Performance and taste
Teforia claims its Infuser makes tea using proprietary recipes that were "crafted with tea masters and artisans" and take "dozens of variables" into account, including infusion temperature. In the lab, however, we didn't see much difference in the Infuser's brewing from cup to cup.
Whether I told the Infuser to infuse black tea from a Teforia-branded Earl Grey pack, my own storebought leaves or a Teforia "Hibiscus Song" herbal blend, water inside the infusion globe never exceeded 186.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Brewing times were very similar too, though I did observe a range between 5 minutes (thin-cut black tea) and 6 minutes and 17 seconds (rolled pearl black tea leaves).
The infusion process is fun to watch, though. Hot water drips over the tea leaves to fill the globe halfway. Next the machine pumps air into the mixture, which agitates it. Finally, water flows into the globe to fill it completely.
After steeping for a moment, brewed tea is strained through a mesh filter inside the globe and falls into the waiting carafe. Within each brewing cycle this process is repeated three times, by the end of which the carafe should be full with about 12 ounces of liquid. Teforia calls these short steeping events "micro infusions."
Teforia further explained that these micro infusions are designed to unlock the pleasant flavor compounds inside tea leaves, plus caffeine, and leave the stringent tannins behind. The company also confirmed that the Infuser doesn't brew at the high temperatures traditional methods call for since it isn't necessary.
The tea I sampled from the appliance was good, though it didn't bowl me over with intense flavor. In fact, my favorite black tea blend, Royal Breakfast from Louisville Tea Company, tasted better brewed in the $78 Espro Press P5 than in the Teforia Infuser.
According to Teforia, I'd need to run something truly exceptional through the Infuser in order to really appreciate it -- something rare, handmade and close to $100 per pound. I'm no business mogul and don't have that sort of tea on hand (but then, neither am I the target buyer for a $1,500 teapot). Still, I can confirm that the Teforia Infuser brought out a little better flavor than usual from my $6-per-pound Tetley loose-leaf black tea.
Is buying the Teforia Infuser a smart move?
Absolutely not. There are appliances that brew the sort of tea I prefer to drink with the same results. The $78with tea filter and $219 spring to mind, both of which create cups of tea with adequate quality for my tastes.
Even if spending $1,499 is as painless for you as purchasing a pack of bubble gum, investing in a Teforia Infuser isn't the best use of your money. Instead, I suggest learning how to brew artisan tea by hand. Think of all that fancy tea you could get using the money you'll save.