For LGBT lawyer Eugene Kim, founder of Pasadena, Calif.-based Nano Law, which services many LGBT tech startups located in the Los Angeles area, drinking coffee had become a daily ritual. He savors the robust aroma and rich flavor as much as the strong caffeine jolt that wakes him up. But consuming coffee up to six times daily due to long work hours, has transformed a savory passion into daily caffeine crashes and over-consumption, leading to an irritated stomach and upset digestion.
Recently, Kim began the challenging transition to wean himself off coffee by taking green tea extract pills to achieve a caffeine boost. He reduced the number of sips to three when drinking French press or Turkish coffee. Kim, who is Korean American and has been drinking tea since he was a tot, started consuming more high-quality black tea, oolong tea, and Japanese green tea, since he loves their palate-cleansing flavors, and believes they have the right amount of energy-boosting caffeine. And, he also brought to work a new Teforia Leaf countertop tea infusion device so office staff could join him on his mission to beat coffee dependence.
The sleekly-designed Leaf quietly brews the perfect cup of tea within 4 to 6 minutes using algorithms, double-walled vessels for safety purposes, and offers 15 types of exotically-curated, loose leaf teas available in pre-packaged pods--SIPS-- fitting for even the hautest of tea connoisseurs.
Kim explains, “Black tea has the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee, but the effects are different. Caffeine from coffee can induce anxiety, while caffeine from tea produces more calm, less overall jitteriness in my body. I also appreciate that tea has many antioxidants.”
Kim’s office mates had similar experiences that led them to explore tea as a caffeine alternative. Twice daily coffee-induced caffeine crashes led law partner Victor Look to taking mid-day walks in lieu of a second round of coffee, and drinking more water and tea. Clerk Edwin Kamarzarian, whose digestion was irritated by coffee, began exploring high-caffeine teas that assimilate the bitter flavors of black coffee, while drinking iced tea in lieu of his favorite iced coffee.
They found the Leaf easy to use. “The RFID chip inserted into each pod tells the Leaf which tea is being brewed and provides an exact formula for brewing the tea to perfection in terms of number of minutes and temperature,” says Kim. “The automation saves time in figuring out each tea’s recipe and measuring the necessary amount of tea leaves. And, we save several dollars each day by skipping Starbucks.” Each monthly SIPS subscription box contains 15 pods and costs $30.00, and each pod can brew up to 3 carafes of tea; Teforia Leaf retails for $399.
“I never thought a device could be so instructive,” says Kim. “The flavor profiles and range of teas, plus options for caffeine boosting, results in an effortless, refined preparation that satisfies the tea snob in me. Each pod shows the origin of each tea and date of harvesting. We love how it chimes when tea’s ready, journals what we brew on its app, self-cleans, and is easy to maintain.”
Adds Kim, “I think our LGBT clients were impressed upon seeing this artful-looking object which has a high gloss white and chrome finish with no sharp edges gracing our office. It broke the ice in more than one conversation.”
In terms of how much the Nano Law staff appreciates the Teforia Leaf in their mission to kick coffee, Kim notes, “Yeah, they were really upset when I took the device home one weekend, so I quickly brought it back.”