Teasmades!

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mbanu
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Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:16 pm

A classic form of British tea-making that is Not Very Aesthetic. :lol: These were basically alarm clock kettles that (in theory) made the tea for you right as you woke up. Here is an example of a 1954 Pifco Tea-o-Matic in action. :)



Teasmades played a short role in a film I always got a kick out of, Terry Gilliam's 1985 Brazil, where a malfunctioning Teasmade helped highlight the distinction between fantasy and reality. :)



Anyone out there have a Teasmade?
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mbanu
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Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:35 pm

I only have one sadly(?), a Guangdong-made Swan STM201, one of the few Teasmades with a variant designed for American voltages. Electrical clocks do especially badly with converters, so it is hard to use a Teasmade from outside the region it was designed for. I hear that in the 70s Goblin made a few American-voltage Teasmades that it sold for making coffee, but I've never actually seen one.
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mbanu
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Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:20 pm

The Brazil scene may have been a parody of a line of 1970s Goblin Teasmade commercials, where the slogan was "The next best thing to sleeping." :D



(I think that part of their unpopularity today is that people don't quite know what to do with the milk. Apparently a popular solution back then was to leave it on the windowsill, as in a "historic home" with not-so-good insulation that would be quite cold enough. :) Modern solutions include using vacuum flasks or UHT milk, which does not need to be refrigerated.)
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mbanu
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Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:24 am

mbanu wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:20 pm
(I think that part of their unpopularity today is that people don't quite know what to do with the milk. Apparently a popular solution back then was to leave it on the windowsill, as in a "historic home" with not-so-good insulation that would be quite cold enough. :) Modern solutions include using vacuum flasks or UHT milk, which does not need to be refrigerated.)
It also may have been the case where the Teasmade was not originally imagined for use with milk, as it was first popularized in the fading days of Chinese tea, when it still made up a reasonable amount of the imports. For example, here is a Clarke's Automatic Water Boiler from 1904, a year in which the UK imported 27 million pounds of Chinese tea (although in 1905, only 11 million of these pounds had found a buyer, out of roughly 257 million pounds sold of tea generally in the UK in 1904). Comparatively speaking, of course, 11 million pounds does not seem like a lot of tea, but that's about how much green tea Japan exports today.
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mbanu
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:06 pm

A true advance in teasmade technology, an Internet-of-Things, Wifi-enabled, app-controlled teasmade that can brew at custom times and temperatures, and, if you happen to have four of them for some reason, can control simultaneously. :D

They don't advertise the most important part, however -- it is only through double-checking the User Guide that the all-important "reservation timer" that allows someone to schedule a brew in advance (and thus confirms its status as a teasmade) becomes clear. :)

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belewfripp
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:20 pm

mbanu wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:06 pm
A true advance in teasmade technology, an Internet-of-Things, Wifi-enabled, app-controlled teasmade that can brew at custom times and temperatures, and, if you happen to have four of them for some reason, can control simultaneously. :D
Who wouldn't want 4 of these? Are you saying you don't??? :lol: Semi-seriously, though, maybe for a small business or restaurant that finds "quality tea" cost-prohibitive but would like to at least step up from thin, pale brown, flavorless (or violently bitter) liquid? I don't how how the price compares to what they would normally use, though...
mbanu wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:06 pm
They don't advertise the most important part, however -- it is only through double-checking the User Guide that the all-important "reservation timer" that allows someone to schedule a brew in advance (and thus confirms its status as a teasmade) becomes clear. :)
Honestly, it seems like a pretty cool device - I mean, if you're not into adaptive or clay pot brewing styles, it looks like a hell of a better option than a Keurig, which is kind of a sad machine for tea (even the hot water dispenser is mediocre since it won't do a full boil). This looks like it can produce actual tea that real human beings would want to drink. It's too complicated for improvisation on the fly, though, I think - and way too complicated for grandpa style. I do kind of like the idea of the reservation setting, though - the night before put some abuse-proof hei cha in there, add the water and set it for the next morning - that could be kind of nice.

I don't know if it's $170 kind of nice, but compared to the original Teasmades, which look like the kind of retro-futurist thing you'd find in a 1950's science fiction novel, this seems like a useful product.
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pedant
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:30 pm

thanks for sharing. i had never heard of a Teasmade before.

i also hadn't heard of Brazil but watched it after seeing that clip. very good movie.
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