Tuesday, December 8, 1998 Published at 18:36 GMT
A groovy kind of pot
The secret is under the lip of the spout
The new design features a simple groove on the underside of the spout to stop the tea dribbling down the outside of the pot.
The announcement of the non-drip pot is yet another fillip for the drinkers of tea - the UK's favourite beverage.
Already this year, researchers at Bristol University have explained the maths behind the perfectly dunked biscuit. And only last week, a professor from the University of East Anglia (UEA) revealed precisely why tea has that infuriating habit of running down the spout and flooding the saucer.
She got her inspiration from looking at windowsills which are plagued by a similar dribble hazard. With sills, rainwater is the problem. Without preventative measures it would run back along the underside of the wood or concrete into the wall, potentially causing damage.
"With windowsills, the problem was solved by cutting a rectangular groove underneath," says Kumar. "The groove is too steep for the water to flow over and the water falls directly from the groove downwards.
"This is what led me to put a grove on the underside of the teapot spout."
The teapot has several other features to improve the teatime experience:
The design features are of particular relevance to ceramic teapots which, because of the glazing process, cannot be made to have very sharp edges - a factor known to reduce dribbling.
Like many inventions, the pot has received an apathetic response from British industry.
"What we need is for someone to come along and have a look at it and say 'yes, this is something we'd like to put on the market'. We'd like to see it go from being just a student project into something people can use."
"A lot of people haven't taken me seriously to be totally honest.
"It has been difficult. I tried for some time and then gave up for a bit."
The patent which has been filed is not so much for the pot as the pouring technology, which has a wide range of applications.