This $1,300 Connected Tea Infuser Has Raised $5.1 Million – Fortune

By Stacey Higginbotham | December 4, 2015

Is this where VC should be placing its bets?

Has the rush to build connected kitchen products that can cook, bake, and brew everything “perfectly” gone too far?

Teforia, a company that is building an Internet-connected tea infuser that is pitched as being able to brew tea customized for your taste buds, has raised $5.1 million led by UpFront Ventures with participation from Lemnos Labs, PreAngel Wareness and InnoSpring. The machine tracks earthy, floral, savory, and sweet flavor profiles as well as caffeine and antioxidant levels in loose leaf teas, and based on the user’s feedback saves those preferences in the app. When users brew a new tea that the Teforia machine recognizes, it can adjust the brew times and water temperatures to enhance preferred flavors and the chemical levels. With unknown teas it will rely on user feedback and then save the preference for the next cup.

I’ve seen the Teforia in action at a booth at the Smart Kitchen Summit last month in Seattle, and it was mobbed. It is a beautiful machine that people who have tried it assure me makes an amazing cup of tea.

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Source: This $1,300 Connected Tea Infuser Has Raised $5.1 Million – Fortune

It actually is rocket science: Scientists design a coffee cup for space – Quartz

By Deena Shanker | December 8, 2015

The best part of waking up, in space. (Portland State University)

Being an astronaut takes years of school, at least a thousand hours of jet flying time, and passing a space physical exam to qualify. And then, even when you finally make it to space, you can’t even have a regular cup of coffee.

Luckily for space travelers, a semi-normal cup of joe may finally be on the horizon, researchers recently announced at the American Physical Society’s 68th Annual Meeting of the Division of Fluid Dynamics in Boston.

Thanks to the effects of microgravity, coffee-sipping astronauts have had to drink their morning brew from a closed container with a straw. But recent tests of six cups could soon make it much more familiar.

Back in 2008, NASA astronaut Don Pettit used a cup he co-invented through the Capillary Flow Experiment to demonstrate how the fluid dynamics could improve fuel transfers in space. That technology is now being applied to make 3-D printed polymer glasses with a special, sharp corner that “wicks the coffee up” towards the drinker’s mouth, instead of allowing it to slosh into the air.
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Source: It actually is rocket science: Scientists design a coffee cup for space – Quartz

Paper filter vs. metal filter: Which makes the best cup of coffee? – CNET

By Taylor Martin | December 8, 2015

The type of filter you use when brewing coffee does matter. Learn whether you should be using reusable or disposable filters to make your daily cup of coffee.

Should you use a metal or paper filter when brewing coffee?

While the answer mostly hinges on personal preference, there are some important things to note about the differences in paper and metal filters.

Learn how different filters can alter the appearance, taste and cost of your morning cup.

Taste & appearance

To some, the difference in taste may be rather subtle, but the visual difference is more obvious.

Metal filters

Reusable metal filters simply are not fine enough to catch everything that is poured into them, meaning they let important elements through the filter and into the cup, such as oils and micro-fines.

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Source: Paper filter vs. metal filter: Which makes the best cup of coffee? – CNET

Meet the women using coffee to answer all your beauty needs

By Sian Ranscombe | December 7, 2015

MESSY BUT EFFECTIVE: FRANK BODY’S BODY SCRUBS

Next month, in the first few days of 2016, what’s the betting you or someone you know will try to give up coffee?

Even though you know the green tea alternative tastes like pond and you can’t remember whether the current wisdom is that it’s good or bad for you, you will still try and fail to cut down on that caffeine habit.

But three Australian women are looking to change the negative connotations associated with everyone’s favourite jitter-maker – in a topical sense at least.

“Coffee is good for the skin for three reasons,” says Bree Johnson, co-founder of Frank Body. “First of all, it’s full of antioxidants which are great for targeting free radicals, second of all it has the the same pH as your skin so it won’t dry it out, and finally, it helps stimulate blood flow which is good for collagen production and for helping reduce the appearance of certain skin conditions.”

Johnson founded Melbourne-based Frank Body along with fellow copywriters Erika Geraerts and Jess Hatzis in 2013 after her partner Steve Rowley, a coffee shop owner, noticed he’d had a number of older women coming into one of his cafes and asking to take away the leftover coffee grinds. Initially assuming the women wanted to use the leftovers as fertiliser in their gardens, he soon discovered the actual reason – they were using it as a body exfoliant.

Many hours of research later and the trio (along with Rowley and fifth brain behind the project Alex Boffa) discovered that besides numerous DIY coffee scrub recipes online, no companies had spotted this apparent gap in the market.

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Source: Meet the women using coffee to answer all your beauty needs

Cascara ‘Tea’: A Tasty Infusion Made From Coffee Waste

By Murray Carpenter | December 3, 2015

Cascara is made by brewing dried coffee cherries, which typically would have otherwise ended up as compost. “We have been throwing away this perfectly good coffee fruit for a long time, and there’s no real reason for it, because it tastes delicious,” says Peter Giuliano, of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Murray Carpenter for NPR

Coffee lovers may have noticed a new offering in their local cafés. Cascara is a tea-like drink with a fine, fruity flavor and plenty of caffeine, and it’s popping up everywhere. For this new addition to chalkboards nationwide, credit Aida Batlle.

Batlle is a fifth-generation coffee grower in El Salvador, whose coffees have won international awards. One day a decade ago, she arrived at a coffee cupping —where coffees are sampled for flavor — and detected a pleasant, hibiscus-like scent in the room. When she asked the other coffee tasters about it, they pointed to the husks from recently milled coffee.

“So immediately I got curious with it,” says Batlle. “And I just picked through it, cleaned it, and then put it in hot water, to see what it was like. Then I called my customers at the time, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, you have to try this. I’m going to send you a sample.'”

The infusion Batlle made from the coffee cherry, or pulp, needed a name. “Pulp was such a yucky word,” she says with a laugh. “I was like, nah, nah, nah, this is cascara.

Cascara is the Spanish word for the peel or skin of a fruit. Coffee is a fruit, though most people don’t think of it that way. Like cacao, it’s processed opposite most fruits: The skin and flesh are discarded, and just the seeds are dried, roasted, and ground to make the beverage many Americans drink daily.

Batlle first used the skins of coffees processed as “naturals,” which are dried whole, and then milled. This produced cascara comprised of fine flakes, similar to the tea in a tea bag. Then she began using the skins of coffees that are washed to remove the pulp before drying, as most coffee in Central America and Colombia is processed. This way, the cascara dries like a raisin, and, when brewed, plumps up to reveal the shape of the coffee cherry.

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Source: Cascara ‘Tea’: A Tasty Infusion Made From Coffee Waste : The Salt : NPR