Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, BRU is a single-cup specialty tea maker that won several awards for innovation. Swiss engineer and CEO Bogdan Krinitchko partnered with Filip Carlberg to establish the Zurich-based company, which manufactures the BRU Maker One, an IoT (internet of things) powered device that syncs with its own personalized BRU app, allowing users to save their preferred settings such as their brew time, temperature and the water quantity for each cup. The single-cup tea maker uses whole leaf tea, not capsules, with push-button convenience. The tea maker was recently awarded a US patent and is undergoing final certification. Production begins this spring.
- Caption: Filip Carlberg, left, and Bogdan Krinitchko with BRU Maker One, a capsule-free, single-cup specialty tea maker designed to sequentially steep loose leaf tea multiple times with push-button ease.
Hear the interview
- IoT interactive. The BRU app allows users to control temperature, water volume and steep time. It can be programmed to steep the same tea in sequential steps (stacked steeps), and to make teas that reveal their full flavor at ambient temperatures (ambient tea). Use the smartphone app to set alarms, start the tea maker remotely and store brewing profiles for your favorite teas.
- No capsules. Unlike capsule machines BRU permits extra long steep settings to properly extract botanicals in sachets.
- Efficient and economical. BRU saves BTUs because unlike kettles it heats the exact amount of water needed for each cup. Surveys show kettle users boil twice the amount of water they use.
- Convenient, quick and clean. BRU delivers temperature controlled hot water on demand, either filtered or tap water. BRU self-rinses with a programmed cleaning routine. Push-button brewing with easy cleanup.
Conveniently Unlocking the Value in Loose Leaf Tea
By Dan Bolton
High altitude teas that are grown slowly in nutrient-dense soil are more flavorful and complex. It takes a series of infusions to unfurl the leaf, capture volatile aromatics and awaken the tea, coaxing into the liquor healthful plant sugars and phytonutrients. Unlike oxidized, shredded leaves, whole leaf and broken leaf teas deliver greater intensity in later infusions, not upfront. While it is more difficult and a bit messy, tea connoisseurs recognize that it is well worth the effort to prepare fine tea by quickly steeping small volumes in vessels packed with larger quantities of the leaf.
BRU Maker One automates the process by utilizing a small glass brewing chamber and stainless steel leaf strainer. The chamber can be rinsed, filled, and re-filled in sequence. Temperature, volume, and steep times can be programmed for each steep. Steeps can be enjoyed individually or the entire infusion “stacked” in your cup or mug. By keeping temperatures low and steep times short BRU extracts nuanced flavor in green teas without bitterness.
BRU Maker One is a single-cup tea maker designed to extract the full goodness of tea and the best value with consistency, precision, and convenience.
Dan Bolton: You recently returned to Switzerland after presenting BRU to the 40,000 tech fans who attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Will you tell us about that experience?
Bogdan Krinitchko: As a small startup, it was a great experience. We were super thankful that we were supported by SwissTech, which is the Technology Innovation Council of Switzerland (Innosuisse). We were one of 15 startups. I think two had physical hardware to demonstrate at the show. Overall, it was just a great experience and also brought us a little bit of media attention.
Dan: This is the first time that the public has been able to taste tea brewed on the BRU Maker One. How was the new tea maker received at CES?
Bogdan: It was pretty interesting feedback. In the beginning, people who had never heard about us came to our booth and asked, “Is this a coffee machine?” I said, no, this is a tea machine that makes the perfect cup at the push of a button without any capsules. When I showed how the machine operates, how easy it is to use, I think everybody liked it.
We won a 2022 CES Editor’s Choice Award from USA TODAY’s consumer product reviews along with coverage in Reviewed and Gadget. Another award that we won from ENVENTYS Partners (a product launch company. It’s called the NICE Awards (New Innovations in Consumer Electronics) and BBC mentioned us as well so we received great PR attention in the UK.
Dan: I know that the more than 4,300 tea lovers who backed your Kickstarter project in November 2019 and the 5,500 who contributed via the Indiegogo campaign are looking forward to tasting their first cup of BRU maker tea. Will you update listeners on the final stages of manufacturing and when the tea makers will ship?
Bogdan: We will soon post our monthly update with a deep overview of the machine. Presenting at the show was great timing for us. We even met a few backers at CES. The timing was good because a few months earlier we could not have brought along that machine.
Right after the Chinese New Year’s, we will continue with the certification. Certification takes a couple of weeks. We want to make sure the product is safe and durable.
We are being really careful not to promise an exact ship date since we don’t want to disappoint the almost 10,000 people waiting for our product. We expect to begin shipping in the first half of 2022.
What we can say is the product is real, you can touch it, it’s not just an idea anymore. The injection molds, everything is done. Right now we are working on the whole fulfillment side. This is for us actually a real big handicap, because when we did the calculations back in 2018, we had estimated the shipping cost at around $2 to $3 per machine. Right now, we are facing $10, to $12 to $15 cost per machine. Also, the machine was improved, we added some features and functions that increased cost. Those are currently the challenges that we are solving but we are confident that every backer will get the machine and will be happy.
BRU is exhibiting at the Inspired Home Show, March 5-7, Chicago (Booth SH1)
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