The described subject matter relates generally to means for preparing beverages, more particularly, it relates to infusion bags for preparing a single cup of coffee. Said infusion bag may be conveniently supported by the rim of a cup, and suspended therein.
The use of packets for the preparing of essence containing beverages is commonplace. For example, tea has been marketed in tea bags for many years and has enjoyed a great deal of commercial success.
Packets, particularly water-permeable packets, containing roast and ground coffee are also old and well known in the art. Many attempts have been made to prepare a packet for the brewing of coffee in an attempt to duplicate the success of the tea bag but have not resulted in the commercial success and ready acceptance of the tea bag.
There have been attempts in the beverage infusion art to provide a conveniant and effective filter bag for preparing coffee and tea. Also, there have been attempts in the art to provide a bag which is securely fastened to the rim of the cup for contact with the water poured into the cup, and which is suspended inside the cup away from the cup side walls for contact with the water in the cup. Also, there have been attempts to provide such an infusion bag in an inexpensive and easily manufactured package.
However, the coffee packets heretofore known in the art all had definite disadvantages. For example, using the prior art coffee packets or pouches, the two terms being used here interchangeably, generally produced a very weak brew, primarily because the packet fabric inhibited extraction. In order to produce a coffee brew from a packeted product which did not exhibit inhibited extraction and weak brew characteristics, the amount of ultra fine grind roast and ground coffee contained in the pouch was increased to provide more acceptable flavour and strength characteristics.
Furthermore, increasing the amount of ultra fine roast and ground particles was not without its own disadvantages. That is to say, by increasing to a high level the amount of fine roast and ground coffee particles, the level of sediment and/or the amount of fines present in the coffee beverage was substantially increased.
Consumers have expressed a great dislike for the increased level of pot or cup sediment. Conversely, to reduce the level of sediment to an acceptable level required increasing the roast and ground coffee particle size which, in turn, brought about the heretofore described fabric inhibiting effect which provided a brew which was unsatisfactory in strength and flavour characteristics.
The ideal pouched coffee product would be one which produced a high level of extractability and therefore a cup of beverage of high strength and flavour characteristics coupled with a total lack of cup or pot sediment. Several recent approaches have been taken to solve this problem.
Furthermore one disadvantage of known prior art is that said coffee packets are sticky and makes a mess when used.
One object of the described subject matter is to provide a disposable brewing device, for brewing e.g. coffee in single beverage containers, which is simple and easy to use but yet creates an exclusive atmosphere.
A further object of this invention is to provide such a brewing device which will maintain hot water in contact with e.g. coffee grounds in the filter, in such way that the produced coffee will present a better brew characteristic and less sediment than known prior art.
The present invention is a convenient and efficient brewing device for e.g. coffee, said brewing device comprising re-sealable means in the form of a housing, a so called drip-cup, with downwardly-facing slot such that said housing can be easily and securely fastened onto the rim of a beverage container. Said housing is also configured to adapt and store therein a detachable infusion bag, consisting of at least one porous squeezable filter bag. The infusion bag is releasable or movable from the storing position for immersion into a fluid in the beverage container for preparation of the beverage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
When the slot of the housing is hooked over the rim of a beverage container, the porous filter infusion bag is thus suspended inside of said beverage container, hanging free from the housing and easily available for water contact on all sides and freely expandable in the water. The infusion bag can, after use, be pulled up into the drip-cup by means of the thread and excess water can be pressed out of the infusion bag by pulling the infusion bag towards the top of the housing by means of the thread. Afterwards the drip-cup can be resealed in order to avoid mess and stickiness. Thus, a simple, easy and user friendly brewing device is obtained.
The foregoing and other advantages of the described subject matter will become apparent from the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 shows the drip-cup,
FIG. 2 shows the infusion device,
FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 are perspective views of the drip-cup and infusion device assembly,
FIG. 6 shows the assembled device, and
FIG. 7 shows the brewing device in use.
Generally, all terms used in the claims are to be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning in the technical field, unless explicitly defined otherwise herein. All references to “a/an/the [element, device, component, means, step, etc]” are to be interpreted openly as referring to at least one instance of said element, device, component, means, step, etc., unless explicitly stated otherwise. The steps of any method disclosed herein do not have to be performed in the exact order disclosed, unless explicitly stated.
Referring to the figures there is depicted, generally in FIG. 1-7, a single bag embodiment of the brewing device. The brewing device comprises means in the form of a housing, a so called drip-cup, which comprises at least one side wall 101 and a top 100, wherein the top further comprises at least one platform 102 either for product labels or as pure advertising place. The drip-cup further comprises preferably two notches 105 which are used, during manufacturing, for mounting the pick-up thread to the drip-cup.
Furthermore, the drip-cup can be fastened onto the rim of a drinking vessel by preferably two downwardly-facing slots 103 in the at least one side wall of the drip-cup. The length of said slots 103 are preferably chosen such that no part of the drip-cup will ever be immersed in water during preparation of a beverage.
The brewing device furthermore comprises a porous, squeezable infusion device or means in the form of a filter bag 200 which is partially filled with infusable substance, like coffee or tea.
The filter bag 200 is joined to the drip-cup by means of a closed loop of thread 201. A thread 201 runs directly around the base 206 of the filter bag, the thread furthermore extends inside the walls of the filter bag and extends inside the walls of the drip-cup, and the two loose thread ends connects, via holes 104 in the at least one side wall 101 of the drip-cup to a pick-up tag 202 where they are assembled, thus resulting in a closed loop of thread. The pick-up tag is consequently placed outside of said drip-cup. In one embodiment the thread is fastened to the filter bag at 207 so that the thread remains stable and unmoved throughout the brewing process. The length of the thread 201 is sufficient for the infusion device to hang free from the drip-up during brewing, i.e. preferably entirely beneath said drip-cup. It should further be noted that the holes 104 for the thread 201 can alternatively be located at the top 100 of the drip-cup.
The pick-up tag 202 is attached to the thread ends for conveniently, and manually, picking up and containing the filter bag within the housing after the infusion and also for efficiently pressing out excess water from said filter bag by means of the thread after the infusion. The at least one side wall 101 of the drip-cup can also be used for pressing out excess water from the filter bag 200 by e.g. gripping and moving portions thereof or opposing side walls towards each other and towards the intermediate filter bag.
The abovementioned filter bag further comprises at least one compartment, or containment chamber, for holding a dose of the substance, like coffee or tea.
In yet another embodiment the filter bag is equipped with means such as a lath or a strip which prevents the filter bag from collapsing when inserted into the fluid, so that the filter can be maintained in an expanded position and so that e.g. the coffee can be agitated by the fluid and thereby retain a favourable brewing characteristic.
The brewing device may be made from conventional materials by conventional techniques for food packaging, however the housing for the various forms of embodiments can expediently be made in one piece, from water-repellent material, for example thermoplastic, or moulded plastic, or the like, or for environmental issues, baked, moulded pulp with built-in water protection, such as an interior water repellent bio-degradable coating, paper/board fibre mould, vacuum formed polymer sheet.
In yet another embodiment a self-preserving coffee bag unit, including a filter bag for the coffee, made by a filter paper body, tubular and sealed, holding an amount of coffee that is in a predefined ratio with the internal capacity of the fiber bag, so it is filled only in part.
The filter bag 200 is stored inside a sealed and closely fitted housing, i.e. the drip-cup 100, 101, which isolates the bag from the surrounding air. Furthermore, the infusion device thus allows the filter bag 200 to be packaged flat, to move from the storing position for immersion into hot water for preparation of a beverage and to expand on immersion into the hot water. Disclosed is a wet laid, nonwoven web material having stiffness and infusion properties suitable for use as an infusion convenience package. The web material is suitable for use with conventional high speed automated packaging and heat sealing equipment. The web material may also be hydrophobic and comprise thermoplastic material. The beverage infusion package can be formed of porous, fibrous cellulose material and has a closure seam 203, 204 and 205 produced by either mechanical compression action with or without heat sealing.
Thus, the brewing device is configured such that when said device is used, one simply unfolds the filter bag 200, lets the filter bag fall down from its storing position, suspended from inside the drip-cup or housing but hanging free therefrom in the thread 201, hooks the slots in the housing over the rim of a drinking vessel, and adds warm fluid to the cup such that the filter bag is totally immersed in the fluid and thereby fully free for expansion, while at the same time the housing remains dry.
When the beverage has been prepared, the filter bag 200 is easily removed and safely discarded by grasping the dry cool pick-up tag 202, connected to the thread ends which in turn forms a closed loop of thread 201, via the holes 104 in the housing, and simply drag the infusion bag up, into the housing, eventually press excess fluid out of the infusion bag and then turn said housing up-side down, re-seal the cover and discard the entire brewing device into the trash bin.
The invention has mainly been described above with reference to a few embodiments. However, as is readily appreciated by a person skilled in the art, other embodiments than those disclosed above are equally possible within the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended patent claims. As will be readily obvious, individual features of the forms of embodiment may be interchanged with or supplemented by features of other forms of embodiment.
It should be emphasized that the term comprises/comprising, when used in this specification, is taken to specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, or components, but does not preclude the presence, or addition, of one or more other features, integers, steps, components, or groups thereof.