Brewing a perfect cup of tea is tricky business. Steep the leaves for too long, and it comes out bitter. Take them out too soon, and the brew will be too weak. Plus, to make matters worse, the optimal steep time varies from leaf to leaf, so getting a consistently perfect cup is easier said than done.
A company by the name of Bkon, however, is aiming to change that. The company’s Craft Brewer is designed to produce perfectly brewed cups of tea at the push of a button using a patented process called “Reverse Atmospheric INfusion,” or RAIN. Here’s a quick rundown of how the technology supposedly works:
After the user places their preferred loose tea leaves into the water-filled brewing chamber, the air above the water line is drawn out to create a vacuum. This negative pressure helps draw the tea leaves to the surface of the water, and causes gases to be released from both the leaves and the water. Then, the vacuum is released, and the chamber returns to normal atmospheric pressure, allowing the maximum amount of “soluble flavor elements” to be extracted.
Apparently, it’s the application and subsequent removal of negative pressure that’s the key to extracting the full flavor of tea leaves. The vacuum helps to open up their cell structure, allowing trapped gasses to escape, and water to enter more freely. This process is repeated for anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds, during which the machine continually tweaks variables like vacuum depth, internal pressure, and water temperature to achieve the “optimum flavor profile” of the tea inside.
To help you get the best extraction for different kinds of teas, the machine is capable of storing over 200 different recipes, which users can access via a large touchscreen panel on the side. To ensure that your special oolong blend doesn’t get contaminated with a previous user’s Earl Grey, Bkon even has a self-cleaning function to wash out the chamber after each use.
While it isn’t available to consumers quite yet, Beta versions of Bkon are currently being tested in a few tea rooms and coffee shops scattered around the country. Bkon’s creators are shooting for a commercial release later this year, but you might want to start saving now. When it hits the market, Bkon will retail for $13,000.
[images via Joanna Han/Sprudge]