I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, since August in fact, but I’ve been waiting to do it properly so firstly apologises for the delay but secondly I’m going to make it up to you!
Back in April 2011 I published ‘A Great Iconic British Invention: The Teasmade‘ which details a short history of the Teasmade, today’s 21st century Teasmade and how the Teasmade actually works. Swan got in touch with me after reading my post and offered me a complimentary ‘Vintage Teasmade’, the yet to be released STM101 model.
It arrived at my home address when I was in limbo between moving out of my London property to my Nottingham student house, due to my lack of daily routine at that time I wasn’t using the Teasmade enough to write a decent review. But since October I have been using it as usual and would like to share with you my impressions of the newest model, STM101.
Firstly, let’s start with the packaging. Labelled as The World Famous Teasmade, a British Design, Swan presents the product in simple white packaging, with a large image of the model on the front of the box. An address to the product’s Facebook page is clearly highlighted on both sides as well as the top of the box and a QR code offers those consumers with smartphones the opportunity to scan the code and be directed to Swan’s website.
One of the things I loved about the packaging of this model (which didn’t feature in the previous model) was the brief mention of the Swan Brand Heritage on the inner flap of the box. This instantly makes the augmented values of the product stand out, it was an unexpected addition to the product but an appreciated one at that. Following that, Swan take the opportunity to advertise another of their product ranges on the wings of the box, labelled ‘this seasons must have colours‘, an array of colourful kettles are displayed. The product itself can be found amongst polystyrene and plastic sheeting, well protected and neatly packaged.
If, like me, you’re one of those people that doesn’t believe in instruction manuals (it’s more fun to work it out yourself right??) then you can ignore this part. But for the sake of the review, here’s my impressions of the instructions which Swan ask you to ‘read carefully before using’ (opps!).
Another augmented feature is found at the introduction of the manual, the message congratulates you for joining the Teasmade revolution! “With this iconic product” it reads “you are joining a unique group of people – going back 70 years or more – who just have to be woken with a nice, hot cup of tea in the morning – and who can blame you“. Again, this is a lovely personal feature which instantly makes you feel proud of your product. The manual continues with easy to read safeguards and pictorial instructions (see you can tell I haven’t actually read it…).
Perks of this model
So what differs from this model to the previous STM100 model? First things first, the flat lid. I didn’t realise that I’d prefer a flat top until I had one! But how much more convenient; somewhere to store your cup, mug, teacup and saucer or whatever you choose to drink from. With the previous model having a curved lid, which you weren’t able to remove as it opened on a hinge, I used to keep my mug on my windowsill. Now I store it on top of the product and once the tea is boiled I take the pot out of it’s compartment and keep it next to the mug to brew.
Another genius addition, or more like subtraction, to the product is the fact that there is no longer a luminous blue clock face. On the STM100 model there isn’t a button for turning off the blue light, so until you get used to it, your bedroom is glowing blue during the night time – which understandably can aggravate some. Similarly to the previous model, the clock is still analogue but instead of being powered digitally the STM101 lives up to it’s vintage title and is run by physical clock hands.
The image below identifies these changes and you can also see that on the STM101 version there isn’t a reading light. For me this isn’t a problem as I rarely used the lamp anyway, but for others this maybe a feature they’d miss. Those are the main differences functionality wise, you can see the other aesthetic differences in the images below.
Now for the exciting part, I’ve told you all about the ins and outs of the newest product from Swan’s Teasmade range, but what you really want to know is how the machine actually works. Where does the water go? How do you fill it up? How long does it take to make a cuppa? How loud is it when it boils? What alarm sound does it make?!!! Calm down folks, all will be revealed…
To summarise the clip above (which you may have snoozed off a little during) it took 5 minutes and 7 seconds for the Teasmade to boil and pour hot water into the teapot. Unlike in the demonstration I usually let the pot sit for a while to brew but for the purpose of this video I poured the tea out straight away.
Other points to mentions, include the condensation on the lid of the product, which can drip down onto the face of the Teasmade. It’s never caused me any issues and I make sure I clean the surface now and again, but perhaps keeping the Teasmade on a tray might avoid ruining the surface it sits on? You may also have noticed the tea stain marks on the lid of the product? The whole product is made of plastic so it’s surface can be whipped down in order to be kept clean.
So what’s left for you to know now? Yes it does make a rather loud hissing, fizzing, whooshing roar when it’s boiled – but for me this has now become a somewhat comforting sound. It doesn’t disturb me in the morning it simply chimes “teas ready!“. What could be more wonderful than that?
Teasmade model STM100 and STM101 available from the following retailers:
- Swan – Prices range from £59.99 – £119.99
- John Lewis – Prices range from £49.97 – £59.95
- Tesco Direct – Prices range from £49.97 – £79.97
- Teasmade.com – Prices range from £49.99 – £69.99
- Amazon – Varied pricing
Higher priced models include added features, such as a Radio Alarm.