My husband and I recently went away for a weekend of walking, carefully timed to miss out on the current unseasonably warm weather. We had to search long and hard to find a place where it was raining in an April this lovely, but we didn’t shrink from the task. I’m fairly sure my feet have actually dissolved, but it was worth it to rediscover the joys of the thermos flask.
One of the fundamental problems that every tea drinker faces is how to transport their tea so that it stays hot. Otherwise, you’re faced with the prospect of going potentially hours without any tea at all, which just isn’t civilised. Luckily, it’s a problem we’ve been well-equipped to solve by good old-fashioned Scottish ingenuity. The geographical origins of the thermos are in no way a surprise to me. I live in Scotland, and trying to keep anything warm is a daily struggle.
Sir James Dewar is the man who invented the vacuum flask back in 1892, and the first Thermos came along twelve years later in Germany. The company that produced it was so successful that their name is now synonymous with vacuum flasks all over the world.
The ability to transport hot tea away from the confines of the kitchen and the kettle is something that should never be taken for granted. We all enjoy being able to take a flask with us as we go about our daily lives, but that isn’t where the thermos truly comes into it’s own. That happens when you’ve trekked ten miles up the side of a hill and the wind and the rain have managed to combine themselves into a new and unpleasant form of weather that seems to have some kind of personal vendetta against you. Then there is nothing better on this earth than to be able to pour yourself a hot cup of tea while you bicker about who’s idea it was to go on holiday anyway.
Tea really is one of life’s great comforts and the ability to take it with you anywhere you go is a wonderful thing. Next time you fancy a cuppa why not get out your thermos and take your tea off on an adventure with you, just because it’s lovely that you can.
Whether you’re feeling the heat or out in the cold, tea is the answer. More articles by “our woman in Scotland” Jessica Hodges abound on this blog.
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