The Dust London collection's coasters made with tea leaves. Photo courtesy of BÖEN.

Our weekly serving of off-the-menu items-a few popular favorites from the week, as well as a few morsels that may have slipped your notice.

Image courtesy of BÖEN.

Wine in Translation

When shopping for wine, the unfamiliar consumer can often find it difficult to determine what a particular bottle might taste like, and which one is best. California wine producer BÖEN wants to allay some of that confusion, by providing customers with easy access to more information about their wine. Using near field communication, consumers can tap an app while holding a bottle of BÖEN wine, and instantly find out more information like its viscosity or prominent notes of flavor.

Tea Infused Furniture

Designers Michael McManus and Matt Grant are capitalizing on the 160 million tea bags that are thrown away in London each day, by transforming them into furniture. Their first homeware line, Dust London, relies on the natural pigmentation of the teas for its mottled hues, while the geometric lines of the furniture draw inspiration from the shapes of origami.

Photo courtesy of Cornell University.

A Better Butter

Food scientists at Cornell University have developed a “butter” spread, with approximately one fourth the calories of real butter. Made almost entirely from water, the spread is emulsified with just a few drops of vegetable oil and milk fat. The final product is composed of 80% water in 20% oil, while still maintaining the creaminess and consistency of butter.

Coffee, but without the Coffee Beans

Coffee crops require a lot of water to grow, a characteristic that bears great consequences considering how much of the drink is consumed every day. Hoping to produce a more sustainable version of coffee, startup Atomo is attempting to create what it calls “molecular coffee” in a lab. Unlike lab-grown meats, which encourage animal cells to reproduce themselves, Atomo’s coffee would be constructed from the bottom up out of the requisite elements.

Facebook Meets Cafe

Facebook has announced plans to open five pop-up cafes across the UK, where visitors can a cup of coffee, as well as advice on their privacy settings. The social media platform noted that users are often unaware of to customize their privacy settings, a problem that it aims to remedy over cappuccinos.