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  • Writer's pictureChris Tate

fancy a brew?

Ever wonder how much tea you drink?

I think I drink quite a bit, I come from a family of tea drinkers, well, a family of drinkers full stop. As anyone who know me knows, I love a cup of Yorkshire Tea and am seldom without one when working.

Well, I began to wonder how many I was drinking and wondered what the best way was to find out. I had an idea - I knew I had a Particle Photon and a Maker Kit lying around the place, so I thought I'd try to build something.

For those that don't know, the Particle Photon is a kind of IoT prototyping device based on Arduino but with some pretty clever cloud functionality built in.

Using the maker kit I was able to cobble together something on the breadboard using a tiny switch. I then created a small program that, when the switch is pressed, increases a variable, exposes this to the cloud service and used IFFFT to send this to a Google Sheet. I also illuminate a red LED just for the sheer fun of it.

It works, I can't think of a commercial application for this. Maybe I could configure it to count up the cups I drink and automatically order more tea bags when I'm running low. This is necessary as Amazon have decided to render my Yorkshire Tea Dash Button obsolete :(

What was the point?

Well, there isn't a point really, but it shows that we have some amazing tools available. It would have been much more effort to do something like this only a few years ago. This is where the Internet of Things is really changing the way we live. I'm thinking the next project might be for me to put a Photon by the bed with a button I can press to turn on the kettle. (Or I could be lazier and just ask Alexa of course)

Future Plans : Version 2 will include a small LCD display to show the number of cups I've had directly on the device without me having to fire up the old Google sheet. I don't have such a display at the minute though.

In other news, I found this chart again. Let me know your preferred "grade" of Tea. I'm 100% in the Werther's Original camp.


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