Whether you’re a tea aficionado or just a casual drinker, it’s important to pay attention to your brewing times: too short and you’re just drinking hot water, too long and your brew becomes bitter and astringent. [Bob] wanted to help his parents avoid the latter scenario, and made them a convenient little tea timer that displays the time when they last replenished the pot.
Operating the timer couldn’t be easier: just press down on the teapot’s lid and it will store the current time on its e-ink display. Inside is a Pimoroni Badger 2040 with a real-time clock daughter board, powered by a set of AAA batteries. The Badger is an RP2040-powered board with an integrated e-ink display that’s perfect for this use case: the display needs to be updated only once when the button is pressed, and doesn’t use any power after that.
Naturally, the tea timer is encased in a teapot-shaped enclosure. It has a clever mechanism inside that pushes one of the Badger’s buttons when you press down on the lid, and also provides the satisfying click that you hear in the video embedded below. It took more than thirteen hours to print on [Bob]’s Creality Ender 3, but the end result definitely looks the part.
Functionally, this tea timer is about as simple as it gets: most other designs focus on the initial brewing process, and include features to alert you when your tea is ready.
Continue reading “Top Up Your Teapot In Time With This E-ink Tea Timer” →
The ATtiny85 microcontroller doesn’t have all that much of anything: 8 KB of flash, an 8-bit architecture, and only eight pins (three of which are taken up with power and reset duties). And that’s exactly what makes it a great fit for tiny little projects.
[Mimile]’s Tea Timer has a switch, a button, eight LEDs, and a buzzer. Flip the switch to “set” and button presses run through the desired steeping times. Flip it to “run” and you’re timing. The LEDs blink and the buzzer plays “Tea for Two” in squawky square waves. Wonderful!
But wait, how to control all of this I/O with just five pins? With one pin each for the two switches and one for the buzzer, that leaves only two pins for the eight LED display. [Mimile]’s fun solution is to use a binary counter (a 74HC393) and the remaining two lines to count and reset. That means toggling a pin very fast 255 times to light up all the LEDs. That’s a bizarre way to go, but we like it!
Hackaday has proven unable to resist the siren song of the ATtiny85. Whether teaching it to swear, to speak I2C, or to transmit analog TV signals, there’s just something about this cute little chip that invites you to test your mettle.
On the surface, a cup of tea is a simple thing to make. Heat up some water, insert tea leaves, and wait for it to steep. The wait time is a matter of taste, and it is absolutely crucial to remove the bag or infuser before it’s too late. Otherwise, you end up with a liquid that’s almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
[Adrian] and his son would often find themselves lost in conversation during the steeping process and let it go too long. But that was before they built ChaiBot, an automatic tea minder. This fine-looking machine uses an old CD drive to raise and lower the tea bags, which are held by a thin piece of stainless steel mesh. Once the bags are lowered, [Adrian] pours hot water into the cups. The weight of the water is detected by a capacitive sensor under the cup cutouts, and this triggers the timer to start counting down to the perfect cuppa.
One of the coolest features of ChaiBot is the built-in circulation. Every minute, the bags are lifted out briefly and reinserted, disturbing the water so the steeping is more uniform. Since the final step to making great tea is drinking it before it goes cold, ChaiBot sends a push notification to [Adrian]’s phone. Be sure to check out the demo after the break.
Here’s another CD drive-based tea bot we covered a while back. It’s not quite as pretty, but it gets the job done. If you’re not one to wander off while your tea steeps but prefer not to watch a clock, here’s a compact timer that’ll fit in your pocket.
Continue reading “ChaiBot: A Tea Robot Steeped In Utility” →
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.
Continue reading “Tiny Tea Timer For Your Perfect Cuppa” →