BKON cranks out individual cups of artisan teas, on demand
By Ben Coxworth
April 30, 2014
As any serious tea-drinker knows, there's only a small window of time in which brewed tea is at its best. Pour it too soon, and it will be weak. Wait too long, and it will be bitter. The BKON company, however, is aiming to change that. Its BKON Craft Brewer is designed to produce perfectly-brewed cups of tea on demand, within one minute.
The single-serve device utilizes a process known as Reverse Atmospheric INfusion, or RAIN. Here's how it works ...
Loose tea leaves (of the user's choice) and water are placed in the cylindrical brewing chamber, which the air is then drawn out of to create a vacuum. The resulting negative pressure within the chamber draws the leaves to the surface of the water, and causes gases to be released from both the leaves and the water. The vacuum is then released, bringing the chamber back to atmospheric pressure, and "extracting the soluble flavor elements."
This process is repeated for 60 to 90 seconds, until the "optimum flavor profile" is achieved by fine-tuning the usual variables like water temperature and contact time, along with BKON-specific variables such as vacuum depth, duration and frequency. According to the company, the ability to tweak more variables is part of what makes tea brewed with its system turn out better.
Additionally, the RAIN system doesn't require the water to be as hot as would otherwise be necessary, and overly-hot water can apparently detract from the flavor of the tea.
The BKON Craft Brewer can store over 200 recipes, which users can access through its touchscreen control panel. Its chamber self-cleans at the end of each cycle, so one person's cup of Earl Grey won't taste like the Oolong that was made before it.
Beta versions of the machine are currently being trialled in select US tea rooms/coffee shops, with commercial availability scheduled for later this year. Down the road, the RAIN system may also be applied to the making of coffee and alcoholic beverages. That being said, don't go clearing a space on your kitchen counter before checking your bank balance – according to a report in Sprudge, the BKON Craft Brewer will retail for around US$13,000.
More information on its brewing process can be found in the video below.