This Automated Tea Machine Brews Tea Bags and Loose Leaves With the Convenience of a Keurig

BRÜ
BRÜ

The convenience of Keurigs has changed the way people get their morning coffee, but for tea drinkers, the options have been far more limited. Though companies have released their teas in K-cup pods, you’re usually beholden to a more limited selection in terms of flavor variety and leaf type. The BRÜ is looking to change that by giving tea drinkers an automated brewing machine that allows for full customization, like temperature control, cup size, and the option to actually choose from your favorite loose-leaf teas and bags. With more than $180,000 in pledges raised already, the BRÜ has shattered its $30,000 goal on Kickstarter. But you can still get your own machine for just $95 by heading here before the campaign ends on November 1.

The BRÜ looks just like a Keurig in many ways—there’s the water tank, the familiar spout, and the drip tray. But with this machine, you're in control of far more. If you want a small cup of strong, bagged green tea, it's just a few button presses away. If your friend then wants a weaker glass of loose-leaf white tea that's not too hot, it can be ready in minutes, all without the hassle of dealing with a traditional kettle. With its stretch goals already reached, the company is even working on a setting for cold tea, which will brew a small but concentrated cup of hot tea, then dispense chilled water on top of it.

If you act fast (like fast, fast) you can still score the $95 BRÜ package, along with a glass mug. The next tier starts at $115 and includes a similar haul, but this time it’s for the BRÜ+ machine, which the company says dispenses the water in a way that actually cleans the tea chamber after each cup.

The BRÜ won’t be available for the holidays, so if you’re looking to give it as a gift this Christmas, you’ll receive a gift card voucher. Orders are expected to start going out for delivery in April 2020. For more information, head to the BRÜ Kickstarter page, where you can become a backer until November 1.

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The AeroGarden Sprout Lets You Grow Herbs and Vegetables Indoors Without Sunlight or Soil

Aerogarden / Amazon
Aerogarden / Amazon

The packaged greens and pre-planted herbs from the grocery store never seem to last more than a few days, making it hard to keep fresh greens in the house. But if you’re someone that always loves to have herbs around, there’s Sprout by AeroGarden, an indoor garden that lets you grow up to three different vegetables or herbs without sun or soil, no matter how skilled of a gardener you may be.

You can find Sprout in black at Walmart for $50 or on Amazon for $70. Along with the garden, you’ll receive the LED lighting system; a three-pod seed kit, which includes basil, dill, and parsley; and a power adapter.

Setting up is easy. Simply drop in the seed pods, fill the bowl with water and plant food, and plug in the adjustable light fixture, which allows the Sprout to accommodate plants that grow up to 10 inches high. There are 60 LED lights, giving your plants the full spectrum of sunlight, which AeroGarden says allows them to grow faster than normal. The light bulbs are also designed to be efficient, so this indoor garden won’t hike up your electric bill.

The lighting system itself is on an automated timer, so all you'll need to worry about is refilling the food and water, which the control panel will even remind you to do.

Indoor Aerogarden
Aerogarden

And at just five inches wide and 11 inches long, the Sprout is compact enough to fit in just about any living space. Once your herbs are ready to enjoy, make sure to check out our guide to what they pair best with.

You can also check out Tasty, another indoor garden that is currently on sale for $50 and can grow up to three different plants, available exclusively on AeroGarden's website. If three plants just aren't enough, the company also offers an indoor garden that can hold up to nine plants at 24 inches tall for $200 and one that holds 24 plants for $508. But no matter the size planter you go with, make sure you have plenty of seeds to choose from and food to keep them healthy with the Seed Pod Kit for $60.

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Harry & David Just Released a Cats-Inspired Gourmet Gift Collection

Harry & David
Harry & David

Year after year, Harry & David proves itself to be the undefeated champion of helping people gain the favor of tough-to-please recipients on their holiday gift lists. From baskets of cheese to buckets of popcorn, there’s a gourmet food—or collection of foods—for pretty much everyone.

This Christmas, the company has partnered with Universal Pictures to release a line of deluxe gifts that all evoke the enchanting, sophisticated style of the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical Cats.

The products don’t come with cat ears, furry bodysuits, or pint-sized action figures of Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, and the rest of the star-studded cast. Instead, in true Harry & David fashion, the gifts are decorated with tasteful Cats ribbons and subtle touches of black and gold.

The simplest option for anyone with a sweet tooth is the $30 Classic Sweets Box, which includes dark chocolate-covered pretzels, raspberry galettes, dark chocolate truffles, and Harry & David’s signature Moose Munch popcorn. For healthy eaters or fans of fruit in general, there’s a box of Royal Riviera pears, hand-wrapped in gold foil, which you can purchase with (for $70) or without (for $50) a bottle of Pinot Gris. There are also a few larger dessert baskets with a broad assortment of truffles, caramels, popcorn, chocolate-covered cherries, and more mouthwatering confectioneries.

Though you’d be ill-advised to share most of those desserts with your actual cat, they might be able to enjoy the savory meats from the other boxes and baskets—after all, cats can have a little salami. Items include sausage, salami, smoked salmon, pepper jack cheese, sharp white cheddar cheese, garlic-stuffed olives, water crackers, and roasted almonds, among other things.

In summary, the Cats collection is ideal for these demographics: people who like Cats the musical, people who like Cats the movie, people who like gift baskets, people who like gifts, and people who eat food.

You can shop all the options here, and find out everything you need to know about Cats the movie here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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