Do you remember Mrs. Tea? Launched in 1995, the Mrs. Tea machine was Mr. Coffee’s vaguely British counterpart, an automatic countertop brewing machine for loose-leaf tea. The device allowed for extra steeping time, and best of all, brewed into a classy-looking plain ceramic teapot. Mrs. Tea isn’t available to the tea snobs of today, though: she disappeared from the market sometime between 1998 and 1999.
At the time Mrs. Tea hit shelves, Mr. Coffee was part of the company Health O Meter, and their CEO just happened to be British. “There’s nothing wrong with making tea with a tea bag or making coffee the old fashioned way boiling it on the stove, but people like the convenience of the machines to do it for them,” he told the Associated Press in 1995.
Branding-wise, it isn’t clear who Mrs. Tea is. Was “Tea” her last name at birth, and when she married Mr. Coffee, she chose to keep her original last name? Is she Mr. Coffee’s sister, who married a Mr. Tea (not Mr. T) and then went into the family business? Are we putting too much thought into the naming conventions of hot beverage appliances? Yeah, probably.
The company reported strong sales of Mrs. Tea through the ’90s.
The appliance lives on–sort of–in the Mr. Coffee brand iced tea makers available in kitchen and discount stores.
The Tragic Story Of Mrs. Tea, Mr. Coffee’s Brand Companion [Trivia Happy]