Making a nice cup of tea is one of those no-brainer activities that plenty of us do multiple times a day. We rarely think of how much energy is used to heat the water for that tea. Even if you’re using an energy-efficient electric kettle (as opposed to a stovetop one), the minimum water amount is typically at least enough for two cups of tea. If you only want one cup of tea, you’re wasting energy to heat water that you don’t need right now.
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Nils Chudy created an intelligent way to heat water one cup at a time, right in the cup. The Dyson Award-winning Miito consists of an induction plate and a metal rod that goes into the liquid.
When the cup and rod are placed on the plate, the rod is quickly heated by an electromagnetic field which only heats ferrous materials. The Miito is extremely energy efficient because it delivers the heat directly to the water and nowhere else.
The tip of the rod is coated in silicone to create a safe, non-heated place to grab it by. Its simplified shape makes it easy to clean, so you can even use it to heat milk, soup, and coffee that’s gone cold. Any non-ferrous vessel can be used, as well, like a whole teapot or a bowl.
The overall design is streamlined and surprisingly elegant for a kitchen appliance. There is no on or off switch; removing the rod from the plate puts it into “standby” mode and the device switches on when a vessel is placed on the plate and the rod set into place. Once it heats the water and is removed, it goes back to standby, and when the rod comes to rest on the plate again it shuts off, waiting for your next cup of tea.