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How to Care for a Teapot

 
 
Noddy24
 
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 11:30 am
As a little reward for myself for surviving the first two months of winter, I bought an old fashioned china teapot.

Are there any particular techniques for brewing good tea?

I confess to using tea bags. I also admit that I brew both herbal and fruit teas as well as proper tea.

Does anyone have any recommendations?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 20,016 • Replies: 58
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 11:45 am
The person who wrote this seems to know what he is talking about. One thing though, instead of using a strainer, it is simpler to use a "tea egg".

http://cruftbox.com/cruft/docs/teahowto.html

http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0VwCkD44bIM32CrCLAgK5hh5eVXzzBzUimu75YW!DwCTnmGRakhcqGUGbaMThIvd*RjMi*kTR3Y56eR1zb0Nee9LcuAzyqgz8J0LLBEMKxiKfjVfkwnkwiQWDmE7j8piT/Tea%20Egg.jpg

I remember a tea shop on 9th ave in Manhattan that had the most marvelous varieties of loose tea. You weren't considering tea bags, I hope! Shocked
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 11:52 am
Phoenix--

Thank you for the site.

I have a tea ball, but I confess to using tea bags, but I keep my pinky finger inconspicuous as I sip.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 11:53 am
To make real tea, only use loose tea leaves.

Taking care of the tea pot really is important: never wash the teapot. After use, rinse it with hot water and turn it upside down to drip dry before its next use.

This simple rule isn't only used in England but in other tea drinking countries as well (like e.g. in the Netherlands and [East] Frisia).
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 11:55 am
Walter--

I remember hearing "never wash a teapot" but over the course of a complicated life, I've heard a number of things--some true and some preposterous.

Thank you for helping me make the distinction.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:03 pm
Oh, I didn't know that part (never wash). Any idea why?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:11 pm
sozobe wrote:
Oh, I didn't know that part (never wash). Any idea why?


The teapot absorbs the flavor of the tea. And actually, you only should use it with one sort of tea (which is quite easy in East-Frisia, since the East Frisian tea is a mixture of several. But that's another story.).

There was saying about a cafe/tearoom in England ages back, when I stayed there every summer that they made their tea just by adding hot water.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:31 pm
I was wondering about the "never wash" when the pot is used for a number of varieties of tea.

Of course, by using teabags, I'm confirmed as a non-U tea swiller.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:39 pm
There is always some soap residue that could affect the taste.
I do wash my china tea pot though, as I am not THAT fanatic about it.

Tea leaves should be loose in order to have the true flavor unfold.
Most tea eggs will do the job but a regular strainer is better.

Then there are discussions over the milk: do you pour it before or
after into the cup?

Let's ask the Brits!!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:41 pm
Milk: the East Frisian way, with a teaspoon, carfully on the top ... and it's special tea-cream, of course, no milk.

In Britain, you've the Mif's and Tif's (Milk-in-first (Tea-in-first) parties.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:43 pm
I say pffft! to both of Walter's comments, sorry Walter. I use both loose tea and bagged tea. I like them both. I think the quality depends more on the manufacturer and how airtight the packaging is. At worst, bagged tea is to loose tea as pre-ground coffee is to fresh coffee. There's a difference, but sometimes not much of one. As for not washing the pot.... if you're using one pot for real tea (camilla sinensis), the tannins in the tea might keep bacteria from growing. But, I won't count on that. I'll keep washing mine.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 12:46 pm
That is the craziest **** I have ever heard, kris.

<walks away shaking head>
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 01:10 pm
Herbal, fruit, white, green, black teas....I never add milk.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 01:43 pm
Noddy, true English tea needs milk to taste good, it's too strong and bitter otherwise.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 02:04 pm
CJ--

I'm a Philistine--not a poseur--an out and out Philistine.

I dislike the taste of warm milk.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 02:18 pm
Noddy, do you mean one of those 'fine bone china' pots? The pretty ones that (usually) have flowers on them and matching tea cups and saucers?

They are sweet. You'd never guess it to look at me, but I've got a good share collected from antique stores and auctions in my 'heirloom' cupboard, along with ones passed down from family.

My aunt tried very intensively to teach me how to have a 'proper' english tea, but much of it failed me.

I don't like milk. I don't like sugar.
Tea bags please me just fine.

I do kinda like those tea cozies tho. How embarassing! They are cute and keep the tea nice n' piping hot though.

As far as I am concerned, the main bit is that it feels special.

I'm curious what kind of pattern tickled your fancy!
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 02:38 pm
Flushd--

http://www.amazon.com/Brown-Betty-Cup-Teapot-England/dp/B0009LQ7ZC/ref=sr_1_17/104-3638316-7567148?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1173040127&sr=8-17

This morning I decided that I really needed a Symbolic Treasure. I've wanted a teapot for some time, but planned to be frugal until I saw the Brown Betty Teapot on Amazon.

It spoke to me. I lived in England for three years and a friend in London had a Brown Betty Teapot. I like living with pleasant memories.

I love the shape, but as far as stereotyped looks go, it is more appropriate for Tea in the Kitchen (perhaps with a favored delivery person) than Afternoon Tea in the parlor.

First thing in the morning, I'll put on the kettle, brew a pot of tea (as opposed to my former brewing of tea mug by mug) and carry the pot and a mug (and a slop dish for my plebeian tea bags) into the computer corner where I'll check my e mail and plan my day.

My next Deserved Treat will undoubtedly be a tea cozy.
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 05:45 pm
Noddy, if you're going to start making tea in a pot then you'll want a tea cozy (unless you like cold tea -- I do). If you knit or know someone who does have them knit you a "tuque" for your teapot -- a slit on one side for the spout, a slit on the other for the handle, and a pom pom on top to make you smile Very Happy

(You'll love your brown betty; mine must be 30 years old and it's still my teapot of choice. Just rinse it with scalding water after use and drain to dry.)
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 06:56 pm
One of my problems as a human is that I like edibles or drinkables either very hot or very cold, and only occasionally lukewarm. And keeping liquids hot can give them a burney taste...

Steeped tea by definition to me is not hot enough.

Before I get a lecture, I understand that the better flavor shows up at the milder temperatures and the europeans in general prefer it. Thus little ghiaccia (ice) at italian bars, as they think we are nuts.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2007 07:44 pm
Tai Chi--

I have a friend who knits, but she's limited to miles and miles of scarves.

A tea cozy is definitely my next indulgence.


Osso--

I'm a person who can sip tepid tea very happily, providing that the tea has been hot to begin with.

Restaurant tea is frequently brewed from water that's been sitting on a Coffemate hotplate. This low I don't go.
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