Remember those old teasmaid machines that you used to see in your parents bedrooms? They probably only ever got used on special occasions and like many other gadgets, gathered dust until they were eventually thrown out. A new device however, is set to take on the rise of the coffee machine and the concept is similar to the capsule or pod coffee machines that are so popular these days. A Cambridge company have revealed a tea machine that they say makes the perfect cup of tea. Called the Te machine, Cambridge Consultants have designed a machine that spins pods filled with tea leaves at high speed, and it could spell the end of the traditional teabag.
The engineers say of the machine, that it allows tea drinkers more control over the strength and flavour of their cups of tea and the concept works in a similar way to the modern ‘one cup’ coffee machines. You place the tea capsule into the machine and boiling water is then forced through the capsule where it bubbles through the tea leaves. The resulting tea liquid is then dripped into a pot below. Cambridge Consultants used its beverage industry experience to analyse how tea can be brewed differently from the traditional teapot or tea bag method and incorporated its findings into a domestic tea system. The key is specially engineered recirculating pump technology which is incorporated in the simple capsule – for maximum convenience and minimum mess.
As for those of whom time is of the essence, the makers claim that the Te machine makes a cup or tea in just two minutes, which is about the same time as it takes to simply boil the kettle. Edward Brunner, who is the group leader of the industrial and scientific group at Cambridge Consultants, thinks that tea drinkers have been ‘forgotten about’. He said: “Whilst coffee systems have seen a significant amount of innovation over the last decade nothing has changed in tea brewing, leaving the tea drinker almost forgotten about. We saw a real opportunity to use our experience in the beverage industry to level the playing field and make a step change in this category.”
And the machine does not simply pass the water through the tea capsule, it’s a lot more sophisticated than that. “Contrary to other tea machines on the market, this is based on a genuine tea-brewing process – rather than simply a ‘single-pass flow’ with fresh water.” So far the machine can only process traditional black teas but it is expected that like coffee, different flavoured capsules and types of tea leaves will become available. “The technology process has been developed with black teas but has the potential to be used across a range of herbal and fruit teas, and other hot drinks.” But so far, if you want the perfect cup of black tea without the hassle, this new machine could be the answer to your dreams, or the ideal gift for the tea lover in your life.
The Te machine has been researched extensively to produce the perfect cup of tea, again and again: “Thanks to our expertise in fluidic systems and functional packaging, and our dedicated dispense lab facilities, we have been able to finely tune the process needed to offer the most sophisticated brewing platform to bring customised, high-quality tea dispensing into the home.”
The Te machine is expected to be available in the next two years and the manufacturer says it will be priced at the lower end of the coffee machine market.
Cambridge Consultants will be demonstrating the Tê machine – together with other innovations such as the wireless automatic gear-changing bike – at CES 2013, January 8-11, in Las Vegas, South Hall, booth 26334.