Getting good tea at a restaurant is near impossible unless you go to an actual tea house (but not always…at a local high class hotel, they have their own High tea….which comes with typical British tea time fare, and your choice of tea bags….at twenty eight dollars per person). Either the brew is always wrong, with the cafeteria-sized tea bags left soaking in the large metal can lenuring the bitterest of teas, or the restaurant simply brings out a cup of hot water and a selection of tea bags. It’s embarassing really, that so little attention is given to a beverage with such wonderful complexities and varieties.
So imagine my surprise when I opened the Seattle PI today and read about Affinitea. Affinitea has created a machine that’s based on espresso technology but has been tweaked to deliver a cup of brewed tea in 30 seconds.
Color me both excited and curious
Seattle PI’s Hsiao-Ching Chou writes: “The Affinitea Beverage Infuser’s caddy (it looks like an espresso machine’s portafilter, which holds the ground coffee) is designed to hold loose-leaf tea. The brew chamber to which the caddy is attached holds a series of jets that shoot hot water first to moisten the leaves and then to agitate them, allowing them to steep and unfurl.
“The infuser can create 140 pounds per square inch of pressure, which allows the “tearista” to brew a cup of tea in 30 seconds. Just like a shot of espresso, the tea flows from the valve on the bottom of the caddy and straight into a cup with or without ice.”
I really cannot wait to see if this comes to fruition. I also wonder if there is different brewing times for white tea, green, oolongs and blacks. Imagine getting a great cup of Earl Grey in 30 seconds, and when done, deciding to go for some mixed blend instead. Sure, it will probably mean that tea will be more expensive, but if the tea is as good as teh article suggests, what you pay for price you will more than make up for in quality.
I think I know what I want for my birthday now.
photo by Karen Ducey of the Seattle PI.