In 10 days, gaiwan innovator Craighton Berman will breathe a sigh of relief – but until then his Kickstarter campaign to create an innovative brewer will leave him breathless.
Donors have pledged $35,000 of the $40,000 he is seeking to manufacture the first versions of Tea Maker No1, a minimalist tea brewer of porcelain and glass. Projections and the positive media coverage he is receiving indicate the project will succeed, but only time will tell.
The style is inspired by the Chinese gaiwan, a traditional brewing vessel that holds small quantities of tea for successive short infusions, said Berman. The double-walled brewer is blown borosilicate glass that holds 6 oz (175 ml), slightly more traditional gaiwans. The accompanying porcelain pitcher holds 9 oz (270 ml).
“The quantity of tea used depends on the variety, but often falls within 3–6 grams: enough room for the leaves to open fully yet fill the gaiwan at the end,” he said.
He is working with Chicago-based Spirit Tea, which will ship some of its black, oolong and green teas with the brewers (the quantity and number of teas depends on the amount donated). If successful, manufacturing in China will begin in September with a ship date of December.
This is Berman’s fifth Kickstarter venture. His most successful, a pour-over coffee maker, raised $100,000, according to a report in The Chicago Tribune.
“(I’m) taking just a small step to the side with tea in that coffee shop, kind of warm-beverage space, playing with similar rituals. But it’s a logical step,” he told the newspaper. “It opens up permission to take larger and larger steps outside that space.”