Want to make a great cup of tea? Try using ultrasonic extraction.
That’s the plan at least for the tea entrepreneurs behind Teamosa, a new high-tech teamaker currently raising funds on Kickstarter. The Teamosa campaign, which still has a month to go, has already surpassed its funding target of $100 thousand with $167 thousand raised from 610 backers as of September 27th.
If you’re not familiar with ultrasonic extraction, it’s the application of high frequency sounds in rapid cycles to agitate particles in order to accelerate chemical reactions in a variety of compounds. Also called sonification, the technique is used in a variety of industries ranging from cannabis to petroleum and usually requires specialized equipment.
And now, Teamosa wants to use this process to create a better cup of tea.
Making this story of a new approach to an ancient drink all the more intriguing is Teamosa is the brainchild of Dr. Catherine Liu and Irven Liu, a brother and sister team who spent their childhoods on a tea plantation in Taiwan. Both went on to become engineers and are now leveraging their tech backgrounds to bring the company into the new century.
The Teamosa tea brewer isn’t the first modern tea machine to attempt to use modern technology to create a better cup of Tea. The Tê was unveiled in 2013, but never made it to market. The Teforia, which has raised a total of $17 million, has struggled to break through with tea lovers despite early critical adoration from tea influencers for its high-tech tea infuser.
Not all that surprisingly, the Teamosa team hopes to build a recurring revenue with their next-generation tea maker by also selling their own capsules. This business model, also known by within the industry as the “Keurig model”, is attractive for obvious reasons, but also has risks. Consumers can feel captive to one company with this model, which may be fine if it’s a Keurig or Nespresso -- both large companies with a wide set of industry partners who produce coffee capsules for their systems -- but not with a startup you are not sure will be here next year.
While companies like PicoBrew are proving that a startup can create a recurring revenue model, others like Juicero were challenged (although one could make the argument Juicero’s challenges were specific to the company). Teforia, which requires users use their capsules (called Sips) for their lower-cost machine (the classic machine, priced at $999, allows you to use your own loose leaf tea), has found the subscription model a source of some consumer annoyance. Perhaps because of these challenges, Teamosa has smartly enabled their machine to brew both capsules and a consumer’s own loose leaf tea with its baseline machine.
The Teamosa team is part of Hax, the well-known hardware accelerator with locations in Shenzen and San Francisco. The Teamosa appliance, is available starting at $259 on Kickstarter and expects to ship to backers starting in September of 2018.
You can see the Teamosa Kickstarter intro video below: