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I designed this reusable cup handle to hold a tea bag after it has been steeped for the appropriate amount of time. Oversteeping a tea bag leads to bitter tea, and nobody wants that. 

I was inspired by my own experience with tea. I've spent many hours in the library studying with a cup of hot tea, and too often I've forgotten or found it too inconvenient to remove the tea bag after its proper brewing time.

For this project, I wanted to focus on functionality. This design serves to replace both the cardboard paper sleeve that comes with hot beverages as well as perhaps a napkin or saucer to hold the tea bag after it has finished brewing.

I chose to not use heat guns with acrylic based on my past experience working with heat forming acrylic. I've found it difficult to reliably make the same shapes and angles or to achieve precision even with the same design and method. Since I knew I would be making multiple prototypes, I really wanted to focus on refining my design rather than building my acrylic heat-forming skills or relying on luck. 

Below is the mood board that I created before beginning any designs or prototyping. My favorite kind of tea is earl gray, which serves as the main source of inspiration for the mood board. 

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