Speed Tea Revisited

As I’ve noted many times before – though it certainly bears repeating – tea is often presented as a low-key, calming alternative to that other drink. You know the one. Though they both offer a kick thanks to their caffeine content, tea also contains a compound called theanine, which is thought to provide something of a calming effect. Not to mention the fact that the culture of tea drinking seems often to be rather more low-key than that of coffee.

Which is why I find the notion of “fast” tea to be a curious one, so much so that this will be the second time I’ve discoursed on the topic. In my previous article I offered a few thoughts on a device called the Capresso, which is said to be able to make a cup of tea or coffee in as little as a minute. More recently I’ve come across a few other devices that operate along these lines.

As you probably know by now, a certain well-known coffee concern recently made a (very) high-profile foray into tea selling when they opened a fancy tea bar in Manhattan. Many, if not most, of the press accounts I saw heralding this occasion used the term “zen” – a word that’s become a kind of shorthand for calm or relaxing – to describe this new establishment. However, at least one of the accounts I read (written by a tea blogger, not a mainstream reporter) remarked on the fact that this new bar used a fancy gadget that allows for the compression of about five minutes of steeping time into one minute.

Said gadget is apparently a BKON, whose makers claim that it “creates perfectly crafted premium tea more purely than any other brewing method – letting the world experience tea like never before.” This impressive feat is done by “throwing out the rules of brewing” and using a trademarked process called “Reverse Atmospheric Infusion” to come up with “a beautiful, balanced cup of perfection in just 60 seconds.”

Which is some pretty high-falutin’ language and which seems to conflict just a bit with the notion of tea as a slow, calming “zen” type of experience. Ditto for the single serve tea “pods” I recently wrote about, which also promise a quicker cup of tea. But then again, there’s nothing to stop those of us who have an extra four minutes to spare from making tea the “slow” way. I guess we can use all that extra time to stop and smell the roses or do whatever else we like to do to fill these staggering expanses of time.

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

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2 thoughts on “Speed Tea Revisited

  1. Pingback: Steeping Tea – How Low Can You Go? | Tea Blog

  2. Pingback: The Rolls Royce of Tea Gadgets? | Tea Blog

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