We all hear it sooner or later — the call of the teapot. It could be a gentle sound, like a soft whisper of a loved one wafting gently into your ear, that coaxes you out of bed in the morning, or it could be a roar, a loud cry that comes from deep within like a banshee, that fills your brain come mid-afternoon.

Blue Betty is a hard-working teapot! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Blue Betty is a hard-working teapot! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

And once you hear that call it becomes irresistible. Time to jump out of bed and rush to the kitchen, instead of burrowing back under the covers and succumbing to that lingering sleepiness, or time to set aside that task that had been taking up your every bit of mental energy, not to mention your patience and endurance, and do that act which has been done through the ages in answer to that persistent call: make a pot of tea!

In an age where tea drinking seems to be polarized between using teabags dunked into mugs full of water (heated either too hot or not enough) and, on the other side, steeping tea in accordance with some Asian tradition (using, of course, traditional teawares), the call of the teapot is sometimes muffled. But in our house, hubby and I know it well, since most of our teas are steeped in a pot.

“Blue Betty” (yes, we name our teapots — well, at least some of them, the ones with starring roles in our tea times) is the workhorse in our kitchen tea preparations. (And the kettle, of course. What’s tea without water? Naught but dry leaf pieces.) So, she is the one who generally issues that Siren’s call.

We’re speaking figuratively here. She doesn’t really sing. In fact, it’s the kettle that calls out (whistles, actually). But only when it begins to boil.

Yes, the call of the teapot is very figurative. It is a voice in our heads that says clearly “It’s time to have some tea.” We, trance-like, head to the kitchen (“Must have tea. Must have tea.”), fill the kettle with clear water, prepare the teapot, and await the boil.

And, since cleaning out my tea pantry recently, the choice of which tea to steep is easier, not because there are fewer choices, but because those excess teas that we sampled and wrote up reviews on but never drank again are no longer in the way of the teas we imbibe daily. The Assams, Darjeelings, Chinese black teas, African black teas, Taiwanese oolongs, and green teas from Japan, China, Sri Lanka, et al. — each free of flavor additives such as flower petals, fruit pieces, spices, herbs, and chocolate — are now close at hand. We saved a few of those flavored teas but have relegated them to the top shelf of the pantry.

After all, when the teapot calls, you don’t want to be delayed by having to dig through those unwanted teas to get to the good stuff.

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