My friend gave me one of these and I just love it for home or travel. You can get an optional sip type lid so it turns into a mug. I use it mostly at home to keep my tea hot till I can drink it. With 2 little kids I sometimes don't get to drink my tea for awhile after its made.
You can stop the brewing by pouring your first cup which causes the water level to drop below the basket and halts the brewing or you can lift the basket out.
They also make a 32 ounce version of this.
Here's a photo showing the basket outside of the maker. http://teatreasures.com/page/Tea-Suppli ... rs/TIM5098
By the way Teatreauses is the online store of a wonderful tea shop in Austin Texas. Tea Embassy. Stop by if your in Austin it is worth the trip. They hold regular tea education events and Teas.