Sharp Develops 'Tea Maker' to Brew Nutritious Tea

Apr 1, 2014
Tsunoru Nakashima, Nikkei Electronics
The new tea maker developed by Sharp
The new tea maker developed by Sharp
[Click to enlarge image]

Sharp Corp announced March 27, 2014, that it will release a "tea maker" capable of milling tea leaves and making tea, April 25, 2014.

There is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, but the expected retail price of the tea maker, "Healsio Ocha Presso," is about ¥25,000 (approx US$243).

The tea maker is equipped with a ceramic mill that grinds tea leaves into about 20μm powder. Because its grinding speed is as slow as 100rpm, it does not generate much frictional heat. As a result, it hardly destroys catechin, dietary fibers, etc contained in the leaves.

The powder is mixed with hot water by using a mechanism called "rotating blades" as if a tea stirrer is used to make tea. The water is heated to a temperature of 80-90°C, which is suited for tea powder, after being boiled in the built-in tank to remove chlorine components.

Sharp developed the Ocha Presso in the aim of making tea that contains all of the nutrients of the tea leaves. When tea is made with a teapot, some components such as fat-soluble materials remain in the leaves because they are not soluble in water. As a result, the tea contains only about 30% of the nutrients of the tea leaves.

On the other hand, the Ocha Presso mills the tea leaves, and the tea also contains the remaining 70% of the nutrients. In an experiment, tea made with the Ocha Presso contains about 1.9 times more catechin than tea made with a teapot. In addition, it contains chlorophyll and dietary fibers, which is hardly contained in tea made with a teapot.