Programmers are known for using various, ahem, cognitive enhancers (all legal, of course), with coffee as probably the most popular. Well, I’m an avid tea drinker instead, and I’m always on lookout for new flavors, brewing techniques and equipment.
Today I’d like to present a perfect example of from the last category. I’ve found it purely by accident while on one of the many trips to IKEA that I’ve undertaken in the last few days. It’s an ingenious teapot that makes it super easy to brew tea, pour it and – finally – get rid of used-up leaves.
In the past I used several different types of pots with built-in strainers, as well as standalone infusers, and it was always the cleanup part that turned out to be the most cumbersome. Soaked tea leaves don’t come off easily from infusers’ metallic lattice, requiring to flush the remnants out with direct water stream and risk clogging up the sink (eventually).
Overall, it’s just messy, not very clever and hardly user-friendly.
Fortunately, the teapot I have found has solved it in a much smarter way. There is no separate insert where the leaves should go. Instead, you are supposed to put them directly inside the glass container and pour water straight into it.
This, obviously, seems like an extremely old-fashioned way of brewing tea, but it is also one of the best ones. Leaves are given plenty of space here to spread the flavor throughout the whole pot, rather than being crumpled and confined to the small volume of typical infusers. As a result you may often shorten the brewing time while still getting a richer taste in the end.
Problems arise when you’d like to pour some tea into your cup or glass and you don’t fancy getting some of those pesky leaves alongside with it. This is also where the teapot in question shows its ingenuity – or more precisely, it’s the cap of it that does.
Designers have equipped it with a piston made of fine-grained lattice that goes up and down the pot’s cylindrical body. The idea is just bizarrely simple: once your tea has extracted enough goodness from the leaves floating within, you can just press the piston all the way down. This collects all stray leaves and keeps them conveniently at the bottom of the pot, so that nothing gets through when you try to fill your cup.
Cleaning is also very easy: you simply run some tap water through the piston and into the glass, flushing the former while keeping all the leaves inside the pot. Afterwards, you just flush everything down the toilet and wash the teapot normally (e.g. in dishwasher). It’s effective, clean and simple.
And with a steady supply of tea, your code will likely be so too! :)
This kind of pot is required for both tea- and coffee-addict. I’ve found one of them about month ago and use it to brew coffee. Ground coffee particles are large enough to be stopped by lattice.
Only disadvantage of this design is (at least for me) no way to keep fluid hot for longer than several minutes. Any idea how to do it quite easy?
Hahah, so that one almost two years ago, at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Ingenious design indeed.
So THAT’S how you wash it!
@BW: For tea I don’t find it a big problem (it’s still warm after like 20 minutes), but I can understand it’s bit different for coffee.
One trick I do to keep stuff warm is use the cooking spot of electrical kitchen turned on to lowest setting (1 or 2 out of 9 or 10). It works best for plates etc. but maybe a taller dish (like this post) can also be kept warm this way. Just remember to add a cork coaster in between if you want to be sure it doesn’t get too hot.
BTW: My fellow tea nerds advise that “squishing” the tea leaves with a piston is hurtful for the taste. The piston itself seems a bit redundant, but the lattice works well even when you always keep it high.
About the warming issue: I got mine from Pepco, it’s only glass at the bottom so I should be able to warm it with a typical setup (wire stand + a candle).
Why squishing hurts the taste, exactly? I do that only after brewing’s complete and I try to not be violent at that, too :)