Making tea green (or how a start-up tackled evil kettles).
It doesn’t matter which tea you drink. Maybe you are a fan of Teavana’s Oprah Chai Tea, or TAZO’s Passion Tea, or Twinings’ Earl Grey Tea. Heck, even good ol’ Lipton’s Tea.
Turns out you, me, and almost every other tea drinker on planet Earth have been wasting A LOT (yes, all caps) of energy while preparing it. It all comes down to how we boil the water.
We either use an electric kettle, a tea kettle on a range (which could be gas-powered or electric) or a cup in a microwave. All these heating mechanisms have important design flaws that makes them inefficient.
Leyla Acaroglu, Sustainability Provocateur, Designer and Sociologist was a speaker at a TED Conference just over two years ago. In it, she shared a very interesting insight about electric kettles in England. Turns out, 97% of households own an electric kettle and 65% of them overfill their kettles. That is, they pour more water into the kettle than the amount they actually need.
No, our English pals are not being lazy nor careless. Most electric kettles require anything from two and up to five cups of water to work! So it doesn’t matter that you only fancy a single cup. You have to heat much more water! “All of this extra water that’s being boiled requires energy, and it’s been calculated that… …one day of extra energy use from boiling kettles is enough to light all of the streetlights in England for a night”, said Acaroglu in her conference.
That renders to £68 million ($106.5 million) per year in wasted energy! This is what inspired the Berlin-based start-up MIITO, and they seem to have succeeded in creating a creative, viable and elegant solution.
They created a different kind of kettle, which relies on induction to heat and boil water directly in the container that you’ll use. Voilà. No more waste.
Their solution is also elegant, as the surface of their device is cool to touch (one of the nice tricks of induction).
They just launched their Kickstarter campaign. Now you can prepare authentic green green tea. And let’s be honest: it looks way too cool. Your kitchen deserves it.