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Expensive tea-maker startup Teforia is no more

Teforia officially pulls the plug on its smart tea-maker business.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Teforia and its expensive tea machine is no more.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Teforia, the maker of a $1,500 robotic tea maker, has gone down the drain. The startup announced on its website today that it will "cease all business operations."

"The reality of our business is that it would take a lot more financing and time to educate the market, and we simply couldn't raise the funds required in what is a very difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space," Teforia's statement said. The company didn't respond to a request for additional comment.

Teforia launched its robotic tea maker in 2016. The appliance, which was Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled, talked to a companion mobile app to learn what type of tea it made and save recipes for later. You could brew your own leaves, but the company asked customers to pay for proprietary tea packs called Sips that cost anywhere from 50 cents to $2.50 a pop. 

When we reviewed the Teforia, we weren't impressed with the Teforia appliance's tea-brewing abilities when we took the product for a spin. Despite its ridiculously high price, the beverages the device whipped up tasted slightly better, but not fabulously so. 

Teforia will continue to sell its tea maker, teas and accessories through Nov. 3. The company still plans to shop its technology and tea around to other manufacturers, according to the online statement.

"We will continue to seek a partner that can leverage Teforia technology and/or provide Sips tea sales to continue our mission of elevating the tea experience," the statement said. "Hopefully you will see Teforia technology in future products."

The Teforia saga isn't the first smart, connected drink machine to dramatically go bust. Notorious home juice huckster Juicero went belly-up, too, after promising to deliver prepackaged portions prepared by a kitchen contraption with stratospheric price of $700.

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