Would You Pay $160 for Tea?

I’m a tea addict. Every morning, I fill the kettle and prepare a strong cup of full-leaf black tea, splashed with milk. 

A few months ago I drank PG Tips, a British tea brand. Before that, I sipped generic black tea from Trader Joe’s. My current obsession is Starbucks Awake. A few months from now…?

And that’s the thing with me and tea. I’m a disloyal consumer, prone to changing my brand allegiances.  So to read in the New York Times business section that Nestle has begun marketing a $160 tea system overseas called Special T amuses and surprises me. Who is going to spend that kind of money when a kettle does the job so well? And who will want to commit to a single brand of tea “pods” (akin to Nestle’s coffee pods used in its Nespresso system), even if they can dance among the various leaf styles at will?

Tea is one of the world’s most universally adored beverages, and part of its appeal lies in its accessibility and affordability. Of course, I understand that certain rare, exotic teas command a hefty price tag. And it’s important to match tea styles with the proper water temperature to achieve the ideal brew. (I even lamented here a few months ago about restaurateurs who fail to provide a quality tea selection for their diners.) I’m curious, though, to see whether this pricey appliance actually takes off. 

In the mean time, I’m filling my kettle, and tossing the money I save in a big glass jar. Maybe when Nestle’s Special T reaches our shores I’ll have enough money to buy myself a $160 scone maker instead.

-Spring Accessories for Your Kitchen

-See all of Cheryl's posts here

Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule. Read all of Cheryl's iVillage posts here.

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