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It’s time for tea
Fulbright scholars test tea app on campus
On Tuesday, April 18, CEO of Bigelow Tea Cindi Bigelow visited Quinnipiac to test a tea app that Quinnipiac Fulbright Scholars created. Bigelow is the third-generation CEO of the family-owned company.
Tamara Leskovar is a Fulbright researcher at Quinnipiac and is the owner of the idea for the app “Time 4 Tea.”
“I knew that the steeping time (for tea) was important, but I usually put the tea into the water and then I forget about it,” Leskovar said. “I thought how could I make an easy thing that will remind me to take my tea bag out of the water?”
Steeping tea is the process of soaking a tea bag or tea leaves in heated water as to allow the flavors from the tea to be infused into the water.
Leskovar introduced the idea for the app to Executive Assistant to the Director in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Fulbright MBA Scholar Laszlo Dinca.
Through the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Leskovar and Dinca got in contact with Bigelow and Bigelow Tea, according to graduate assistant for the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ashton Pett.
“We were able to progress forward with a presentation in front of Bigelow Tea, and they liked the idea, so that’s why we were able to take this opportunity,” Pett said.
The steeping time for tea is very important, according to Leskovar.
“I want that perfect taste. When you open the tea bag, it smells so good, so you don’t want to lose that taste with over steeping or not keeping the tea in the water for enough time,” Leskovar said.
The app allows users to scan a two-dimension bar-code attached to the tea bag tag with their cell phones. The app will then read the barcode and set a timer on the phone for the correct brewing time.
The software for the app was developed by Quinnipiac alum Tejas Kumar who works in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Dinca.
The app is currently in its beta-testing phase and had its first public test run on April 18. Stations set up in the School of Business and Café Q gave students the opportunity to test the app with tea donated by Bigelow Tea to get the correct steeping time for the various tea flavors.
The purpose of the beta test is to determine whether or not the app is feasible, according to Dinca. Leskovar is not sure how long the app will remain in its beta testing phase.
“It depends on the feedback,” Leskovar said. “I think if people are interested, we can roll quickly. The basis for the app is there, we just need some time to change it to adapt so it can be more user friendly and interesting.”
During the app test, Bigelow said that when it comes to apps, simplicity is key. After the app instructed her to removed her tea bag, she simply stated, “That was the perfect tea.”
After the beta test, the data received will be presented to Bigelow Tea, and it will be determined how they will move forward, according to Dinca.
Bigelow Tea was chosen to help with the beta test of the app because they are local and share the same core values as Leskovar and Dinca.
“We really share the same philosophy which is do the right thing and good things will follow,” Dinca said.
What makes Bigelow special is the family aspect of it all.
In terms of family-run businesses, only two to four percent make it to the third generation, according to Bigelow.
“Two things I think helped us make it down three generations; put love and mission first,” Bigelow said. “If you all can stay focused on the mission first over yourself, I think that’s why we made it to three generations.”
In terms of the future of “Time 4 Tea,” Dinca is looking towards the day when their app will reach the app store.
“If I didn’t believe in that (possibility of making it to the app store), then I wouldn’t have started,” Dinca said.
Updated: April 21, 12:20 p.m.