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The Tea Pot
My relationship with tea is not as intense as the one that I have with coffee, nevertheless I still enjoy a good cup of tea almost daily.
Tea time for us usually takes place when my wife arrives home from work and on Sunday afternoons. Earl grey and Darjeeling are favourites but we do especially during the winter months make an herbal infusion often a ginger/lemon combination.
I have grown chamomile to make my own herbal teas and am now using mint that I found growing in the backyard.
Over the years there have been a number of tea pots come and go and I paid little attention to the pot that held the tea but then one day while walking through the City Market in Saint John, New Brunswick, I stopped by the New Brunswick Tea Company stall and while deciding which blend to buy my eyes noticed a tea pot that required a closer inspection.
The tea pot in question was a Brown Betty and was made in England. The Brown Betty dates back to the end of the 17th Century and the birth of the British Ceramic Teapot. The original unglazed teapot was made out of red clay from the Bradell Woods area in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Brown Betty is handmade and because that is the case there may be some minor imperfections which I find rather unique. This tea pot uses either a loose leaf tea or tea bags. Apparently, it is the shape of the teapot that swirls the tea leaves as water is added making so good a tea.
Whatever, the reason the Brown betty makes a great cup of tea and if I should be so unfortunate to break this one will indeed buy another.
It is the heritage and the look of the pot as well as the good tea that it makes that has turned me into a fan.
The tea pot comes in two, four, six and eight cup sizes; the one we use is the six cup.
It is fairly simple to make a good cup of tea. You must always start with fresh, cold water. Do not use the water left in the tea kettle that has already been boiled before or never, never, use hot water from the tap.
You will pour hot tap water into your tea pot and allow it to sit while the kettle boils the water you will use to make tea.
Do not over boil your water. When the water reaches a rolling boil, it is ready. The water will not get any better if you let it boil longer and in fact when you let the water boil you are boiling off oxygen and the loss of oxygen can result in a flat tasting tea.
It does not improve by continued boiling because essential oxygen is released. Regardless of what beverage you are preparing, loss of too much oxygen may cause a flat taste.
Add the water to the tea, NOT, the other way around; let it steep for three to five minutes, give it a gentle stir and serve.
- Brown Betty Teapot
Brown Betty teapots from Great Britain.