Tea Mat/Timer Idea

Hello Steepster!

I have an idea for a tea related product that I wanted to get some opinions on. The product is a tea mat, made of some form of cloth material, and possibly a thin layer of absorbent material inside. Built into the corner of this mat, or perhaps protruding off the edge of the mat, would be a steep timer. I was thinking the timer could have programmable steep times for different teas/brew strength preferences, and feature a relaxing sound to denote the steep is complete, perhaps a gentle gong sound, rather then the loud piercing beeps most timers feature. Currently, I use the timer on my smartphone, but find it a pain to pull my phone out every time I brew some tea, when I could just press a single button, with a pre-programmed time and not have to worry about over-steeping or forgetting to set a timer in the first place (it happens to me more then you would think). Anyway, I know from a little perusing, and common sense, that many tea drinkers don’t use timers, however many do as well. I am curious as to what you, the members of the tea community think of this idea. I am open to opinions on this idea from anyone, regardless of whether or not you use a timer, but I do ask that if providing feedback you indicate whether or not you currently use a timer to steep your teas (and feel free to go into detail I’m curious what other means people use to time there tea steeping, as I haven’t been able to find any timing products specifically marketed towards tea steeping). Thank you for any and all inputs on this post!
7 Replies
AllanK said

The idea would not really work for me as I brew my puerh on a tea table, I don’t have a use for the mat. I do not use a timer anyway. For shorter times I just estimate. For longer times I use my watch.

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I think you would have a hard time competing with cheap, common kitchen timers. The models that have a 10 sec and 1 sec buttons are very suitable for tea IMO. Basically two or a few buttonpresses and you’re good. Even if the programmable functions you describe might be good in theory, in practice I’m not sure it really makes any difference from a regular kitchen timer.

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Spunkygirl said

I think a $2 egg timer might be a simpler choice. You can also buy a sand timer kit with different options (3 min, 5min, 7min).

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LuckyMe said

It’s a nice idea but wouldn’t work unless you use this mat all the time. I frequently change my tea setup and prefer a standalone timer.

I use this kitchen timer with a numeric keypad: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K83OLAS

It’s a lot easier to directly set your time instead of tediously pushing the up and down buttons. The only downside is the loud buzzer and LED is too bright. But I was able to fix it by painting over the LED and muffling the buzzer

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Raritea said

I use an application on my phone to time my tea. I really like the “Cooking Times” application as I can save details such as the brewing temperature as the time I prefer to brew that particular tea. It is especially good to know for times when I wanted to adjust the infusion time by a minute or two and I had a baseline to start with. The application is quite versatile and I also use it to remind myself of temperatures and timers for other recipes in the kitchen.

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I always use a Timer …
Since I forget the time without the timer –
and you know what that mean.

Yes, that means, in the words of Scott from Yunnan Sourcing, that you are about to “get a very strong sense of this tea”.

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