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ARM Innovation Hub
Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
2 February, 2012 - 16:16 By News Desk

Cambridge tech brews tea drinking revolution

Its TeaTotal concept is designed to bring a dynamic experience to the customer who loves a cuppa

UK design hothouse Cambridge Consultants has lifted the lid on prototype technology that promises to trigger a tea drinking revolution.

Its TeaTotal concept is designed to bring a dynamic experience to the customer who loves a cuppa.

It allows for personalisation according to taste, and brews the ‘perfect cup’ in half the time of the standard tea process, maximising revenue for the retailer.

TeaTotal is a fully programmable tea brewing device, allowing the consumer to specify not only the leaf, but also the intensity of the tea flavour and the relative bitterness.

Cambridge Consultants’ design team was able to identify the independent variables that impact flavour, and how to separately manipulate them to deliver each consumer’s ideal cup.

Moreover, while a standard tea process brews tea in roughly four minutes, TeaTotal only takes around two minutes, creating faster throughput in a retail setting.

The prototype has been designed to use loose leaf tea and the theatrical brewing pot fills with water, swirling the leaves around and steeping until the tea is poured into a cup and the spent leaves are ejected, all highly visible to the expectant consumer.

“Recent retail figures show that even if consumers are reluctant to buy expensive consumer goods in the current economic climate, they are willing to spend money on little luxuries like cosmetics, personal care products, food and drinks,” said Edward Brunner, principal engineer in Cambridge Consultants’ consumer team.

“Tea drinkers stand in line in a retail outlet and watch as their coffee-drinking fellow customers are treated to a personal ‘barista experience’. Meanwhile they are presented with a mug of hot water and a soggy bag on a string.

“Tea drinkers deserve more, and will demand more as tea becomes the new coffee. The TeaTotal prototype brings that same sense of everyday luxury to tea, where we have seen a richer approach to leaves and flavours but not yet to the brewing process itself.”

In the last five years, Cambridge Consultants has been engaged in over 30 beverage dispense projects in the consumer and commercial spaces, ranging from novel espresso delivery to high quality milk frothing technology.

This prototype demonstrates that creating a premium consumer experience for tea is far from blue sky thinking and can be brought to market within a year.

Cambridge Consultants is currently looking for retailers or their suppliers who would be keen to work with them to take the concept to the market.

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