Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, or so the old saying goes. While the pursuit of innovations in mousetrap design may not actually be the road to success and untold riches these days, it seems that there’s always someone trying to come up with a better automatic teamaker. The latest entrants into this sweepstakes, Cambridge Consultants, a British design and development firm, who have come up with a gadget called the TeaTotal.
TeaTotal’s makers claim that it’s “a fully programmable tea brewing device, allowing the consumer to specify not only the leaf, but also the intensity of the tea flavour and the relative bitterness.” While there are surely those who will grumble about the difficulty of capturing the nuances of the tea brewing process with machinery, it doesn’t seem to stop all of the manufacturers who keep turning out these devices. For a few thoughts from users of another such device, check out this post and comments about the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker, from the Steepster community.
Of course, gadgetry is all well and good if you like that sort of thing but, to be quite frank about it, not everyone does. According to recent articles in the British press, an initiative is underway there to try to get tea drinkers to prepare their tea the way it “should” be done – in a teapot and presumably using loose tea rather than a tea bag.
The Campaign for Civilised Tea Drinking was launched by Debenham’s, a well-known British retailer who claim to sell five million cups of tea a year at their cafes and restaurants and who bemoan the fact that demand for teapots has fallen by half over the past five years. The campaign has made quite a splash in the British press and is being backed by various British tea merchants as well, including Tetley, Twinings and Typhoo (and perhaps even some companies whose names don’t start with “T”).
Speaking of British tea, the only tea grower there of any significance recently announced that a mild winter in their part of the world has allowed them to accomplish the relatively rare feat of harvesting tea year round. Tregothnan Estate only began growing tea about ten years ago but now harvest about ten tons annually.
Last of all, from our Do We Really Need This Bureau, a “teabag accessory [that] removes the annoyance of the teabag string and adds humor and emotion by taking design inspiration from fishing.” Also, a plain-Jane tea tray that only exposes its intricate pattern when it comes in contact with a hot teapot or cup. Which is apparently for the tea drinker who has absolutely everything else.
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