Nestle Testing "Special-T" Capsule Tea Brewing Machine
Nestle, maker of the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto line, is testing a new refined Tea Machine that offers a broad line of tea in Nespresso-like aluminum capsules. The product line is only available in France now, with no news about expansion plans. With the success of the Nespresso line it is not a surprise that they would want to expand the model to the other popular hot drink; tea. It is also not a surprise given the prevalence of tea consumption in other countries where it rivals coffee for a spot at the table.
The Special-T Brewing Machine
The machine design is classic Nespresso-style, with a refined look that will be impressive on any counter. A water reservoir is in the rear of the machine, housing a water filter that can be replaced. Of course the intent here is the best quality water for brewing tea; filters like this have long been debated for the amount of good they are doing for in-cup flavor differences.
The controls for the machine are on the right side of the brewer base, and it has a special energy savings design that helps it consume up to 50% less than a typical tea kettle.
One of the best features is the fact that it recognizes each capsule to brew the time and temperature of the infusion according to the tea variety.
A full range of 25 Tea capsules area already offered. They range from the regular teas that you would expect, like Ceylon, White Teas, Roobios, Jasmine Green, Earl Grey, while also going to extremes like a Blueberry Muffin tea flavor and a Caramel.
The capsules are made of aluminum, like the Nespresso line, offering protection from light, air and moisture, all culprits of flavor degradation. The shape is intended to offer a brewing chamber that will bring out preserve the delicate aromas of the tea.
Nestle Special-T Accessories
Like the Nespresso line, the Nestle Special-T line has several cups available for sale and a capsule holder to make having a variety of tea convenient.
Nestle Special-T Machine Availability and Cost
The Special-T machine is available in France for 89 Euros, or about $125, which is fairly low considering the Nespresso line starts in the $175 range.
More at Special-T website (in French), or the Nestle Flikr account for Photos of the Special T
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Posted by Scott Martin at October 31, 2010 10:10 AM
You can't blame Nestle for wanting to make an extra $ wherever possible, however, I'm a bit annoyed that they didn't just decide to offer the teas in the same capsules they currently use for Nespresso machines.
Hmm... perhaps this separate machine/capsule design is required due to the 19-bar pressure of Nespresso machines being "too much" for the tea leaves to handle? I would be curious to see what kind of bar pressure this new tea machine produces.
One can only hope that if the machine is released in USA/Canada that the $125 MSRP doesn't get inflated to $200+ and that the capsules don't cost much more than the Nespresso capsules.
Looking forward to see how this develops.