Wednesday, 27 January 2010


After seeing the mustache cup it got me thinking about my form and my idea. My project is all about enhancing the consumption of tea and so far I have identified that water temperature and brew time are important. My research has uncovered that more could help towards making that tea consumption better through the materials used for brewing tea.
As for white it would be glass. Glass is used because white tea is the newest tea and this is displayed through the materials glass.
For green it would be cast iron and for oolong yixing clay, both these materials have been used for thousands of years and a lot of teapots are available in these materials for brewing those teas.
Finally for black it would be bone china in relation to Britain and the cups used when Britain first discovered tea.

As for my idea I think that each tea should be brewed in the materials that compliments it. So my idea is to have 4 cups one of each materials so the tea can be brewed in it. We will still need a medium to boil water in which will be a water vessel.

As for thinking about form I have pulled together images of each material and water vessel.
Cast iron
Yixing clay
This came across my desk today at university. A mug with a mustache protector!!

Timing Update

So far I have managed to have two seven segments together counting down next step is three.

In addition to the galileo thermometer

Just to play with the idea of the Galileo thermometer I found a high school experiment that plays with jars floating and sinking in changing temperatures of water. Below is a video of that experiment, I use a jar and boiling water in a jug. The video is a tad long, so to see the movement please skip the video forward to two minutes.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


Originally I was going to use a pic chip to read the temperature of the water. When the water reaches predetermined heats lights would turn on to indicate the water is ready for brewing.

While scrolling the internet I came across the classic Galileo thermometer, mainly used in the household the thermometer generally reads between the temperatures of 18C to 26C but could I use this method to tell the temperature of the water being heated for my tea?

Galileo thermometers work on the principle of changing densities in water and each bulb has a slightly different weight calculated to float at a certain temperatures but when the water goes above this temperature the bulb will sink.
I believe that this method of taking the temperature is a more elegant alternative to using electronics and lights.

More experimentation will be required to check this method will work so more updates will follow!!


I will be using a countdown timer in my tea set and to do this I have been using arduino and so far I have ran a single seven segment display running through a 4511 and the next step is to run two seven segment displays up to three.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Thermochromic inks

One of my original ideas involved a pattern growing up the side of a cup and water vessel. To do this thermochromic inks would have to be used. Standard inks respond at 15C 20C 31C and 47C. You can get special engineered inks and they can be made to respond at temperatures between -10C to 69C, not high enough for brewing good tea. This idea might not work they way I want to but the idea of waiting for something to complete is nice, it forces you to slow down and enjoy the poetic growth of the pattern leading to great tea.

Telling the Temperture

Using a PIC chip attached to a thermometer I was able to tell the temperature of water and have LED's light when the temperatures reached important points such as 70C to 100C.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Eteaket is a tea room that came highly recommended in the top fifty tea rooms published by the Independent and now every time I go through to Edinburgh I find myself within their cosy environment sipping on a tea. Every time I like to try a new tea but my favorite so far has been the white tea with peach infusion.

The reason I have brought up Eteaket is because I found something very interesting on their blog. The team at Eteaket mentions the importance of temperature for the right leaf and the time of brewing but what I found most interesting was the vessel they drink the tea out of. They swear by using bone china cups but what is important is that it must have a little strip of gold round the rim, why this makes the tea better they don’t know and either do I but I find this very interesting.

Please read the article here and visit Eteaket next time your in Edinburgh you wont be disappointed!