Welcome to the latest installment of Staff Picks. Each week, we’ll tell you about the tech we’re currently testing — everything from cameras to hi-fi headphones, extremely large desktop monitors to smart home appliances — as well as the grail items we wish we could buy. For our last selections, visit here.
The Teforia Leaf is like a Keurig for tea but better. Using an RFID chip in the top of each loose-leaf tea pod (named “sips”), the Leaf is able to recognize exactly what tea it will be brewing, thus controlling the steep time, aeration, microinfusions, water temperature and so many other variables you didn’t even know mattered for tea. Each cup is smooth, perfect and delicious. I’m not giving up coffee, but an afternoon cup of tea is a nice addition to my day. — Bradley Hasemeyer, Contributor
Mophie Juice Pack Charging Case for Pixel XL
Now available for the latest Apple, Samsung and Google smartphones, Mophie’s newest Juice Pack charging case is great. It nearly doubled the battery life of my Pixel XL and it basically made the phone drop-proof. The most useful feature for me, however, was selective charging: The case doesn’t charge your phone until you press a button telling it to. – Tucker Bowe, Associate Staff Writer
Firefly 2 Vaporizer
Firefly Vapor was founded by Mark Williams, a former Apple designer, and the Firefly 2 looks pretty enough to sit next to a MacBook Pro or iPhone 7. The second-generation vaporizer is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the Firefly, and comes with an improved battery. Its convective chamber can heat “aromatherapy blends” to hundreds of degrees in a matter of seconds. If you’re considering a vaporizer and are serious about getting a nice one, this is certainly one of the prettiest. – Tucker Bowe, Associate Staff Writer