29 year old Neil Strohbeck became fascinated with fresh herbal tea after suffering digestive issues in 2011. Required to have a bowel x-ray, endoscopy, blood tests, and numerous specialist consultations, he was prescribed Nexium and IBS Support amongst other things, but found none had any effect.
After watching Aussie Netflix hit ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ he was inspired by Joe Cross’s commitment to taking health matters into his own hands and began experimenting with a range of fresh tea leaf infusions to improve his health. This involved even swapping regular beer consumption for tea, even when his mates came over to drink beer and watch the football!
When he found fresh leaf herbal tea was helping, drawing on his degree in product design engineering at Swinburne University of Technology, the serial innovator decided to start work on a revolutionary two piece mug design - Freetii™ which is designed to make loose leaf herbal tea, fresh leaf herbal tea and iced tea, and which allows tea sippers to start their travels while the tea is still infusing.
“The continuous steeping design holds the tea leaves in the bottom portion of the mug continuously while the top portion is filtered ready for you to enjoy at any time,” says Strohbeck.
Strohbeck says that apart from the health benefits, it is widely regarded in the tea industry that loose leaf tea has a better flavour than bagged tea, particularly whole loose leaf tea.
“This can be attributed to three main reasons. Bagged tea is usually made from low tea grades, such as dust and fannings which have a larger surface area than whole leaves. The larger surface area allows the flavour containing oils to evaporate.
Secondly, bagged tea is usually a mixed blend from various sources and regions, whereas whole leaf tea is usually a specialty tea from a specific region. And finally the conventional bag limits the infusion because of the restricted area that the tea is contained within. By using the whole loose leaf tea in Freetii™, people will enjoy a more refined flavour with better health benefits,” he says.
Already patented, the Freetii™ mug is not Strohbeck’s first product innovation. Though he only recently stopped working full time as a Construction Project Manager, he has created several products already including ‘Quiescence’, an artistic heated towel shelf designed for a rejuvenating touch to a bathroom which was a finalist in the Reece Bathroom Awards in the Professional category; the Share Shower Ware double head shower concept which was a finalist in the Reece Bathroom Awards in the student category; The Liberty Walker a product set, consisting of a rollator, dual rails, brake coupling mechanism and a backrest to provide assistance for users to ascend or descend household stairs which saw him become a student first round shortlist in the Australian International Design Awards and also has a business with his mum FEOART.com.au which manufactures and distributes a wall mounted kitchen accessory that holds and dispenses Nespresso coffee capsules all around the world.
Strohbeck says he believes the product will be most of interest to the health conscious and those who like sustainable products.
“The portable mug which can be used over and over minimises waste and therefore impact on the environment, and also features acacia wood which provides a fast-growing renewable wood source,” he says.
Units will be selling for as low as $19USD via a crowdfunding campaign which will launch on 12 July. Strohbeck hopes to raise $55,000USD which will allow him to tool the product, and fully launch the business.
Follow the campaign via the Freetii™ social accounts:
Or see their website at www.freetii.com.
See Neil’s Linkedin profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-strohbeck-12a96319