The next great steeping travel mug? Would you invest?

So have you ever tried one of those French press tea travel mugs? I have one. And it’s okay. But if I don’t drink the tea right away, then the leaves at the bottom steep for way too long and the tea at the end gets super strong, bitter, or just gross. Plus it’s not an awesome solution if you put milk in your tea either. And it seems like I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Entrepreneur and tea-enthusiast Joey Landford of The Tea Merchant launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of a new type of travel tumbler that he hopes will revolutionize how busy people enjoy their tea. He says it can be used for coffee too, but we don’t care about that around here.

Joey explained the inspiration behind the tumbler, “When I was going to college and working full time, I wanted to still be able to drink my tea. I was too busy for traditional means; I needed something so I could brew on the go. Nothing I saw on the market for travel tumblers solved this. They all would over-brew my tea giving it a bad flavor, or I would have to immediately discard the tea or coffee. That is not an option when driving.”

Frustrated with the current offerings, Joey spent months developing a steeping system that would give him complete control over the brewing of his tea (and coffee, blech). In the end he says he found a design that eliminates the bitter taste created when the leaves brew in the water for too long. Among other features, his Easy Steep tumbler prototype includes a specially designed filter that locks onto the lid to prevent over-steeping as well as a convenient storage area for keeping additional tea, coffee or sugar packets.

At the New York City Tea and Coffee Festival, a consumer-oriented show, Joey debuted his Easy Steep Tumbler prototype, and he says the response was enthusiastic, “Everyone I talked to loved it! Most, in fact were blown away.” So based on that response, Joey created a Kickstarter campaign  to raise funds to bring his design into production.

There are several investment levels with the basic one starting at $30, which gets you Easy Steep tumbler.

I’ve never funded a Kickstarter before, so not sure if I’ll fund this one. What about you? Do you think this is a design that’ll work?

Easy Steep, The To-Go Tumbler by Joey Landford — Kickstarter.

The iKettle – hot or hype

iKettle - available for order from Firebox

iKettle – available for order from Firebox

So the iKettle looks interesting, but I’ll have to play with one to see what it can really do. The iKettle looks like a souped up Breville tea kettle that connects via wi-fi to an app on your phone.  On the app, you can tell it to turn on when you wake up and then keep the water warm after it’s boiled. From what I’ve read, it’s not clear if there’s an option to program the iKettle to come on without you having to press a button. And like the Breville, it has precise temperature control (so you don’t burn your white and green teas), a stainless steel finish and a filtered spout.

I’m not sure if I would opt for the iKettle over the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker. If your main reason for wanting something you can turn on remotely is only so that you can have tea when you wake up, I’d much prefer having it fully brewed without any intervention from me when my morning alarm goes off, which is what the One-Touch does. What would be cool is if you could turn the iKettle on remotely from outside the home, say on your way home from work or after a chilly day/night outside. That would be handy! But it’s sounds like you can’t do that since the product pages says “control the iKettle from anywhere in the house with your smart-phone.” So your phone and the iKettle probably have to be on the same wi-fi network for it to work. Bummer.

Drawback of any remote start/programmable kettle – you have to make sure it’s set up to boil beforehand. Sounds like we just need a Justin the tea making robot in our house.

You can pre-order the iKettle’s now from Firebox, and it should be available in November 2013.

Teatanic infuser – tasteful or tasteless?

A tea infuser in the shape of the Titanic. Tasteful or tasteless?

A tea infuser in the shape of the Titanic?

A friend pointed me toward this Teatanic tea infuser over at perpetual kid. I guess if you’re a big fan of the Titanic and tea you have a must have tribute to both. Personally, I don’t quite understand the obsession with the Titanic (I have watched the movie with Leo and Kate several times though), but I’m not sure how suitable it is to essentially poke fun at a tragedy. Or maybe I’m too sensitive. What do you think – tasteful or tasteless?



Low-tech iced tea brewer – pitcher set

Even though Fall has arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere, there are days when you need a nice iced tea to help pick you up during long days at work. And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, well this is just in time for your summer. Tea Forte has a nice little brewing/pitcher system for making fresh iced tea when you need it.

I haven’t tried it out yet, so I don’t know just how nice of an iced tea it makes. But it does look pretty.

Tea Bag Sqeezer

It is said that you should never squeeze a tea bag into your cuppa because it’ll make the tea bitter. But what’s a girl to do if she drinks several cups a day and doesn’t want all that extra water in her trash or compost? Use a tea bag squeezer. Just be sure to squeeze the tea bag in the sink instead of your nice cuppa tea.

Tea bag squeezer- Crate & Barrel