As much as I marvel at the creativity of mankind, especially when it comes to tea as seen in all the tea gadget reports that have been posted on this blog, there are times when I have to think that things have just gone too far. At least as far as I am concerned. But, hey, you might like that strange steeper or other doo-dad.
The item that sent me crying “Enough!” was a bathtub tray with a special holder for a teacup. It was advertised in an ad from a local department store (sadly, I got rid of the ad). Something about the tray yelled out “Rube Goldberg!” It just seemed unnecessarily complicated. Plus, I had this image come to mind immediately of spilling tea into the bath water. Better to keep things simple with a side table next to the tub.
Speaking of tea in the bath water, how about an herbal bath? A company called Tub Tea uses an oversized version of the classic — ugh! — teabag design to hold aromatic dried herbs, flowers and citrus peels for you to steep in the tub. There are numerous blends, all herbals and not true teas (Camellia Sinensis steepings), that create a delicious and sensual experience in the bath or that can be used in the shower (get the bag wet and then squeeze it over you, including your freshly washed hair). Either way will give you a light, natural perfume all day or evening. Store them in with your towels as sachets to impart their scent.
You’re probably thinking “What’s so silly about that?” Well, just think. This is pure marketing gimmick. First, calling it “Tub Tea” instead of something like “Herbal Bath Bags” (hm, that sounds even worse, but the best I can come up with at the moment). Second, using that teabag shape would make it unappealing to us loose leaf tea devotees!
Let me be a bit curmudgeonly here — okay, a bit more curmudgeonly! Some teapot designs I have been seeing lately are so over the top that they’re just totally silly. Or weird. Or even downright ugly. A quick search online popped up these:
- A rhino-shaped teapot that has been proclaimed the world’s ugliest teapot.
- A bellhop carrying suitcases, featured in The Eccentric Teapot: Four Hundred Years of Invention by Garth Clark along with some that are even odder.
- The fairy hobbit cluster house teapot — well, actually, our house fairies live in one of these. Gotta keep ’em happy or who knows what mischief they’ll get up to.
A couple of pretty silly items I’ve tried in the past:
- The totally-overcomplicated-and-senseless Copco steeping mug (I tried to donate it to charity and they wouldn’t take it)
- An aromatic tea pillow that over the past couple of years, despite having been stored in an airtight package, has totally lost that aroma
I guess there are folks out there thinking that if they make a product that in some way is related to tea, it will sell. In other words, there’s a tea sucker born every minute? Well, let’s just say that some of us are so devoted to tea that anything — and I do mean anything — related to tea will appeal to them.
That brings to mind the questions: Are there really any silly ideas when it comes to tea? From what I’ve seen, very likely not. It all boils down to, just as with all things tea, personal taste!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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