• 02Dec

    I mention Star Trek in one of my posts and what doth the tea-drinking universe bequeath upon my little nerdy heart? A mug from Wil Wheaton with the (in)famous Captain Picard quote on it in big bold lettering: “Tea, Earl Grey. Hot.

    See? See!?

    WheatonMug

    (There’s even a Flickr Group Pool for photos of the mug in the wild.)

    Who is Wil Wheaton? Peasant! Wheaton is a writer with a talent for heartwarming stories of daily life that we can all relate to, an engaging Twtiterficiando, and an actor well known for – among other roles – his part as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. For those not familiar with Wheaton’s current success as writer I recommend reading Just a Geek – a memoir that will illuminate his trajectory from actor to writer and child to adult – as well as Sunken Treasure, a collection of gems from his almost decade-long stint of blogging. The mug is part of Wheaton’s promotion of his newest book, Memories of the Future.

    Yes, yes, I know – I’ve said before that I prefer teacups to mugs.

    And I do, if truth be told. It’s not just that I associate mugs with coffee, it’s also that teacups do seem to have a perfect balance between the amount of tea in the cup and the amount of said tea that is exposed to the atmosphere. Whether this really makes any difference at all to the tea drinking expereince or, more importantly, to the taste, is probably a matter for scientists. Or Mythbusters. Or somebody other than me. Regardless of actual facts, I’ve always felt that tea just tastes better in a tea cup. Besides which, the volume in a mug is usually off for estimating the cuppage (snicker) from my teapots. And yes, I just made that word up.

    But never mind all that! This blog is about sexy tea things and the irrational desire to possess all things tea by a cat loving lady with too many teapots. So I eat my teacup words and declare that this mug is freakin’ hot, baby, and I must get my grubby little paws on one. Seriously! This mug looks like it could beat the pants off of Royal Albert in a cage match. (Don’t tell my mother that because I’m hoping to inherit her entire Royal Albert Old Country Roses collection someday.)

    Ooh. I can even brew a cup of Serenitea: Kaylee for the mug and be in AU teanerdvana. Or is that going too far?

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  • 22Jan

    Another gorgeous design, this time from designer Lotte Alpert:

    The Lazy Teapot:

    A porcelain teapot is put in its associated holding device where it can be swayed forward well, directed so that the tea can be easily poured into a cup without having to lift the teapot. Furthermore the holding device is able to boil up the liquid in the teapot and to keep it warm precisely on different temperatures. The measured temperatures are read at the diodes in the region of the operational controls and compared with the temperature that was manually chosen. – Yanko Design

    It’s perhaps interesting to note that every review I’ve read so far of this concept design (it’s not available to buy) remarks that it is indeed pretty, but useless. Who would be so lazy that they would not need to lift a teapot?

    Well, maybe not lazy. Having spent a decade-and-a-half advocating for accessible web design, I can right away see a practical use for those who love their tea, but suffer from arthritis, or the grip weakness that comes with advanced age. There were a couple of times recently when I had trouble lifting a medium-sized teapot (filled with boiling hot water no less) safely – even with two hands – because of the osteoarthritis in my right hand.

    I hope this concept design see actual production, and finds its niche in accessible design.

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  • 21Jan

    Wow. Add this sexy new samovar to the list of lovelies I’d like to try:

    According to Latest Trends in Home Appliances:

    Tea fans will appreciate the inner workings and the history behind SAM, Russia’s Man Works Design’s samovar makeover. Traditional samovars are ornate brass urn-shaped containers that heat water from the inside out – solid fuel in the middle, water in the surrounding container. SAM functions the same way but eschews the 18th century look in favor of a distinctly modern design.

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  • 21Jan

    I first saw the Zarafina tea maker at a local outlet of Le Gourmet Chef. The $149 price tag shooed me away, even as I lusted after the lovely design.

    According to the box, this automatic tea maker will steep both loose and bagged teas, up to 16 ounces at a time. There are built-in settings for black, oolong, green, white or herbal teas, so that you get the correct steep time (and water temperature) for each kind of tea. You can also adjust it  to your strength (mild to strong) preference.

    Mad Pots of Tea has an interesting review:

    But I wanted to say something more to my readers…about WHY I use the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite, and HOW it has changed my tea-making habits. To do this, I had to live with this machine for months, which furthered the delay in writing this review. So, how has Zarafina influenced the Tea Drinking Habits of Madam Potts?

    Check out Madam Potts’ entry to find out exactly how it changed her habits. Also check out Kitchen Contraption’s, GongFu Girl’s and E. M. Quardokus’ excellent reviews.
    The tea maker is available on Amazon.com right now for $89.99 and free shipping. That’s enough to make me consider getting one for my new home office.

    Filed under: tea kettles, tea makers, teapots
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