Teforia this week announced a partnership that will pair Japan’s venerable Yamamotoyama teas with the company’s intelligent tea infuser.
Yamamotoyama, a family-owned business founded in 1690, produces world-renowned premium green teas that will now be available in the tea portfolio at Teforia.com. Two hundred and seventy nine years ago the fabled company was the first to steam tea leaves resulting in a distinctive yellow-green color and mild astringency.
Teforia is a Mountain View, Calif.,-based manufacturer founded in 2014 by Allen Han who designed both the XBOX 360 gaming system and the Kindle Fire. The partnership which includes tea sourcing, purchasing, shipping, and packaging, marks the first of many to come for Teforia, said CEO Han.
Han told World Tea News that he created the Teforia brewer so that customers can fully enjoy the high-end teas they bring home.
“The last mile is the most critical,” he explains. “If your steep time is off by a half minute; if the water is too hot, if you use too little or too much tea you can completely ruin the taste,” he said. “The last mile is the most difficult. Teforia is designed to help customers in the proper preparation of a range of teas,” he said.
“Partnering with a company with such an illustrious history such as Yamamotoyama is very exciting, particularly because Teforia and Yamamotoyama share a similar mission — to unite age-old ritual with modern expertise in favor of the perfect cup of tea,” said Han
“Partnering with Teforia was a natural choice for us,” said Yamamotoyama America CEO Nami Yamamoto. “Teforia’s ability to bring people together through ritual is something close to our hearts, and we look forward to elevating the Teforia experience with our tea offerings,” said Yamamoto.
The Teforia infuser is Wi-Fi enabled and able to track and record methods of preparation. It is too soon to tell whether consumption increases in households equipped with the machine but Han reports anecdotal evidence gleaned from data collected during the past five months suggests households enjoy the tea a lot more. There isn’t much data on consumer habits to compare, but kids in the family are eager to participate and find it easy to make a perfect cup, he said. The fact that high-end teas are more readily accessible makes preparation of very intricate and time consuming teas a challenge for those with a busy lifestyle, he said.
Consumers are spending twice or three times the money for tea and just don’t get the results they expect, said Han. Yamamotoyama greens, for example, are very easy to over-steep, making the tea bitter. The sencha recipe Teforia developed with tea masters at Yamamotoyama releases all the flavor of the natural tea, he said. “To achieve this goal the infuser’s programming takes into account not only style and type but seasonality and even variations in water,” he said.
Creating an infuser with this precision means that consumers will have the ability to consistently prepare a cup suited to their unique taste. “You don’t want to make a bad cup of tea,” he said. The tea infusion system sells for $1,499. Tea is sold in capsules or can be brewed as loose leaf. The capsules, called sips, make a carafe and can be purchased individually or as a monthly subscription. Prices range from $2 to $4.50.
This year Danielle Hochstetter will be demonstrating Teforia at World Tea Expo.
“The show is a great gathering of minds of tea,” said Han. “In 2013 I attended New Business Bootcamp during the show. It validated our belief that the brewer is something the world needs,” said Han, adding that he continues to correspond with people he met there like Jane Pettigrew.
“Tea is a communal process and Expo is a wonderful place for people to gather,” he said.
Source: Teforia Company