Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Better Cuppa

Running low on loose tea, yesterday I bought a new kind. Lately I've enjoyed a full pot of tea almost every afternoon. But the grocery stores in New Bern have woefully-lacking tea selections. Nice, loose tea in real metal tins? Never! At WalMart, the best deal was clearly a 1/2 pound of Lipton loose tea in a box. So I bought it. The label stated it was orange pekoe and pekoe cut black tea. I took it home and poured it into my purple Twinings Darjeeling tin.
I felt like a cheat because I really love Darjeeling. Earl Grey is too strong. I've been drinking English Breakfast, but it's strong as well, especially when the leaves sit in the pot.
I'm here to say that the Lipton was delightful. Not too strong, lovely flavor. I'm sure the Tea Snobs out there will turn their noses up at it, but there you go. I like it.
You'll notice the fuzzy tea cozy above. I made it several years ago. It's okay for a tall teapot, but for that shorter brown pot, it's too floppy and too big. Plus ... well, there's something unpleasant about all that fuzz when you're drinking tea. All that to say, lately I've been wanting a new cozy, so this afternoon I crocheted a new one, designed to fit that black pot. Here goes:
I worked on it with the pot sitting nearby, fitting it as I went along. I watched Foyle's War on the laptop as I did.
Here's my beef with tea cozies. If they drape down from the top, you must lift them off entirely in order to pour. That's why I made that fuzzy one with openings for the spout and handle. I prefer cozies that come up from the bottom, ones that you set the pot on top of and somehow secure above. I had one like that. It secured with a big elastic scrunchy on top, but I've misplaced it. And the scrunchy was a pain to keep track of, being separate from the cozy itself.
I like this one I just made. The two sides come up and attach to the knob on the lid with simple buttonhole-like closures. They slip on and off easily, so I can get into the pot if I need to, but it stays very secure.
I may be making more of these. It fits so perfectly that I can keep it on the pot except when it's in the dish water. Yay!
Update: I was a little unhappy with the fit on this pot -- there's a good bit of exposed pot surface on either end. so I put the cozy on a slightly smaller pot, and ... tada!!! Much better fit! Now I want to make yet another cozy that will fit the pot in the photo above, just right. I'll keep you posted.

7 comments:

  1. Yay for tea! You are so clever! Your cozy is darling!

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  2. A pot of tea makes me feel so civilized. :) About the Lipton...I buy that when I can't make it (or afford to go) to the Indian store near us. I tend to put a teaspoon or two of cardomom in my tin (I do like you and empty it out into another container), and shake the tea up a bit. The spice adds a wonderful, warm flavor, not too strong.

    Love your handwork. You're so inspiring.

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  3. What cute cozies! I love a good English or Irish tea, but have not thought to have any lately. A whole pot, huh? I think I'll give it a try instead of my afternoon coffee.

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  4. Confession: I love Lipton, too! Many other teas are too strong/bitter for me. Hey, as long as we like it, that's the whole point...isn't it?
    Love the tea cozies. I'll have to take up knitting/crocheting!

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  5. I also think Lipton fine.
    I've never had a tea cozy - I can barely make myself go to the trouble to use the tea POT. And I warm my mug of (teabag) tea up in the microwave over and over. I know, very gauche...

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  6. I always enjoy the lipton when we are in France! We received 3 tins of loose tea for Christmas-Earl Grey (my favourite), Lady Grey and English Breakfast! We have a tea cosy that sits on top! It's an owl and there's a blog post somewhere of me wearing it as a hat-looks like a Bishop's mitre!

    Your tea cosy is so nicely made . Do you sell those too? X

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  7. Another tea drinker. Yay! The world has proliferated with cafes and baristas, and none of them know how to make a decent cup of tea. FYI There is a tea cosy exhibition each year at Woy Woy, not far from us, put on by the CWA on the June long weekend. It is such fun!

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