The Eight Cranes Perfect Steeper
Perfect Steeper (Glass or Polycarbonate Model) – $29.99
Perfect Steeper Gift Set (Steeper with 3 tea samples) – $39.99

Serious tea lovers will tell you there’s no substitute for brewing with loose teas. But although loose teas will brew up into a more flavorful, less bitter cuppa, they require extra equipment (usually some combination of teapots, infusers, strainers, and mugs) that would make it difficult (if not impossible) to carry around everything you need for a good-quality tea on the go.

The Eight Cranes Perfect Steeper is an innovative product hoping to change the mindset that loose teas cannot be brewed while on the go. The Perfect Steeper does a good job living up to its name – providing a compact, drip-free, and most of all, convenient means to brew loose tea on the go – all that’s needed is access to hot water.

Perfect Steeper Stands Out By Design

The key to the Perfect Steeper is its innovative design that incorporates the infuser (where the tea steeping takes place) into the top portion of the unit. As you can see from the video below, unlike other steeping solutions on the market, you actually flip the Perfect Steeper upside down to allow the tea leaves to begin to steep in the hot water inside the “steeping chamber”. When you feel the tea has steeped long enough, you turn the unit right-side-up, leaving you with perfectly brewed tea you can drink straight from the Perfect Steeper’s 8 oz. drinking chamber.

The drinking chamber is an insulated, double-walled design that keeps your tea hot but doesn’t burn your fingers. Both high-tempered glass and polycarbonate models are available to choose from (polycarbonate model has a glass interior chamber and poly exterior). In both models, the steeping chamber is composed of polycarbonate. All metal accents are stainless-steel and the the top lid is embossed with the Eight Cranes logo. All of the sections of the Perfect Steeper screw together into a leak-free cylinder that is 7.75″ high, 2.5″  diameter (outer diameter).

Tea in Two Minutes

The Perfect Steeper is simple to use and did an excellent job with the two kinds of loose teas I had on hand (a black tea and an oolong tea). The steeping chamber is large enough to allow the tea leaves to infuse properly, and would even handle rolled or leafy teas just fine. I love being able to watch the tea as it steeps, and even though I use a clock to make sure I don’t let the leaves steep for too long, you can almost tell just by looking at the shade of the tea when it’s ready to be flipped back over.

The sections screw together nicely without any difficulty, and when you’re ready to drink, the steeping chamber comes off and you set it upside-down, so there’s no dripping mess! The drinking chamber is comfortable to hold and drink from; the thread for screwing it into the steeping chamber is set far enough back from the lip of the unit so as to not interfere with the drinking process whatsoever.

For those that like more than the occasional cup, please note that your loose tea leaves can be re-used up to 10 more times! Simply add more hot water and repeat the steeping process again. (Your mileage may vary depending on the quality of the tea leaves you’re using, of course.)

The only complaint I have about the Perfect Steeper is that it isn’t dishwasher-safe. The three individual parts (top lid, steeping chamber, drinking chamber) are all very easy to hand-wash, though, so I’m not too bothered by this factor of the product.

Is The Perfect Steeper for You?

The Eight Cranes Perfect Steeper is an excellent product for tea enthusiasts on the go. While it probably won’t replace your existing loose tea brewing setup, it could easily be your primary brewing equipment if you’re a casual tea drinker or are just getting into experimenting with loose teas. And for everyone else, it would make an excellent addition to your tea-making setup, and give you a simple, clean, and convenient method to brew tea while in unfamiliar territory.

Pros:

  • The compact design allows one to steep, filter, and consume your tea in a single unit with no spills or mess.
  • The glass double-walled design feels solid and pleasant to drink from (and stays hot without burning your hand).
  • The Perfect Steeper doubles as your mug – no separate container required.
  • Ample-sized polycarbonate steeping chamber allows you to watch the infusion process, and is the perfect size for tightly rolled teas that need room to expand.
  • Easy to re-use your loose tea for multiple brewings without any additional mess or preparation.

Cons:

  • It is not dishwasher-safe, so you must wash the three pieces by hand.
  • It is not microwave safe (although I don’t know why you would want to microwave it anyway).
  • Be sure to get the polycarbonate version if you are worried about carrying around a glass container with you while out and about. I’m a bit of a klutz and this is a concern I have about the all-glass version.

Disclosure: I received a review sample of the Perfect Steeper from Eight Cranes, but chose to purchase it rather than return it at the end of the review period.