There are not only six basic types of tea, but a bewildering number of varieties and blends that often demand a very specific method of brewing to bring out their best flavor. The Teforia infuser from the eponymous Mountain View, California startup is designed to help users more easily navigate these waters, using a proprietary Selective Infusion Process (SIP) technology to not only tailor the brewing to the tea, but also allow the user to control factors like caffeine and antioxidant levels.
According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans may be notorious for being a coffee-drinking nation, but they are also the second largest tea importers after Russia and consume some 80 billion cupfuls each year. However, those cups are generally prepared using not-hot-enough water poured over a teabag in a mug. In addition, more serious tea aficionados are faced with a good deal of homework as to water temperature, steeping times, and other factors needed to properly prepare the many varieties and blends of Black, Green, Oolong, Dark, Floral, Pu'er, White, and Tisane.
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Using commercial loose-leaf teas or special pods available from Teforia, the infuser is designed to automatically adjust itself based on the variety of tea it's brewing. According to the company, SIP uses algorithms based on input from tea experts, farmers, and scientists to provide the correct brewing recipe for each tea variety. In addition, the infuser has a learning capability, so its can adapt itself to the user's preferences, and can create bespoke cuppas using intuitive slide controls.
Teforia says that the level of control provided by its infuser allows users to create their own recipes, control the caffeine level and reduce it by 67 percent, and increase antioxidants by up to 133 percent. There's also an app available in iOS or Android that wirelessly connects to the diffuser, allows the user to re-order teas and filters, provides background information on teas, and recommends new varieties.
The Teforia infuser is made for countertops and uses a distinctly un-teapot-like insulated double-walled borosilicate glass serving carafe and infusion globe, while the body of the machine is high-impact, BPA-free plastic.
Teforia is releasing 500 of the infusers with US shipments beginning in the second quarter of next year. It sells for US$1,299 with an early-bird price of US$649 for the first 500 along with a gift box of 30 servings of loose-leaf teas, a limited edition serial number, and a chance at winning a one-week tea sourcing and tasting trip.
The video below introduces the Teforia infuser.