The end of tea
October 27, 2017 4:27 PM   Subscribe

In distressing news from the Western Colonies, the journey to elevate the tea experience has come to an end. According to Techcrunch, Teforia’s main product was an internet-connected tea infuser that could brew the pre-packaged teas from the startup, which it called “Sips.” Previously, a British person had naturally reviewed the infuser. It is unclear how it will now be possible to brew the perfect cup of tea.
posted by Wordshore (94 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Share and enjoy
posted by saturday_morning at 4:33 PM on October 27, 2017 [34 favorites]


Not sure if parody
posted by bq at 4:35 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


2017: not sure if parody.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:39 PM on October 27, 2017 [62 favorites]


I can only assume it produces a liquid almost -- but not quite -- entirely unlike tea.

*reads article*

Yeah, pretty much.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:41 PM on October 27, 2017 [45 favorites]


.
posted by disclaimer at 4:45 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


Amazing. Technology used to brew shit coffee can also brew shit tea.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:53 PM on October 27, 2017 [13 favorites]


All remaining Teforia Classic inventory is also available for purchase ... we expect to sell out quickly.

I see that they've learned nothing from their experience.
posted by Naberius at 4:57 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


Weird. Seemed like a sure fire winner.
Do they expect people are going to go back to brewing tea without an internet connection and a bluetooth app, like savages?


All remaining Teforia Classic inventory is also available for purchase ... we expect to sell out quickly.


Translation; We don't actually have much tea because we weren't sure we were going to sell very much.
posted by bongo_x at 5:07 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


It is unclear how it will now be possible to brew the perfect cup of tea.
Don't be silly. Fill mug with water; insert teabag; cook on high in microwave for two minutes. Serve with non-dairy creamer and Splenda™.

(I'm kidding! I'm kidding!)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:10 PM on October 27, 2017 [15 favorites]


At what point will there be a think piece blaming Millenials for insufficient purchase of Teforia's and the subsequent collapse of the Internet of Tea sector?
posted by Wordshore at 5:17 PM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


Wordshore, you cannot just go posting articles titled "The end of tea". Good god man, there are British people here! We start hyperventilating just looking at that headline.
posted by automatronic at 5:18 PM on October 27, 2017 [25 favorites]


MetaFilter: Good god man, there are British people here!
posted by Wordshore at 5:20 PM on October 27, 2017 [44 favorites]


Teforia raised $12 million just about a year ago in a financing round led by Translink Capital, with Upfront Ventures, Lemnos Labs, Correlation Ventures and Mousse Partners also investing in the company. The device was originally priced at $649 when it raised $5.1 million in a seed round led by Upfront Ventures.

I need to stop thinking I don't have any ideas good enough for a startup.

I think the real problem is I don't have any ideas BAD enough for a startup.
posted by Sequence at 5:24 PM on October 27, 2017 [66 favorites]


In fairness, in the past the British went to ridiculous lengths to automate their tea
posted by BungaDunga at 5:28 PM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


Perhaps you could try to use tea bags to make a cups of tea as an alternative to using them to ruin otherwise perfectly adequate cups of warm milky water.

Is this a Producers-type deal, where they raise a lot of funding on a product that's bound to fail and walk away with the money? Or is that just a description of half the internet?

(Perfectly adequate for a cup of warm milky water, of course. Personally, I'd prefer a cup of tea.)
posted by Grangousier at 5:28 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


No juicer option, that's the problem right there.
posted by marycatherine at 5:28 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


BRB starting a venture fund called Lemming Ventures Labs
posted by Existential Dread at 5:29 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm currently looking around the room for things that haven't been disrupted that I can get startup capital to disrupt. Has anyone disrupted tissues? How about gloves or mittens? Maybe I can raise capital for a SmartGloves startup with internal warmers that can be controlled by a smartphone. They also have conducting thread in the fingertips, so you can use your phone to control your mitten-warmth while wearing your mittens. What else? SmartMeasuringTape? Self-watering SmartFlowerPots? Actually, I might run with the SmartFlowerPot. It dings an app on your phone when it needs to be watered and then self-irrigates unless you tell it that you want to have the experience of watering it yourself!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:30 PM on October 27, 2017 [22 favorites]


In fairness, in the past the British went to ridiculous lengths to automate their tea

That is totally steampunk and cool.
posted by Orlop at 5:32 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


My new venture is called BLANKETPIGTOPIATM; it's a system for creating the perfect pastry-wrapped miniature hot dog for today's entertaining suburbanite on the go.

You simply purchase a package of our proprietary freeze-dried PIGPUCKSTM and insert our patented PASTRYPUFFTM, set the desired serving time on our handy smartphone app, and specify how you want your hot-dog wrapped. You can go north-south, east-west, or (if you have a daring disposition) diagonal! Simply press the button and wait; within 10 minutes a perfect pig-in-a-blanket will pop out of the system, ready for you to eat it. After a brisk scrub and dry, it's ready for you to make another one- and you and your dinner guests will be hungry!

We're selling them on a subscription basis; the core system will cost you $799, with another $120 / month for a six-pack of PIGPUCKSTM and PASTRYPUFFSTM. For a mere $249 extra, we will throw in the artisanal mustard dispenser.

BLANKETPIGTOPIATM- from the makers of the OSTRITCHEGGDEVILER®.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:37 PM on October 27, 2017 [27 favorites]


Is this a Producers-type deal, where they raise a lot of funding on a product that's bound to fail and walk away with the money? Or is that just a description of half the internet?

We can save time by naming the new companies this doesn't apply to. Although I'm sure most of them have "Who knows? Someone may actually buy this." as a backup plan. In modern business you walk away with the money either way, right?
posted by bongo_x at 5:42 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Isn’t the end of tea just “a?”
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:43 PM on October 27, 2017 [21 favorites]


In fairness, in the past the British went to ridiculous lengths to automate their tea

In the past? You can still buy these - The Teasmade.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:43 PM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


A sad thing is that I actually kind of want a PancakeBot, the world's first 3D pancake printer. I mean, not really, but I find it oddly charming.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:47 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


That is some deeply flowery going-out-of-business prose. My favorite bit:

However, the reality of our business is that it would take a lot more financing and time to educate the market and we simply couldn’t raise the funds required in what is a very difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space.

Teforia, accept our sincerest condolences and know that our thoughts are with you during this very difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space.

Are you... are you giggling? For fuck's sake, have some respect! This is a very difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space
posted by phooky at 5:56 PM on October 27, 2017 [58 favorites]


From the Teasmade wiki link:

On 17 December 1891, Samuel Rowbottom, of 82 Abbey Road, Derby, applied for a patent for his Automatic Tea Making Apparatus

...is perhaps the most British sentence ever written.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:56 PM on October 27, 2017 [31 favorites]


Metafilter: a very difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space
posted by phooky at 5:57 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


From the first link:

The glass within the infusion globe and carafe are hand blown by a glass artisan, one at a time.

Suddenly I'm not sure this isn't a parody.

However, the reality of our business is that it would take a lot more financing and time to educate the market and we simply couldn’t raise the funds required...

So it's all YOUR fault, MeFites, for being disappointingly uneducated.

For Teforia Leaf customers, we have pushed a new firmware update for your infuser that will change your Teforia Leaf to Teforia Leaf+, which will give you the capability to make your own tea from the Teforia App. To receive the Leaf+ firmware update, please make sure your infuser is connected to a WiFi network that has internet connectivity and leave the infuser powered overnight. Once your Leaf is updated to Leaf+, you will be able to control the infuser from the Teforia App.

Just ... no words.
posted by Wordshore at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


> I'm currently looking around the room for things that haven't been disrupted that I can get startup capital to disrupt.

A couple weeks ago I unexpectedly received an egg tray.

You put eggs in the tray and put the tray in the fridge.
You install the proprietary app on your phone to link the egg tray to the Internet.
The egg tray can now remotely notify you of how many eggs are in the tray, whether any are too old, and you can optionally set the app to notify you when it's time to buy more eggs.

I have no fucking idea what to do with this.
posted by ardgedee at 6:02 PM on October 27, 2017 [16 favorites]


Found an alternative! Tea is saved!

2 litre capacity. Lightweight. Portable. Audible alert on boiling. Requires no firmware updates. Virus and malware proof. Only requires additional teapot.

Around 8 US dollars.
posted by Wordshore at 6:09 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


However, the reality of our business is that it would take a lot more financing and time to educate the market and we simply couldn’t raise the funds required...

'We really tried, but people are so stupid it's nearly an impossible task. Our resources are finite but sadly stupidity is not. At least some of you get it.'
posted by bongo_x at 6:50 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


No juicer option, that's the problem right there.

BRB starting a venture fund called Lemming Ventures Labs


BRB starting a venture fund called Lemming Juicer Labs
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:51 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


PIGPUCKS

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, pigpucks...
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:55 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Tea is literally the easiest beverage in the world to brew, assuming you’ve got the right water temperature.

In other news, my WiFi connected bidet, The Assphoria+, is on track for Mezzanine funding!
posted by leotrotsky at 7:01 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


BRB starting a venture fund called Lemming Ventures Labs

Oh, hey, you can co-partner with my OffTheCliff Futures.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:14 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oh, hey, you can co-partner with my OffTheCliff Futures.

Only if there's a lead investor so I don't have to think or do diligence.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:25 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Silicon Valley douchebros overthink making tea: a $650 $400 Internet appliance that makes crappy tea using disposable plastic cups with RFID tags in the lids and comes with a smartphone app.

The British overthink making tea: A Motherfucking TANK!
posted by Naberius at 7:35 PM on October 27, 2017 [7 favorites]


Is there a site that tallies all the money wasted on this type of bullshit?

Maybe with an accompanying "This *could* have provided [x] to [worthy cause], but instead..." snark?
posted by slater at 7:36 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


Wordshore, you cannot just go posting articles titled "The end of tea". Good god man, there are British people here!

Also tea-drinking Chinese people (who have been drinking it a little bit longer, ahem)! I thought this would be something about how climate change will decimate the tea plantations, and could practically feel my blood pressure surging.
posted by Alnedra at 7:49 PM on October 27, 2017 [18 favorites]


I own a 125 usd electric kettle. With adjustable temp settings, and a timer based on what type of tea I'm brewing.

I thought that was ridiculous to buy, but I use it every single day.

I click the button for for of tea, fill with water and wait for the magic. It beeps at programmed brew times.

But most of the time for my generic everyday tea I ignore all of this. I just hit boil and then put my tea bag in until I remember I made tea.

But sometimes I break out the loose leaf pay by the ounce tea and follow the directions.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:52 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


Thanks, MetaFilter! This was a fantastic hate-read!
posted by snwod at 7:57 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


41 comments in and the essential instruction manual has not been mentioned? "No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea."
posted by jet_silver at 8:25 PM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


Wait a second now. The alleged British person only drinks two cups of tea a day?

Clearly some kind of traitor, or is this the dark future that awaits me?
posted by Artw at 8:37 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


I don't understand. Can't we just squeeze the tea out of the bags with our hands?
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:01 PM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


I realize this bars me from ever gaining UK citizenship, but I just don't like milk in my tea. Like at all.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:01 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


I thought this would be something about how climate change will decimate the tea plantations, and could practically feel my blood pressure surging.

Sounds like you could use a nice cup of coffee!

Oh wait...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:22 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


It took me waaaay too long to figure out that this wasn’t a parody.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:34 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


You know what's annoying? Americans making tea jokes to the British. You know what's also annoying? "'What could Americans possibly know about tea?' I scoffed Britishly" articles. If I never read another it'll be too soon.

I mean I do hate to be so sensitive to the colonialist legacy here but the idea that the only proper cup of tea is strong, black, and milky; as if nobody could possibly have been doing anything different with a plant they cultivated for thousands of years, well, sheesh.
posted by traveler_ at 9:36 PM on October 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


This whole Internet-of-Shit connected appliances has the same fetid odor of the craziness the Edwardians got up to with electricity. They were so enamored of the things it could do, with no idea what made sense, that they introduced idiotic crap like the electric tablecloth.

Honestly, the shit we're coming up with now, witness this stupid over engineered tea maker, or that rage-inducing WiFI fuckin' egg tray, is even more goddam idiotic. Same shit, different century. Though at least the WiFi egg tray won't electrocute you if you spill your wine, so I guess that's progress. yay!
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:44 PM on October 27, 2017 [14 favorites]


Because it is made of felt, the tablecloth is susceptible to moth attack

I'd think moth attacks would be short-lived.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:48 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


As would be the owners.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:05 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


A couple weeks ago I unexpectedly received an egg tray.

You put eggs in the tray and put the tray in the fridge.
You install the proprietary app on your phone to link the egg tray to the Internet.
The egg tray can now remotely notify you of how many eggs are in the tray, whether any are too old, and you can optionally set the app to notify you when it's time to buy more eggs.


Honestly, I can sooooooort of get the point of that one. I will, semi-regularly, be at the grocery store and be unable to remember if I should buy eggs, because I can’t remember how many I have left. Or I won’t buy eggs cause I assume I still have three or four, only to get home and find my girlfriend has eaten them. I’m not saying it’s super useful, but I can at least kinda see where I might want this, unlike the weird tea nonsense. Especially since it only costs $25, instead of $400, which places it firmly in the “fun, kinda goofy toy” price range instead of the “uh wtf are you doing” price range.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:38 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


In other news, my WiFi connected bidet, The Assphoria+, is on track for Mezzanine funding!

I'm really hoping you plan to call the heavy-duty public washroom model The Asswhoria+!
posted by tenderly at 10:49 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wait a second now. The alleged British person only drinks two cups of tea a day?

Clearly some kind of traitor, or is this the dark future that awaits me?
posted by Artw at 8:37 PM on October 27 [1 favorite +] [!]



Almost like some kind of....Benedict Arnold.
posted by bq at 10:50 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


That's when you put lemonade in it, right?
posted by Artw at 11:08 PM on October 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


41 comments in and the essential instruction manual has not been mentioned? "No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea."

Orwell also writes in that piece:

But still, how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter.

If that's true for tea and beer, it must be so for coffee, as well. Is there a Bitter Beans app yet?
posted by tenderly at 11:23 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Blows smoke up you like two Telsa leaf blowers.
posted by hawthorne at 11:33 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


I will, semi-regularly, be at the grocery store and be unable to remember if I should buy eggs, because I can’t remember how many I have left.

It feels somewhat wrong, as a British person living in North America, and therefore the ideal candidate for dispensing unsolicited tea making advice, to be instead dispensing mostly unsolicited egg advice, but the correct thing to do in this situation is to purchase more eggs despite your currently unquantifiable egg situation, and eat either a frittata and/or some egg salad sandwiches in the case of accidental egg oversupply, which is vastly preferable to either having some sort of automated egg watchman lurking insidiously in the fridge, or too few eggs.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:37 PM on October 27, 2017 [20 favorites]


It reads an RFID chip?

I can't wait for someone to hack the firmware of one of their machines, so that it brews every podthingy of, say, Earl Grey at 472 Kelvin for 537 hours upon reading that tea blend's chip.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:07 AM on October 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Somewhere Grommet is rolling his eyes while Wallace is struggling to connect his Teforia to the WiFi network.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:09 AM on October 28, 2017 [13 favorites]


Also - whoever mentioned the Teasmade? A sincere thank you. I need this in my life, and Amazon has a model wired for US/Canadian electrical systems.

Yes, I bought it.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:58 AM on October 28, 2017 [9 favorites]


difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space

I was under the impression the smart kitchen space is inside the kitchen of a people that won't pay for overpriced Internet Of Shit appliances with a buy-our-proprietary-consumables business model.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:01 AM on October 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Quoting from the "going out of business" page:
We believe our customers are deserving of the best. ... Therefore, ... we are announcing that all business operations, for Teforia Company, will cease effective today.

Yeah, I'm leaning towards an elaborate joke/money laundering scam. I mean, if I was a millionaire before divorce, I'd love to invest in a Lemming Ventures & OffTheCliff Capital opportunity and see my money sans a 15% fee on the other side, in free Panama.

What's that honey? Our retirement investment? Well, wouldn't you believe it - they went bust!
posted by Laotic at 2:19 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


> I will, semi-regularly, be at the grocery store and be unable to remember if I should buy eggs, because I can’t remember how many I have left.

Since we don't have any other foods in the fridge being monitored over wifi, I still have to open it to take inventory before a grocery run. May as well check on the eggs too. Our preferred egg vendor sells in 18-egg cartons, and by happy coincidence our new fridge's egg shelf has room for 18 eggs at a time. Disrupting this particular paradigm is going to require a hell of a lot more user-focused design than had been invested in that egg tray.

So anyway "I have no idea what to do with this" obviously means Christmas is coming soon and it's being regifted.
posted by ardgedee at 2:25 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Someone notify me please if saturday_morning's and tobascodagama's comments at the top go over 42 favorites so I can remove mine to try to bring them back to the number they need to be.
posted by radwolf76 at 3:37 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, if we're sharing wild venture capital pitches, I have a few new ones...

trashrbot: A wifi enabled smart home hub, clutter and waste management ecosystem rolled into one. It integrates with Amazon Prime, Dash Buttons as well as a variety of other online shopping APIs like Shopify. Packaged in the form of about a 25 centimeter cube, it not only aggressively patrols your house for trash but also learns your shopping habits and develops a program to identify the wide variety of items in a common home that are frequently bought then immediately lost, forgotten about or accidentally left to spoil, and otherwise clutters up the house, taking up needed space in the backs of shelves and closets. trashrbot develops a schedule for ordering, orders them, accepts the deliveries and then proactively throws them away for you, thus forever ending the problems like repeatedly buying hangers and having them fill the closet in the guest bedroom, or the all too common problem of buying too much kale in a guilty fit of health consciousness after eating an entire box of cookies, and then never actually eating it and waiting for it to finally go bad enough to throw out so there's room for a bowl of pudding.

MySpace: A gig-economy platform for matching privacy specialists with customers who just need a little more personal space. For as little as $35 an hour (subscription required) anyone can put together a custom privacy team that will surround the user with as many as six street-smart and savvy specialists wherever they go. Or users can pick from easy to deploy pre-configured packages like the MySpace Party Package, which surrounds the user with a minimum of 24 specialists and 12 matching telescoping, riot-proof wall segments that can create as much as 1,500 square feet of mobile, flexible private and safe spaces anywhere they like from parks to restaurants to sports arenas and more, or simply walking the dog. Upgrade packages often feature complete entertainment packages and interior mobile furnishings - as well as the latest in tactical less than lethal riot defense technology.

iPants: Never think about clean underwear or socks ever again. Integrating and deploying the latest in cloud-based artificial intelligence neural network intelligence and additive, rapid just in time intelligent manufacturing processes, iPants offers the user to relax and leave the endless problems of finding, selecting, wearing, disrobing and even washing to a holistically integrated broad spectrum solution that taps portions of IBM's Deep Blue medical intelligence with Google's Deep Mind learning algorithms and the latest in structured light projector-based 3D printing. The iPants system uses RFID and NFC technology to keep track of the deployed lifetime of any pair of socks or underpants which dissolves them with a mild acid contained in microbead-pockets at the 12 hour mark, but first alerting the user with a fifteen minute warning that they need to take off and dispose of the socks and pants in the patented fire-proof iPants containment and disposal bags included with every cartridge of iPants nanoparticulate printing liquid. The user can then return to the iPants Closet where the scanning and printing system will print their new undergarments directly on their body precisely tailored to them in the color and design selected by the deep learning algorithms. The iPants system also no longer requires any cauterization (in 99% of users) and has reduced UV emissions by over 50% by reformulating the underwear printing liquid.
posted by loquacious at 4:37 AM on October 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


I realize this bars me from ever gaining UK citizenship, but I just don't like milk in my tea. Like at all.

I really hope "How do you like your tea?" isn't on the Life in the UK test, because I can't stand milk in mine either. I've taken to answering that question "Black as my shriveled little heart" in the right company.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:44 AM on October 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Also, "Leave the teabag in until the spoon can stand up on its own". If I can't use it to tan leather, it's not proper tea.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:45 AM on October 28, 2017 [9 favorites]


I never imagined, back when I was a kid watching TV in the 80s, that the future of the American economy would depend on venture capitalists providing billions in funding to product ideas that may as well have been from Ronco.
posted by MrVisible at 5:47 AM on October 28, 2017 [8 favorites]


A sad thing is that I actually kind of want a PancakeBot, the world's first 3D pancake printer. I mean, not really, but I find it oddly charming.

This is a thing that exists at HolidayInn Express!! I love it SO MUCH that I will book at HIE whenever I can because PANCAKE PRINTER.

I really want one. Like, I REALLY want one.
posted by cooker girl at 6:55 AM on October 28, 2017 [8 favorites]


#poursoneout
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:58 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Such a shame to see this fail. Clearly consumers felt they wanted something that would consume slightly more plastic for no obvious benefit other than more bone-idleness.

Though if we're talking about possible parody material, this crowdfunder had me spluttering the other day.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:20 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


At $199, I'd say that their remaining stock is pretty OK value: they've unlocked it so that you can use leaves. And presumably use it as a Teasmade, at least with the help of IFTT.

And that Gizmodo article has that annoying fallacy about tea: because tea is important to British people, we're experts at it. No, there's a huge difference between need-it-like-I-need-WiFi tea, and "oh, let's try the genmaicha" tea. It's all about the centrality of it to life in Britain (+ Ireland, Australia and New Zealand), the fact that it's a constant wherever you go, that whenever you're in need, there's a cup of breakfast tea available to comfort you. Making a big song and dance about what type of tea it is totally misses the point. If you make me have one of the big brands, I'll take Typhoo, but given the choice, I'll go for one of the supermarket premium own brands.
posted by ambrosen at 7:26 AM on October 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


I really hope "How do you like your tea?" isn't on the Life in the UK test, because I can't stand milk in mine either.

I don't see that that would be a problem: if it were to be a part of what in my household we call "The Stupid Fucking Test" (and the most British thing is to see a test of Britishness as fundamentally fucking stupid and un-British), the important thing would be to have an answer. The only failing reply would be "It's all right, I suppose".
posted by Grangousier at 7:34 AM on October 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


Is this a Producers-type deal, where they raise a lot of funding on a product that's bound to fail and walk away with the money?

The correct terminology is "disruptive".

While I'm virulently anti-pod, there is certainly a place for automated beverage machines, why not a device that takes 3-5 different styles in bulk, seals and preserves (vacuum? nitrogen?) a small bin of each flavor tea. Then dispenses a calculated blend for a particular preference or mood. Removes the plastic from the infrastructure and with the right flavor engineers could be way better than most efforts. (declare a 0.001% equity stake in any mifi that becomes a multimillionaire from this idea)
posted by sammyo at 9:04 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Though if we're talking about possible parody material, this crowdfunder had me spluttering the other day.

The psychology of crowdfunding is fascinating. Besides paying for something in advance that you may not get, the prices are almost always way too high. I don't mean more than I would pay, I mean every time I see one I think very few people would pay that price if it was sitting on a store shelf, ready to take home, much less if they had to order it and wait for it.
posted by bongo_x at 10:03 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


In other news, my WiFi connected bidet, The Assphoria+, is on track for Mezzanine funding!

Want to hear the pitch for my TeesuitTM, it's like the stillsuit from Dune, only it makes Tea!
posted by I hate nature. at 10:07 AM on October 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


SOLD
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on October 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Though if we're talking about possible parody material, this crowdfunder had me spluttering the other day.

AFAIR that one went on to be a rather successful mass market toy, and apparently it's pretty awesome. I would have loved to have one of those as a kid as I spent a whole lot of time with paper airplanes, rubber band-powered models, balsa wood gliders and stuff like White Wings kits.

The awesome thing about that system is you can strap it on to any paper airplane design you want.

It's practically an educational toy that could teach aero engineering, iterative design, testing/prototyping and more.
posted by loquacious at 11:35 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


I can't believe that egg tray is a thing. Roast Beef was a decade and a half ahead of the curve, I guess. All he needed was to build an internet of shit device.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:45 AM on October 28, 2017 [5 favorites]


Yes, we Brits have had devices for making the tea and doing other things in previous times. Of which the most well-known was called the (am not making this up) Goblin Teasmade, which is an actual thing that made tea and then woke you up, and NOT as an American friend suspects a sexual position enjoyed by the English aristocracy. Or maybe it is, I don't know, I'm a farmboy from deepest Worcestershire.

Here is an ad from 1977, and here is an earlier model in operation.
posted by Wordshore at 12:12 PM on October 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


This is not the smart tea device I was thinking of. It's a little unnerving that in searching for it, I have found a few others - Teplo, Qi Aerista - but what I was thinking of was the cube from 42tea.

I'm not sure any of them are entirely off the ground, but it is a surprisingly crowded time in the tea hardware in the smart kitchen space.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:30 PM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, "Leave the teabag in until the spoon can stand up on its own". If I can't use it to tan leather, it's not proper tea.

Sometimes, I'll leave the teabag in for 24 hours or so. This is not a typo. I've made tea....then completely spaced it until the next morning.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:48 PM on October 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh yay: the 1970 Goblin Teasmade in action.

I am vibrating in anticipation!

https://youtu.be/G3PK53b_3qo

posted by spinifex23 at 12:59 PM on October 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Actually, I might run with the SmartFlowerPot. It dings an app on your phone when it needs to be watered and then self-irrigates unless you tell it that you want to have the experience of watering it yourself!

Presented without comment
posted by Acheman at 2:01 PM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


I used to have a Teasmade. Since all it had to do was boil water and deposit it in the (china) pot (and I think the warming plate under the pot went on with the water heating element so it warmed the pot, too ) the actual tea was nice and strong. Although I still had to get up and traipse to the kitchen to get the milk. At the time I found it annoying that all the whooshing and gurgling woke me up slowly before the alarm went off, but in retrospect it was quite nice and gentle. There were Teasmades with clock radios in them weren’t there? You could theoretically get different stations, but realistically any radio wedded to a Teasmade was only ever going to play Radio 2.
posted by Grangousier at 2:04 PM on October 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


Actually, I might run with the SmartFlowerPot. It dings an app on your phone when it needs to be watered and then self-irrigates unless you tell it that you want to have the experience of watering it yourself!

Presented without comment


This is in direct competition with my new smart flower pot. Where this monitors light, temperature, soil moisture and fertiliser levels in real time, mine has a little microphone that listens for the plant's tiny cries of anguish as its soil dries up.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:31 PM on October 28, 2017 [5 favorites]


Where this monitors light, temperature, soil moisture and fertiliser levels in real time, mine has a little microphone that listens for the plant's tiny cries of anguish as its soil dries up.

Expect a cease and desist from trashrbot. You're already infringing on our IP.
posted by loquacious at 3:31 PM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


I love the inventiveness of the classic Teasmade and the RAK15 Water Heater because it's charming to see a culture seriously value its beloved icons. It reminds me of stories several years back about how making kimchi which would travel well, no be too messy in zero-g, and taste satisfactory was a significant aspect of the South Korean space program, which seemed like a misplaced priority to outsiders. But to those who had grown up on Korean cuisine, it sort of made sense: "If there's no kimchi in space, why bother to go there?"
posted by jackbishop at 5:30 PM on October 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


Being in Seattle, and in a basement flat, the only stations I can tune in on my current radio with any regularity is KEXP, NPR, and some Tejano station broadcasting out of Kent. I wish the US version of the teasmade had the clock radio built in, but alas, it does not.

I'm in a weird cultural blip here in the USA; I grew up drinking tea in my family, but I learned to take it black, like my Mom did. I still love it, totally without any adornment. Everyone else drank coffee, so I had no other tea people to model my drinking off of. It wasn't until I started consuming British cultural products that I learned about how important milk is in tea - which makes all the teasmade discussion on 'well, you have this tea alarm clock by the bed, where do you store the milk?!' make more sense.

(I usually drink either tea imported from Great Britain, Ireland, or India, so I experience how strong that tea gets. I've also learned to love a milky, sweet Builder's Tea, even though I barely make it at home.)
posted by spinifex23 at 12:20 AM on October 29, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also: Because I'm now completely obsessed with the Teasmade, and am waiting patiently for mine to come in a few days, I've been Googling everything I can find.

We've discussed this magical invention before.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:37 PM on October 29, 2017 [2 favorites]


One of the few things I dislike about living alone is that I have no-one to bring me a cup of tea in bed in the morning. By the time I've gotten up to make it, the moment is gone. I had never heard of a Teasmade and I am sorely tempted, especially since I need to buy a new bedside clock anyway.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 6:52 PM on October 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


The Teasmade Arriveth!

At least it did a week ago. I've been using it for the past week.

Verdict: I like it! The oval analog clock can't really distinguish between AM and PM, so I make sure that I set it to brew when there's less than 12 hours left in the day. And it's not that exact, so if you want your tea to get brewed at 6:48 am every morning, that's gonna need some tweaking. But, I currently have it to set to brew at 7:00ish am, and it is usually done by 7:05 am. Then, I let it steep for a few minutes before pouring that first cup. Then, I have some of it, and let caffeine do it's thing. The tea I've been brewing is a bagged black chai from India, and I find that 1 teabag works really well.

In terms of waking up, I find that having some tea right away helps me wake up a lot better. In fact, the time change barely fazed me. It definitely wakes me up better than my dawn simulator light did, and I no longer lay in bed for an hour, staring at the ceiling, too paralyzed to move due to pre-dawn existential angst hitting me the second I wake up. Caffeine works as an anti-depressant for me, so whilst others may scoff as 'bedside tea', I'm finding a necessary part of my morning routine now. Because once that caffeine hits, the fog lifts, and I can go about my day.

Detriments: The clock light and ticking may disrupt some people; I tune them out. And the light can be adjusted. The alarm isn't as loud as the water boiling; I also use my cell phone as a 'backup alarm', but I've done that anyways.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:56 AM on November 9, 2017 [8 favorites]


Bonus - I now feel like I'm constantly in a Doctor Who episode.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:21 PM on November 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


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