of sugar, spoon and mug and I never needed to go to the kitchen.

Here is one of my Alfis at home. It's sitting on a tile my husband bought me when he went to the Taj Mahal. Nothing's too good for my Alfi....


I am not (alas) getting any kickbacks from Alfi on this. The information shared is solely to let you know about what I think is a great product that may meet your needs.

Drink up!


Anne McAllister said...

Do you take applications to get on your Christmas list, Isabel? ;)

Alfi sounds like my kind of guy, er, heat-sustaining-tea-gizmo. Thanks for posting about it.

Don't you love it when you find something cool that you want to share with everyone? I'm remembering the year everyone I know and love got a Magna-Brite to read maps with, whether they wanted it or not!


Isabel Swift said...

What is Magna-Brite? I must have one!

Anne McAllister said...

You can read all about Magnabrite (I guess they don't actually use the apostrophe. Hmmm.) here:

Love mine. And it really does draw in available light. Handy to have when using in a car, particularly.

Isabel Swift said...

Thank you! Nice. It looks very substantial & well crafted, but I actually want to find one with a light built in. Sometimes my "all available light" is not much light at all....

Donna Alward said...

Oooh the Alfi looks like a gadget I must have! And so pretty!

I am like you Isabel - I like black tea, fairly strong. No sugar, but I do like milk and I like it hot. The true test would be - will Alfi keep my tea HOT?

I too like Twinings Irish Breakfast. I don't like Earl Grey but I do like English Breakfast a lot as well.

Isabel Swift said...

Donna: we are aligned in most things, but when I did an A/B taste test (I have no taste memory, so can only figure out a preference if I taste things back to back) and determined that I liked Irish, but didn't really like English Breakfast. Go figure! And hot milk in tea....not for me. I like it with coffee, but heated milk tastes different to me & I prefer the regular milk taste.

Let me know if you try the Alfi. Everyone's preferences and usage patterns are so different, it's hard to know what will work.

College Term Papers said...

A great article indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis of the current and past scenarios. I would like to thank the author of this article for contributing such a lovely and mind-opening article.