THE company behind the world's first round teabag has developed Te, a pod-based tea maker prototype.
The firm behind the new system claims it features "a disposable capsule and the ability to reduce brew time and increase drink quality".
Pedants who suggest that teabags are already in fact already "disposable capsules" will also have to contend with the claim that the new prototype is "taking tea making to the next level".
The Tê system brews tea in two minutes, rather than the traditional four that is recommended by tea companies but largely ignored by consumers. It also allows users to select the strength of their tea; prices of capsules would vary depending on the quality of the tea, and the machines would likely be cheaper than some coffee machines.
The popularity of capsule-based coffee machines such as Nespresso means that the tea industry is under pressure to produce a quicker, more consistent way for consumers to make the perfect brew, claim Cambridge Consultants, who have built the prototype.
The company claim Tê is based on a traditional tea brewing method, but uses a specially engineered recirculating pump technology which is incorporated in the capsule. It says rival tea-makers just replicate the 'single-pass' of a kettle's hot water being poured over a teabag.
Edward Brunner, Group Leader of the Industrial and Scientific Group at Cambridge Consultants, 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.
“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.”
Cambridge Consultants will be demonstrating the Tê machine at the Las Vegas electronics trade show, CES, in January.
By Matt Warman Telegraph.co.uk