Monthly Tea Gadget and Offbeat News Report 12

Vlad Putin Teapot (screen capture from site)
Vlad Putin Teapot (screen capture from site)

I’ve seen a lot of tea gadgets. This is the twelfth monthly installment of this report and I wrote many more before we began numbering them. So you’d think that I might have become a bit jaded when it comes to tea gadgets, and perhaps I have. But every once in a while one comes along that makes me sit up and take notice. This time around it’s the Vladimir Putin teapot.

If you think that the Russian leader is a curious choice to commemorate with a teapot, then we’re in complete agreement. The sculptors who worked together on the project probably wouldn’t argue the point, but given that they’ve also made teapots of such heads of state as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran) and Kim Jong Il (North Korea), it’s possible that they didn’t have commemorating in mind. Compared to those, this Colossal Titan Tea Strainer + Mug Set, featuring a character drawn from a popular manga series, seems rather tame.

Along with the growing popularity of tea in recent years has come a stampede of new tea merchants hoping to get a piece of the action. One of the results of so many new players crowding the market is that it becomes harder to stand out from the pack. So, while it can’t hurt to sell good tea at good prices and provide good customer service, it also can’t hurt to do something to set yourself apart from the masses.

Which is what one British tea maker did in August, when they declared a “tea amnesty.” The way it worked was that anyone who brought in a box of a competitor’s tea (that had at least two tea bags left in it) could swap it for a full box of their own tea. The offer was on a first-come, first-served basis and was limited to the first 500 tea drinkers who responded. While it’s not clear what the result of the promotion was, it was sufficient to gain the company a few mentions in the press and social media. Read more about tea amnesty here.

I have to confess to fondness for any tea gadgetry that falls into the sleek and space age category, which is certainly the case with this curiously named Sencha Tea Maker & Warmer. In spite of the name, I’m going to a hazard a guess that you could make and warm just about any type of tea in it and not just sencha.

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

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