Introducing the Kicker Tea Tumbler

While we love the work that we do for clients at Kicker Studio, we also enjoy exploring technology through our own concept projects.  Last year we blogged the design process behind our tea project, and we recently made a video to explain our final concept.

Announcing the Kicker Tea Tumbler. Our latest concept project tackles an everyday task that’s intentionally low tech – making the perfect cup of tea. Our tumbler consists of a teapot, infuser, and heater combined into one device. It uses a physical interface that subtly incorporates technology to help the user make a perfect cup of tea, while preserving the analog experience.

We looked at tea making. We realize it’s low tech for a reason. It’s not about digital displays — it’s about sight, smell, touch, and taste. But it’s also precise. Savvy tea makers use additional technology such as heaters, thermometers, and timers to entice the persnickety tea leaves to the perfect cup of tea. We asked ourselves, how could we incorporate these features in a way that respects the sensory experience of making tea?

We researched the tea-making process, the technical requirements for the perfect cup of tea, and the typical workarounds to get there. We learned what to make easier for the average loose leaf drinker, and how to improve the process without taking away control.

See how we did it:

We weaved technology into the device like a material. We avoided buttons, knobs, and screens and instead developed a physical interface. The industrial design of the Tea Tumbler reflects traditional tea pots, using natural materials and glass that highlight the sensory experience, while the user’s physical interaction with the tumbler activates the heater and timer at the moments the tea maker needs them. The shape of the device its self, an hourglass, provides a clear mental model of how to make it work. The Kicker Tea Tumbler gives a technology kick to the art of making tea.

See how it works:

To read more about how we developed the concept, visit our case study, or download PDFs about the process and design.