Tiny Tea Timer for Your Perfect Cuppa

If you’re serious about your tea, you know that the line between a perfect brew and over-steeped dreck is a fine one. Seconds can make a difference, and for the tinkering tea drinker, this might lead you to build a tiny timer with just the features it needs to achieve tea perfection.

The circuit that tea-loving [acidbourbon] came up with for his timer is simplicity itself. It’s just an ATtiny25, an  LED, two pushbutton switches and a piezo buzzer on one side of the PCB, with a coin battery on the flip side. The battery holder is an interesting design – a couple of rows of pin headers and a bit of springy metal. The user interface is as simple as the circuit – the buttons increment the time either one or ten minutes. The timer starts right away, the LED heartbeat counts down the seconds, and a distinctly British tune announces when it’s time for tea.

One possible improvement might be to have the LED flash the number of minutes remaining rather than just a single pulse heartbeat. That would be good feedback that you entered the right time in the first place. Other than that, it’s small enough to be handy, does just one job, and does it well – sounds like good design to us. Of course, if you want to complicate it a bit, you could always automate the tea steeping process.

10 thoughts on “Tiny Tea Timer for Your Perfect Cuppa

  1. I love the minimalist nature of the timer, but getting set only in increments of one or ten minutes seems at odds with the statement “the line between a perfect brew and over-steeped dreck is a fine one. Seconds can make a difference.” But he or she obviously knows tea way more than I do so it must do the job! Setting in seconds probably would mean too many button presses – making the interface too clunky and time consuming.

  2. I’ve built something very similar about a year ago:

    It uses a Tiny10 to give me a 4 minute timer (black tea).
    After pressing the button it flashes a green LED every ten seconds for 4, 3, 2, 1 times, to show the minutes remaining. Once a minute has passed, a red LED flashes the equivalent amout of minutes remaining.

    After 4 minutes, both LEDs start flashing alternating until you press the button again and goes back to deep sleep.

    This thing runs from a CR2032 for a year now with several cups o’ tea a day.

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