Welcome in my tea pantry anytime! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Welcome in my tea pantry anytime! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Many say that variety is the spice of life, but I say that variety is the tea party of life. And teas seems to be getting more varied, as well. Talk of tea parties, and not always the kind at which tea is served, is rather common these days. Not surprising. Tea parties are social but, since the days of the Boston Tea Party, have also been a bit political. And now they are becoming a proving ground for the various types of teas being produced. So, I guess variety is also the spice of the tea party.

When I say “Assam” do you automatically think “black, lower quality tea”? And if I say “Darjeeling,” do you think of that blend of nondescript stuff that tastes sort of like Muscat grapes with a bit of a tangy aftertaste? What springs to mind when you hear “green tea from China”? Or if I say “oolong,” do you have a set taste associated with it? Time to shake things up. These and other tea producing areas and types are becoming more varied. The state of Assam in India is a prime example. They are now producers of all kinds of teas of much higher quality.

Tea producers are more focused away from straight black teas and going with white, green, and oolong style teas. It’s a trend that has been growing over the last five years or more. One thing motivating this is the goal to raise the bar on quality, and hopefully raise up market prices (usually at tea auctions where many vendors buy the teas in bulk) and therefore the salaries of the people harvesting and processing these teas. But all this effort means nothing if you, the tea loving public, don’t know about it or appreciate the teas being created. Even if you do, though, it may not deter you from continuing to imbibe your current favorites. I enjoy a lot of these special teas but still go for that strong pot of black tea as my go-to cuppa. Brands like PG Tips and Typhoo still have a place in my tea pantry. You might say that my tea party has variety.

How to add that variety to the tea party of your life:

With tea around your life will certainly be a party!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’ve run across a lot of tea gadgets over the years, but I’d like to think that I haven’t become jaded just yet. This theory was confirmed recently when I saw an article about a rather unique gizmo. It’s a chocolate teapot. To clarify exactly what that means, it’s a teapot that’s actually made of chocolate – and it apparently works.

I’m not sure why we need this or if the public has been clamoring for it (I doubt it), but it was devised by researchers at the Nestlé Product Technology Centre in England. The pot was made of dark chocolate and, as this article notes, is apparently capable of holding boiling water long enough to prepare a cup of tea. Which is great if you like chocolate flavored tea.

We’ve written about Tregothnan Estate many times now. They’re the United Kingdom’s only native tea producer of any significance, and they will soon be providing tea for First Great Western’s trains in the UK. Which will make them Tregothnan’s top customer and contribute to the company’s rapid growth, which is estimated to hit 60 percent this year.

Now we turn to some offbeat research, specifically a study related to green tea and canine periodontal disease. It’s called The Effect of Green Tea Bag in Dogs With Periodontal Disease and the translation from the Chinese is a little bit clunky but it’s interesting nonetheless. The experiments were carried out on 11 beagles, five of whom served as a control group while the rest had their teeth rinsed with green tea. The results, according to the study abstract, “show that the green tea bag is effective for periodontal disease.”

We close things out today with an eye-catching piece of teaware called a Tea Ball Glass Mug. It’s nothing fancy but, if you’re a fan of sleek, slightly futuristic tea gear, then this one might work for you. The non-glass bits of it are made of silicone and it comes complete with a matching tea ball, if you’re a fan of that sort of thing, and a saucer.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Satisfy those ghouls at tea time with this pea soup green matcha! (ETS image)

Satisfy those ghouls at tea time with this pea soup green matcha! (ETS image)

It’s a time of year for being aware of strange things that could happen at tea time, such as it morphing into something quite “ghoulish.” So it is very important to be able to tell when this is beginning to happen. Here are some signs to watch for:

1 Vocabulary Morphage

The re-arisen dead have a language all their own. Things tend to focus on their obsession with chasing, catching, and making a bit of a tasty treat of the living. You might overhear your tea time guests saying things like this:

  • “Please pass the braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains!”
  • “Gee, why is it so bright in here? I like it nice and dark.”
  • “You didn’t need that door, did you? I knocked but no one answered. So I had no choice but to bust it down.”
  • “This tea doesn’t taste rotten… much too fresh. And it’s not that lovely shade of pea soup green I like.”
  • “Who made this cake? It’s as hard as a tombstone… in other words, perfect!”

It’s a sure sign that your tea time is off to a ghoulish start!

2 Tea Preference Changes

You can have several teas that convey a ghoulish mood (in a good way, that is):

  • Start with a pea soup green Matcha, of course! You don’t want those ghouls grouchy all night long. Not good.
  • Add in some Jasmine Dragon Tears Green Tea, since dragons can liven up any ghoulish tea time – just keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • That dragon is useful for keeping your Lapsang Souchong nice and smoky, though!
  • And don’t forget to steep up some Blood Orange Flavored Black Tea as your pièce de résistance.

That should keep them distracted from other forms of beverage.

3 Decoration Alteration

Black is a great color. So are orange and red. They can be calming or inspiring. But they can also be arranged in such a way as to convey quite a ghoulish atmosphere. If you find yourself swapping your brighter, gayer colors for these, you are well on your way to a “ghoulish” tea time. Add in some skulls, black cats, ravens, oversized spiders, and “things that go ‘bump’ in the night,” and you will be mostly there.

 (Seen on Pinterest)

(Seen on Pinterest)

4 Ghoulish Tea Time Recipes Dominate

You just gotta have something tasty to serve friends and family at tea time. If you see your usual scones or muffins or cookies being replaced with any of these, you are well on your way to going “ghoulish” at tea time:

A feast fit for a houseful of ghouls! (composite by A.C. Cargill of images from site)

A feast fit for a houseful of ghouls! (composite by A.C. Cargill of images from site)

  1. Meat Hand by Not Martha – a bit creepy…just be sure it doesn’t crawl away!
  2. Shrunken Head Punch by Maple Spice – make it a tea-based punch so those heads smile!
  3. Watermelon Brains at Instructables – better than making it with a big cabbage and some red food coloring.
  4. Eyeball Cake Balls by The Pioneer Woman – mine, all mine!
  5. Mummy Dogs at Instructables – too cute to be ghoulish, though.

5 Tea Time Attire Adjustments

Ghoulish attire tends to be a bit less than tidy. It can get a bit ripped and torn, not to mention dirty, when trying to climb out of a grave or bursting through your front door. And sometimes that final outfit is not exactly a show stopper. So, if you find your guests showing up in out-of-date fashions with a rip here, a button missing there, and stained with all sorts of debris that could only come from their final resting place, you have achieved a ghoulish tea time.

So, how did you do? Have you gone totally “ghoulish” yet? If so, just give in and enjoy it!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In 18th-century America, the pleasant practice of taking tea at home was an established social custom with a recognized code of manners and distinctive furnishings. Pride was taken in a correct and fashionable tea table whose equipage included much more than teapot, cups, and saucers. (Rodris Roth)

Americans are not the greatest tea drinkers in the world, not by a long shot, but we drink our fair share and always have. While we tend to think of the historical version of America as a rough and tumble place, as the passage quoted above indicates, that’s only partially true and in many places the polite custom of taking tea was well established. The passage is taken from a brief but informative work called Tea Drinking in 18th-century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage, by Rodris Roth, which was published by the US National Museum in 1961.

The work opens with a quote from a French traveler to America, who noted, in 1781, that the Americans “use much tea.” As is the case with so many tea books, the author then proceeds to give a brief overview of the history of tea and moves on to a discussion of tea drinking in early America and notes, not surprisingly, that “English customs were generally imitated in this country, particularly in the urban centers.”

Of course, any discussion of tea drinking during this era can’t really avoid the tension between colonists and the British regarding the topic of tea. Roth touches on this as well, even quoting an anti-tea poem that appeared in newspapers of the day called A Lady’s Adieu to Her Tea-Table.

But of course tea drinking continued even after the great conflict had ended and the author touches on this as well. As the name indicates, however, the focus here is primarily on manners and teaware. And, even though the work only totals 31 pages in all, it provides an in-depth, illustrated look at tea culture during this time, one that’s probably more than anyone but the most avid tea historian would ever need.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Young Pu-erh – great straight or “British style” (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Young Pu-erh – great straight or “British style” (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

A few years ago I received a sample of a tea called “Young Pu-erh.” It started me on an exploration of this rather unique style of tea. It’s not a black tea nor an oolong. And it’s certainly not a green or white tea. So, what is Young Pu-erh all about? To know that, you need to know more about pu-erh.

The Official Description

In 2008 pu-erh was granted a geographical designation by the Chinese government at the request of the tea farmers and factory owners in Yunnan province. Standard Number GB/T 22111-2008 “Product of geographical indication – Puer tea” (pu-erh has several spellings in our alphabet with lots of discussion about which should be the standard). As of 1 December 2008, only tea grown and processed in Yunnan province could be labeled as pu-erh tea, and it must be made from a large leaf variety of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) and processed using a specified methodology. Why bother? Because at that time prices were sky high. Shortly after (or possibly just before) this standard went into full effect, the pu-erh market was experiencing a pricing bubble that popped. Prices fell about 85% but in the past few years have been climbing back up. Fakery abounded before the standard (and the big price drop) and still does. Tea leaves were being gathered from wherever they could be gotten and processed haphazardly into cakes to sell to unsuspecting customers (mostly outside of China). The overall reputation of the tea was being threatened, as it was with Darjeeling teas which were being blended with inferior teas to spread out the supply and meet demand.

What Makes Pu-erh Different

This is a greatly simplified version. The tea leaves undergo the basic processing of tea leaves according to the final style of pu-erh desired. This involves withering, rolling, drying, etc. The result is called máochá (leaves that can be stored awhile under proper conditions before final processing or be processed right away). From here there are two different options: wo dui (wet pile fermentation) that speeds up aging of the tea (actually a form of fermentation but one that does not create alcohol) and is called shu, shou, cooked, or ripe pu-erh; and natural fermentation where the leaves are wetted slightly, pressed into various shapes (discs, mushrooms, tuos, bricks, and mini-tuos), then stored in certain conditions (humidity level, temperature, and monitoring periodically) for at least 5 years, and is called sheng, uncooked, or raw pu-erh.

Description of The English Tea Store’s Young Pu-erh

This is basically a shu (cooked, ripe) pu-erh. It has an aroma described in various ways, depending on whether the describer finds it pleasant or not. To me it’s earthy like a forest with lots of leaves on the ground. Some call it mushroom-like. Others say it’s like rotting vegetation. The steeping instructions said it can be infused using water heated to a rolling boil for 2-10 minutes. So of course, hubby and I had to try it infused using different times. We also tried it straight but also “British style” with milk and sweetener (and probably made a few pu-erh lovers faint – they tend to take this tea quite seriously, while I like to keep a bit of humor and the joy of experimentation in things). Both ways were quite satisfying for us. And you can feel confident that whichever way you prefer it will be fine. There are no rules in tea – only options!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tea drinkers often fall into one of two categories: those with iron-clad tea habits and those without. These tea habits may involve drinking only specific types of tea at specific times, using specific tea wares with specific teas, or always steeping certain teas in certain ways. I certainly have some tea habits; however, they are far from iron-clad as my tea habits often shift depending on what my schedule is during a given period or on what I am doing.

Which tea are you in the habit of drinking? (ETS image)

Which tea are you in the habit of drinking? (ETS image)

One of the things that tends to shift the most is the amount of tea that I drink—whether this is the overall amount or the amount of certain types of tea. If you are anything like me, you may go through periods when your tea consumption goes up or down, sometimes incrementally, sometimes more so. It could depend upon things like increased workload, more free time, or simply having more tea in the house.

Recently, I noticed that my black tea consumption went up considerably. This was in part due to a lack of access to the other teas that I normally drink (rather tragically, I ran out of both my Japanese green tea and my oolong around the same time), and in part due to an increased need for afternoon pick-me-ups (the result of a heavy workload and not quite enough sleep). For the most part, this was not really a problem— indeed, many people would consider getting to drink more tea an excellent thing— and I certainly do not have any complaints tastewise. However, in this particular instance, I found myself becoming less sensitive to the caffeine in the tea. The effect was twofold: firstly, I felt the need to drink even more tea (again, not such a terrible thing for my taste buds), and secondly, I found myself defaulting to black tea over green or oolong, even when I once again had access to those teas.

Although it is tempting to put that behavior down to a dependency on caffeine, the issue of caffeine levels in tea is not as straightforward as it is often claimed to be (take a look at this article for an insight into the complications surrounding the issue), and my defaulting to black tea was really just a taste habit. I had got into the habit of drinking a lot of black tea, and this is what my body expected when I thought of having a cup of tea. Luckily, it didn’t take too long to remind myself why I also drink a lot of green and oolong tea— just a cup or two and my taste buds were back on board. Nevertheless, it did take a few days to stop myself automatically reaching for my tin of black tea when I felt the urge to brew up a cuppa—to kick the black tea habit, if you will. And whilst having a black tea habit falls pretty low on the cause-for-concern scale, it did leave me with one thought: tea habits, like any habits, can be hard things to break.

See more of Elise Nuding’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

So often I get comments from folks saying that they are scared to try various teas. Or scared of tea altogether…it’s too complicated…it can turn out bitter…it can get oversteeped or have no taste at all… and so on. But don’t let tea scare you! It’s really quite simple. No need for witches’ cauldrons, strange ingredients like bats’ wings, and sorcerers’ apprentices making your brooms and buckets (or your teapots and cups) dance all by themselves. You just need to know a few conjurers’ (that is, steepers’) secrets.

A magic brew! (composite image by A.C. Cargill)

A magic brew! (composite image by A.C. Cargill)

Conjurers’ Secret #1

Make sure your water is free of ghosts and goblins and things that go “bump!” in the night. The better the water, the better start to that pot of tea. And the less likely you will be of getting frightened to the point of having your hair turn white (unless it already is white, in which case you will be shocked into it turning some other odd color such as fuchsia or even mauve). I use bottled spring water to be sure it is free of chlorine and chloramine, but you could use a filter on your kitchen faucet to reduce excess minerals in the water.

Conjurers’ Secret #2

Use a proper cauldron……uh, tea kettle. It needn’t be large enough for Hansel and Gretel to fit in though – just enough to hold the amount of water you’ll need to heat for your tea. They have quite a size range, so just select the one closest to the amount of tea you usually make at any one time. My tea kettle holds about 48 ounces (6 cups) of water, but others are larger or smaller. And no need to start up a roaring wood fire in a forest clearing in the dead of night. There are stovetop kettles and electric kettles so you can heat water for that cuppa any time you feel the urge.

Conjurers’ Secret #3

Employ a proper teapot for steeping that tea. Which is proper will depend largely on the tea you are steeping.

  • Black tea – A ceramic teapot, a Brown Betty (earthenware teapot), a glass teapot, or even a silver teapot.
  • Green tea – Lots of options from a glass (yes, a glass!) to a gaiwan to a Yixing teapot to even a porcelain or ceramic teapot.
  • White tea – same as for green tea.
  • Oolong – gaiwan, Yixing teapot, ceramic/porcelain teapot, even a glass.
  • Pu-erh – gaiwan, Yixing teapot.

Conjurers’ Secret #4

Let the tea dance with the water. You needn’t play any music, though. The dance of the tea seems to go with it’s own music, and it’s not “Night on Bald Mountain,” “Thriller,” the theme from “Ghostbusters,” or even “Monster Mash.” The leaves will float and sink and rise back up. They will become bloated as the cells refill with water that was evaporated out of them during processing. But unlike corpses in a swamp, these leaves become quite lovely as they swell up in that water.

Conjurers’ Secret #5

Watch out for the time. Remember that just as Cinderella’s dress turned back into rags, the coach turned back into a pumpkin, and the horses, coachman, and footmen turned back into little critters when that clock finished striking the hour of midnight, so will your tea turn into something rather unpleasant or even downright monstrous…like those gremlins getting water splashed on them or Swamp Thing becoming a deformed (but still gentle hearted) creature saving Adrienne Barbeau from disaster…if you oversteep. How long you can let your tea steep will be a matter of your own personal taste as well as a matter of the tea you are steeping. Black tea usually goes 3 to 5 minutes while you chant “Don’t be bitter. Don’t be bitter.” (Works every time.) Green teas are generally steeped only 1 to 3 minutes. Don’t forget to chant. However, some pu-erhs can be steeped as short as 30 seconds and as long as 10 minutes and you usually don’t need to chant to avoid bitterness, especially if it’s a pu-erh that has been aged at least 10 years.

Bonus: Your Special Spell for a Perfect Tea Time

Round about the cauldron go;
In the lovely tea leaves throw.
Leaves that on a mount’n did grow
Slept in winter under snow.
Pluck’d and processed while it’s hot
Ready now to steep in pot.
Toss in whole the black Typhoo
Box and all into the brew;
Add in pouch of some Earl Grey
Steep up quick ’fore light of day!
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Drink it when the time is right
Drink to make a perfect night!

(My thanks to Shakespeare for the inspiration.)

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Formosa oolong (ETS Image)

Formosa oolong (ETS Image)

There are a few significant tea producing countries or regions that have changed their name since tea began to be a significant industry there. Probably the most notable example is Sri Lanka. It used to be known as Ceylon, and to this day the tea produced there is known by the same name. And then there’s Taiwan.

Formerly known as Formosa, Taiwan is an island nation located directly to the east of mainland China. Unlike the situation in Sri Lanka, Taiwanese tea such as this one is no longer sold under the name Formosa. Much of the tea that’s produced in Taiwan today is one of a number of highly regarded varieties of oolong.

Writing about tea in the early twentieth century, in an article called The Tea Industry of Formosa, journalist Herbert Compton that there were “highly bright prospects” for the future of this industry. He also noted that Formosa, as it was still called, was “a most delightful realm for human habitation.”

Compton recounts that according to some tales wild tea plants were thought to be native to Formosa but suggests that it was more likely that the plant was brought there from neighboring China. Tea historians Victor Mair and Erling Hoh don’t go into the specifics of exactly when and how tea got to Taiwan but apparently there are records of it being grown there as early as 1701.

By 1861, according to a British government report, a fair amount of tea was being shipped from Formosa back to tea’s place of origin – China – but tea production was apparently still a relatively minor industry. Compton credits Englishman John Dodd with doing much to further the tea industry there in the years that followed.

In the half century from 1895 onward Formosa was a colony of Japan, and both sources agree that it was during this time that tea production really began to take off. Which is probably not surprising, given Japan’s long relationship with tea. Of course, Japan is best known for producing green tea and, while it would be interesting to determine how their colony became a hotbed for oolong tea, that’s a question that will have to wait for another day.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Perfect? For me, but maybe not for you. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Perfect? For me, but maybe not for you. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Hundreds and maybe even thousands of articles are written on how to steep tea. Plus a ton of videos. Even so, new information always seems to pop up in discussions with tea-loving friends online. A recent incident prompted me to put down some thoughts on tea steeping instructions, and I hope you will excuse any that are repeats from past articles I’ve written. It can be tough to keep track.

First Things First

People who are new to tea or who want to explore tea beyond their normal morning or afternoon cuppa need a starting point. A general guide will be a good first try with any tea. Use boiling water for black tea and infuse for 3-5 minutes, for example. Use water heated to about 180-195°F for oolongs and infuse for 2-3 minutes, for another example. But after a few times, you will naturally find yourself trying other water temperatures and infusion times. You will leave this first guidance behind.

Moving on to Your Own Preferences

Tea invigorates, and so you will find your brain stimulated to try new things with it. The more you try, the more you will experiment. You will find that oolongs are quite varied, that you can steep them anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. You will notice a difference in your black tea when you use water that is slightly below boiling (about 200°F) and infused for 2 or 3 minutes instead of the usual 5 minutes. You may find that a whole teaspoon of dry tea per cup of water is too much – or too little!

What It All Means

We all need that start, that first instruction in how to do something. Our parents held our hands as we took our first steps and soom we were running. Our teachers started us with the alphabet and soon we knew how to read whole words and sentences and paragraphs. The first flute lesson is about how to hold it properly, where to place your fingers, how to blow across (not into) the opening, and then you can begin learning to play. So it is with tea. Steeping instructions hold your hand, teach you basics, and help you prepare for the experience. Then, you can follow your own way. Life is like that, too. Gee, no wonder tea is so popular!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Teamakers are becoming rather common these days, and there are some models that are quite elaborate, automating nearly every step of the teamaking process and then taking the dog for a walk when they’re finished. I’ve used a number of these gizmos over the years, and they’re quite fine, but I always seem to find myself drifting back to less elaborate methods of preparing tea.

But while I can see the sense of using one of these gadgets, I don’t have any desire to build my own. Apparently, there are those who do harbor such a desire, and presumably it all has to do with the rise of the so-called maker culture in recent years.

So if making your own teamaker is the kind of thing that might grab you, march forth to the Instructables site to check out this article. It promises to show you how to make something called the ATTiny Tea Maker, which shouldn’t cost you more than twenty dollars before it’s all said and done.

One starts by creating the circuit that will serve as the brains of the thing, then going on to building the framework, assembling and finishing it all. It seems like a lot of a work to build a very basic teamaker, but as someone who used to pore over Heathkit’s extensive catalogs of DIY electronics projects I guess I can relate, to some extent.

For an even more basic variation on this same theme take a look at this Instructables article about the Little Tea robotic tea brewer. It’s nothing fancy and as you can see from the accompanying photos its made with cardboard and a popsicle stick, among other things. But it you’re clever and ambitious enough to make this plain Jane model, I suspect that you can probably come up with a way to make it a bit more stylish. As for the mechanics of the thing, it appears that its primary objective is to remove the teabag from the cup at the appointed time. Not terribly elaborate, but there it is.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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