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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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Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly
Mar 04, 2021

I think I'm somewhere between 'Werther's Original' and 'He-Man'. Love the idea of the Particle Photon kit - might have to have to do something similar for the biscuit tin 😂

Chris Tate
Chris Tate
Mar 04, 2021
Replying to

Ha - That's a great idea re the biscuit tin. The Particle stuff is so simple and the way it connects to the cloud is really cool. I'm considering getting a Raspberry Pi Pico next though as they are super cheap.

Let me know how you get on with the biscuit tin..


Jan 13, 2020

Glad I've finally found someone who enjoys Yorkshire Tea as much as I do! - think I'm 'Gran's House' on the tea chart ;)

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