World's First Portable Digitally Controlled Tea Steeper "Teaflo"

Hi everyone, just began marketing a product that we will be selling on Kickstarter soon. Check it out, would love to get feedback from the tea community. Also, if you’d like support us feel free to sign up.

53 Replies
Inkay said

Checked out the website. I see that it is described as having a “precise timer” and the video shows the timer being incremented by what appears to be a minute with each press. Can the timer be integrated by seconds or is a minute the only option?

There are two buttons. One is minute and other is a 10 second. This allows the user to control it to a ten second increment. I appreciate the feed back. Thanks.

Inkay said

Gotcha. Looking a bit harder I can see that now. A bit more of a breakdown of each of the controls on the device would probably be helpful, as it’s really difficult to tell what the buttons say from the photo. Details like capacity of the device, ease of disassembly for cleaning, etc, etc would be nice, as well. Folks who are already particular about their steeping parameters and who try out different devices are going to want more specific information than what’s currently shared.

Inkay..thanks for the advise…just updated the buttons. Will add the cleaning section in the next couple days. Cheers

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Feedback: tea community already has timer on smartphone, your product is redundant and will just add more plastic to landfills.

Understand the timer. If someone knocks on your door, calls you are you get stuck another task in the middle of steeping you still have to return to your tea and stop the steeping process. This product removes that concern. As far as the plastic issue, I don’t know what to say except we are using a very expensive BPA free plastic and it is not bad for the body. Perhaps we should get rid of all plastic steepers?

Everune said

I don’t have a smart phone, I’m not sure why you assume everyone does.

I agree. In addition the smart phone won’t activate a pour when the tea is finished steeping. Thanks for the input.

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Let’s say I’m in the middle of brewing some tea with your device and a friend calls to tell me she’s discovered that the tea in question tastes a lot better if it’s brewed for 45 seconds instead of 30 seconds. Is there an app I can use to change the steep time on-the-fly? Does the app communicate with the device directly using Bluetooth or do I have to subscribe to your service for $9.99/month to make changes to my steep time? That seems excessive. Suggestion: you should use a freemium model where the first three teas are free, then $4.99 for up to twenty different teas, then $9.99 “tea hoarders” level with unlimited tea steeping settings. You could show ads to the freemium users while they’re waiting for their tea to steep.

Or you could use gaiwan like civilized people have been doing for thousand years. No need to pay monthly fees and you don’t need to recharge battery or worry about chemicals from plastic.

Ledasha – Actually I’d like to point that the Teaflo has NO monthly fees. We also do not have an app for the device. The product is made to be a very simple and inexpensive solution to the need for a timer and to remember when the tea is finished steeping. Also,there is a “pour” button on the unit that will override the time set. If, for example you set the time for 3 minutes and wanted to stop it at 2:30 it’s very simple, just push pour and it will dispense. The unit allows you to set the time in 1 minute and 10 second increments. So it can be set any time within 10 secs. I hope this answers the questions. Thanks

What colors does this come in? I would use black for regular tea, blue for decaf and yellow for herbal tea.

Ledasha, it will come in Black, Red, and Green..I will look into adding a yellow before launching. But, realize you should be able to use the same one for all teas. The product is very easy to clean. Did you sign up for update? We can keep you up to date on these questions before we launch. Thanks

Babble said

Huh? Where does the website say anything about a monthly fee? Did I miss that. I think that’s a terrible idea.

I have no idea where the monthly fee came from. There is no monthly fee what so ever. There will never be a monthly fee. Thanks

I couldn’t use the same one for different teas. My grandmother is allergic to caffeine so her herbal teas must be prepared in a separate container from regular tea (even decaf). And if my son Zach has too much caffeine he gets hyperactive so I wouldn’t want to make his decaf tea in the same container as regular tea to avoid any accidental contamination. I suppose I could use black for regular, red for decaf and green for herbal. I’m glad to hear you removed the monthly fees – that’s good customer service!

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@ Master Zhou – I really see your point about plastic but did you know that many of the Gaiwan sets out there contain high levels of lead? So, no matter what material one chooses to make food and beverage related products from, one must buy and beware of the material they use. As I said before, we are using a very expensive BPA free and great material. It arguably safer then many of the Gaiwan products on the market. Thanks for raising good points.

We drink tea for relaxation. We do not want to worry if our rechargeable battery is going to run out during a tea session ruining the tea, or how long it will be before the battery stops holding a charge rendering the whole device useless, or if the lithium in the battery is going to catch fire and burn down our houses because of exposure to hot water.

It not a lithium battery….lol…It’s a small rechargeable battery. It’s the same system used in the Dawn Dish washing brush which has been around about 20 years with a big 0 in fires…lol…you’re funny. And if you charge it for 20 minutes it will last 3 months..

Wow, what a horrible claim. “Gaiwan sets out there contain high levels of lead” That so? PROVE IT. Why do you think that? Because it is made in China or something?

Way to fear monger and tinfoil hat it at the same time.

You lost all respect in some cheap crap to peddle your kickstarter.

I’d also add the other camp of thought wouldn’t use this product anyways because it is plastic. I don’t care if it is BPA, many don’t want any sort of plastic touching their tea.

You bad attitude about defending your junk really shoots yourself in the foot. You more or less just called most of this community a bunch of lead drinkers.

@Gaiwancutie. Relax, he uses very expensive plastic and he has a security guard follow every step of production process to ensure his manufacturer does not substitute cheap plastic when no one is looking. Then, as added insurance, he tests each batch of finished product in a laboratory to ensure the expensive plastic was not switched by those devious manufacturers. I am convinced and am planning to throw my gaiwan collection into trashbin.

Master Zhou: Would you consider selling or donating your gaiwans instead of throwing them out? What colors to you have? I could use black, blue and yellow for different types of tea that I drink.

@Gaiwancutie – I think you misunderstood the point I was making. Just pointing out that the material we are using is safe as Gaiwan, that’s all. Apologies if I didn’t make myself clear. I myself own Gaiwan tea sets. I just don’t use them all the time. I think I’ve gotten caught up in Master Zhou goal of catalyzing an argument instead of having a discussion. Please take a look at this link. There are numerous things out there. I’m just the messenger on this… thanks

“Catolizing?” I think all those plastic fumes may be affecting your brain. They also seem to be causing anger management issues. Relax and drink some tea.

I’ll quote you again

did you know that many of the Gaiwan sets out there contain high levels of lead

I did not misunderstand what you said. Unsure what BS marketing planet you are on, but that clearly says gaiwans have lead in them. If your product was made from the “Just pointing out that the material we are using is safe as Gaiwan” then your product has lead in it.

“many” meaning, not all but more then a little, but less then a large amount. Once again, I own Gaiwan sets…love them…the question of the safety of plastic was raised so I simply was trying to point out nothing is safe without over site by the manufacturer. Please take a look at this url

In case anyone else is confused about what I said. Gaiwan sets are great and I love them. The Teaflo is not meant to replace Gaiwan sets, that would be ridiculous, but it’s not always convenient to use Gaiwan sets. At any rate, here is a company that seems so concerned about the issue that they actual advertise their products are free of cadmium and lead. I guess this proves it is a concern, the same way BPA in plastic is and it needs to be watched. That’s all. I’m actually glad this came up because I think everyone should be aware for their health. In fact,I think I will be adding a nice line of Gaiwan sets to our list of products in the future that guaranty they are safe. Thanks.

I am interested in the gaiwans that you are offering since they are probably easier to use than the robot with all the buttons and dials. Will they come in the same colors as the robot?

AllanK said

If you notice the minimum order from that website is 2000 sets.

@AlannK – Yes…it’s a manufacture. I was just trying to demonstrate that manufactures get this question from the brands and customers they manufacture for because it is a concern.

@Ladasha – Not sure, just started thinking about during this blog. But, when we are able to get that online I will make a post. Thanks

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It is like a Teaforia for 1/10th the cost. :-) Good luck with your product launch.

Are the tea pods also going to be 1/10th the price of Teaforia’s tea pods? Or is this a razor-and-blades business model where the steeper will be cheap and then make money on the overpriced tea pods?

There are no tea pods. Please take a look at the video. It’s a very simple product. It simply controls the steep time so one doesn’t have to concern themselves with watching the tea while it is being steeped. Thanks

But I steep my tea for 5/10/15/30/60 seconds. It is very hard to lose track of the time within 60 seconds! And your robot doesn’t have 5 and 15 second buttons.

Even with the longest steep time of 1 minute I don’t think I could get very far so I might as well just stay and watch the tea while it is being steeped. Maybe this is the first example of a person putting a robot out of a job!

I don’t think this is the right product for me. Good luck anyhow maybe lots of customers will find this sort of robot useful!

Thanks for the feedback. Actually at the moment you can do as many minutes as you’d like. Also, you’re right it only breaks down into 10 seconds increments in terms of seconds. Remember, this is a kickstarter project which means there is time to add a 5 second option. Do you think the Teaflo should change the 10sec button to a 5 second button? Also, I’d be curious to hear if others think Teaflo should change the 10sec to a 5 sec. It’s a very simple change on the PCB program …Thanks

Babble said

Naaa.. I personally think 10 seconds is fine. Most people are going to want to do 30 seconds, so 3 clicks is less cumbersome than 6 clicks.

Naaa.. I personally think 10 seconds is fine. Most people are going to want to do 30 seconds, so 3 clicks is less cumbersome than 6 clicks.Also I’d take Ledasha’s comments with a grain of salt. I don’t think anyone who steeps most of their teas for under a minute is gonna have much interest in this product in the first place.

Thanks for the input. Cheers

I agree with Babble that a 10 second button is more efficient than a five second button if you want to enter 30 seconds. You should keep the 10 second button and if people need five seconds they can just tap it quickly. It would be even better for you to use two dials instead of buttons. One dial goes from zero to ten minutes, one dial goes from zero to fifty nine seconds. Then people could enter the exact time whether they like short or long steeps. Your advertisements could say “I’m going to dial me some perfect tea with my Teaflo robot!”

We considered doing something like that with the Teaflo. However, when we looked into it we found that it would drive up the price so we aimed at function and simplicity.

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Rob said

I think this would suit keen beginners rather than die hard tea drinkers. To brew tea you need to know time, water volume, water temperature and weight of dry tea leaves. My feedback would be to show the water volume (like a mini measuring jug) and then you will cover one more parameter.
I can see this suiting cafes or tea shops in a commercial setting. I would try to promote this to them too.

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Babble said

This is neat. I could see this being especially handy in tea shops where they serve the tea and have it dispense automatically. This reminds me a lot of the Breville Tea Maker, but for a lot less (minus the hot water making).

Can the tea vessel be microwaved without the lid? If not, that’s gonna be a sticking point for a lot of casual tea drinkers, especially without a kettle.

I agree with Inkay about adding a minute demonstration too. In the video when you demonstrate setting the time, just show it to a time like “2:30” so you can demonstrate the 10-second increments.

Thanks. As far as I know the Breville requires a power outlet. The Teaflo product does not need a power outlet. The idea is to control time only. Regarding the microwave…If someone used a microwave the best idea would be to put a cup (or container) of water in the microwave heat it and then pour it in the Teaflo. I really appreciate you bringing this up…I will update the website that no one should put the product in the microwave. I have already started working on the 10 second increments in the video. Thanks

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These comments pretty much match what I thought related to discussing this somewhere else. It would work for beginners that want to use a gadget to make brewing less difficult, not that it is difficult, or maybe for cafes.

I’ve long suspected that there is a hurdle to more people taking an interest in tea because it’s just so unfamiliar, and putting leaves in hot water seems a bit daunting, or maybe more often it just never comes up in the first place. More gear can’t get people started but there seems to be a range of tea drinkers this might appeal to.

I agree with your points. The Teaflo is very good for some situations like at an office or somewhere where one can easily be distracted. In addition, it compliments the herbal tea market and those type teas. Thanks for the response.

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Zennenn said

This is perfect for me while at work! No need for it at home, but I struggle with over steeping at work because I lose track of time and can’t use a timer with the volume or vibrate on because it will disturb my coworkers.

Thank you for the positive feedback….one of the reasons for the product was I had the same problem.

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What do you think about the Teaflo Stand? Teaflo is offering two free double walled tea cups for early sign ups. Thinking about offering an option for the cups or the stand.

Zennenn said

I’d prefer the stand over the cups. I already have enough cups. Thanks!

Thanks for the support

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