The whole tea cycle is triggered by a switch linked to the clock - literally a metal contact on the hour hand. It uses mains voltages for that which is a little insane. I bought a cheap 4-relay board off ebay (about £5) and wired it directly to that switch and the GPIO pins so I can trigger the tea-making cycle, the heater, or the light separately. Once the tea is made the power shuts off automatically, so I don't have to do anything clever
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