As commercial and at-home users are looking at new ways to enhance their tea preparation, World Tea News takes a look at some of the recent tea technology to hit the market. Teforia (Early Customer Price: $799 - Shipping to begin in Spring 2016) www.teforia.com Teforia combines sophisticated design with highly-responsive technology. The machine uses the “Selective Infusion Profile System” (SIPS) to ensure that optimal brewing conditions, including water temperature and volume and how long the tea is infused. This is equipment created for the truly passionate tea enthusiast. Like those consumers, Teforia knows that black tea must be handled differently from green tea. Not only that, it knows that a Japanese sencha shouldn’t be treated like a Dragonwell. The truly special part of this device is that personal preferences can be matched. A user can alter the steeping using the “flavor and aroma palate.” They can request lower caffeine and brewing conditions that maximize antioxidants. For more on Teforia, check out previous World Tea News coverage. BKON Craft Brewer (Commercial use. Price: Approximately $7,500) www.bkonbrew.com/tea/ The BKON Craft Brewer emphasizes the ability to fully extract the flavor of teas and botanicals quickly. They have created RAIN technology to pull all the soluble elements in 60 to 90 seconds. The makers claim that many of these flavors are usually not discovered until second and third infusions. RAIN stands for Reverse Atmospheric Infusion and it makes use of vacuums to maximize infusion. The technology allows 40 cups of tea to be made each hour, a great benefit for commercial use. It can dispense water at a temperature range from 160 to 210 degrees. The equipment also makes use of a cloud-based application that allows recipes to be changed and shared across devices quickly. The BKON can store up to 750 recipes. Originally designed for coffee, BKON Craft Brewer has gained substantial notice for its potential in tea. The device is used in the new American Tea Room retail store and Teasters Tea Co., a drive-thru tea shop in Lubbock, Tex. The machine launched in the spring of 2014. Craftea (Retail: $199) www.craftea.com Craftea has been on display at World Tea Expo and continues to draw attention. In 2015 it was the winner in Best New Product in Teaware at the Expo. This device uses an induction strategy called vortex technology. Craftea has been specifically promoted as useful for chai preparation, preventing boil-overs. The capacity can be up to four cups and the vessel is dishwasher safe. Tea-Ceré from Sharp (Retail: $299.99) http://www.sharpusa.com/
Just as Craftea staked its claim on the chai market, Tea-Ceré by Sharp focuses on the rising attention on matcha. With a ceramic mill, the machine can grind tea leaves into a fine powder and then steeps the tea perfectly. This machine can transform black tea, green tea or oolong into tea powder which adds additional options not only for consumption, but also for culinary use. The machine is available in green and red.
Zojirushi Water Boilers (Range - $120 - $200)
Zojirushi is a name well-known among commercial tea sellers. Their water boilers are respected for their versatility and consistent performance. The water boilers come in a wide range of sizes, have multiple “keep warm” temperature settings and one-touch dispensing. The commercial version is a countertop boiler with no plumbing required. It can hold 169 ounces (5 liters) and can keep water at 175 degrees, 195 degrees or 208 degrees. It also has a delay timer allowing the user to schedule heating 7 hours in advance. Other devices offer keep warm at 140 degrees and 160 degrees as well. A full range of Zojirushi water boilers can be viewed here.
The newest water boilers being released in their line are the VE Hybrid Water Boiler and Warmer and the Panorama Window Micom Water Boiler & Warmer.
Water boilers are not the only product tea vendors turn to. The Zojirushi Gravity Pots are popular dispensers. These serving vessels can keep tea hot for hours and can hold 84 ounces (2.5 liters).
Two products from Lipton and Nespresso have yet to hit the U.S. market, but are worth keeping an eye on for future release.
Lipton T.O. (Retail: Approx. $200)
This device, produced for Unilever by Krups, hit the French market in the fall of 2015. Bodum assisted Lipton with the design side. The device comes in silver, anise, titanium and red. With a glass infusion chamber the machine intends to highlight the beauty of tea as it steeps into the cup. Single-serve tea capsules are purchased specifically for the device. The temperature and steep time can be adjusted to match the tea type. Tea is steeped in 30 seconds.
Nespresso Special T
The Nespresso Special.T is only available in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Japan and Switzerland. This machine utilizes single-serving tea capsules and has been available since 2010. It began in France and expanded its reach in 2012. In 2013 it launched in Japan.
Duo Coffee Steeper, with tea add-on (Retail: $99)
The Duo Coffee Steeper was developed by Founder Jake Miller with Engineering Project Manager Molly McNeil and Brand Manager Hanna McPhee, under the company name Fellow Products. Fellow emerged from a Kickstarter campaign to build a better coffee brewer.
This beautiful glass vessel functions is a fresh-look at a traditional French press. It has a wide silicone band to allow for comfortable handling of the device. While it was clearly designed with coffee in mind, there is a tea filter that can be purchased as an add-on.
The Duo can be purchased with a grey, blue or maroon band.
This is the second iteration of this product. The team solicited input from users for improvements. As a result, they improved the filter, gaskets and the stay-cool silicone band.
More information about Duo can be seen here. Brewing tea with the Duo can be seen here.