For those of you who like to steep up a nice 4- or 6-cupper potful of tea the problem of how to keep the tea warm in-between cupfuls is a well-known issue. Different ways have been devised over the years to handle this and keep your pot of tea warm. Here are five of the most popular:
1 The tea cozy (cosy for you used to British spelling)
Cozies have been around since the 1600s where legend has it that an Irish farmer leaned over his teapot and his hat fell from his head on to that teapot and kept it warm. I’d say that the light bulb of inspiration went off in his head, but of course the light bulb hadn’t been invented yet. Still, the idea took hold and soon cozies were popping up in homes both humble and grand. They are as popular today as ever and come in a variety of shapes (dome, snuggie, HOB, “toaster cover,” woven baskets with quilted linings, and a host of fanciful designs from wide-skirted dolls to crowns). It is absolutely essential that at least once in your life you give in to the urge to wear a cozy on your head as a hat in honor of that Irish legend!
2 The warming stand with tea light
Warming stands are great for a more formal or even romantic touch to your tea time. These stands are usually fairly short (a few inches tall at most) and hold a tea light candle in them. The teapot sits on top, and the heat of the flame from the candle comes up through a center hole. You need to use a teapot that will not be damaged by the heat of that flame.
3 The tea towel, predecessor to the tea cozy
Before that Irish farmer supposedly dropped his hat on the teapot, there were tea towels that served a number of uses, including being wrapped around the teapot to keep it warm. They still perform this function if you happen to have no tea cozies in the house (impossible!) or your tea time guests are wearing all the cozies (a distinct possibility!). Just lay the tea towel over the teapot and fold it close around the sides of the pot.
4 A silver teapot
Silver teapots have graced tea tables since the late 1600s or early 1700s — about as long as the tea cozy has been around. They are not only desired for their beauty but also for the natural properties of silver that help these teapots retain heat very well, so well in fact that they are sometimes made with wooden handles to avoid burning your hand when pouring. This heat retention means you don’t need a cozy or a tea towel. The teapot will do the work for you. Be sure to use a Sterling silver teapot as opposed to silverplate. (Of course, other metals such as stainless steel will hold in heat somewhat, too.)
5 Those beauty salon style hair dryers with the head covering hoods
Actually, this was suggested by my very humorous hubby when I got stuck for a fifth option here and asked him for a suggestion. I think he was thinking of a handheld blow dryer, but my mind automatically went to those helmet-like monsters I’ve sat under in my younger years, vainly trying to get my rather straight hair to hold a perm. Just locate the nearest beauty supply wholesaler or a beauty salon that is upgrading its equipment and haul one of those hair dryers home. You can adjust the height and even set a timer. Of course, I’m kidding here. But let me know if you end up trying this. No guarantees that the dryer won’t blow your teapot off the table, though!
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