Our top story this month could probably fall into the realm of both gadget and offbeat news and feels more than a little bit like something out of a science fiction book or movie. As the story goes, one prominent British tea company is striving to sell more tea in Kuwait by using a hologram in the shape of a human being. The point of the “virtual assistant” as this article puts it, is to “show Kuwaitis how to make a perfect cup of tea.”
The notion of a social network for tea lovers is not exactly a new thing. One of the best known of these so far is probably Steepster, which has been in operation for many years now. But that didn’t stop an 18-year-old British high school student from trying his variation on the theme. As the web site notes, it “gives users a chance to share their photos, recommend teas and tea shops, comment on other people’s posts and find out everything tea related near to their location.”
I have yet to see an episode of Downton Abbey, but given that it’s set in World War I-era England it’s safe to say that tea plays a part in the proceedings. Perhaps to take advantage of another popular trend these days – the food truck – the producers and publicists for the show have apparently begun sending the Downton Abbey Tea Truck on its rounds to drum up more interest in the show. Time magazine recently paid the truck a visit. You can find out more about it here.
Tea gadgeteers have increasingly begun taking to crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo and so on) these days to try to drum up support for their projects. I ran across a few examples recently that are worth a mention. There’s the Temperfect mug, which claims to solve the problem of tea (or coffee) being too hot to drink at first and then cooling off too fast. Then there’s the Immerset, a gadget that claims to improve the experience of tea (and coffee) brewing. As the inventor puts it it’s an “exciting brewing method that combines both french press & pour over.”
See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.
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