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Recently my family and I had to pack up and move to a new house. While I was sorting through my things, I came across some of my tea sets. I noticed that I had several tea-for-one sets. My fiance saw them and immediately wanted to try them out. Then I remembered that National Hot Tea Month was coming up again so now is a good time to delve into tea-for-one sets!
If you are unfamiliar with these unique tea sets, many of them are usually made of ceramic, porcelain, or bone china. Each set comes with a small teapot to brew a teabag or two in, depending on how strong you like your tea, a cup, and a saucer. Stack the teapot on top of the cup and set it all on the saucer and voila! These nifty sets look great on any counter, cupboard, or table, and they fit nearly anywhere.
English Tea Store carries our very own brand of tea-for-one sets, much like our own regular teapots. These are made of ceramic and carry up to 16 ounces of delicious tea along with a 10 ounce cup. They are touched with a beautiful glossy finish and come in a range of lively colors, from blue to lime green. You may end up starting a collection!
But if you want to explore the more exotic versions, we carry an excellent variety. There is the beautiful Shabby Rose Turquoise Porcelain set, which is a pleasing look for the eyes, or the Rose Porcelain set. This one features a beautiful gold trim* and a more traditional teapot look and very charming. One of our best selling sets is the Irish Claddagh, beautifully decorated with creamy colors and Celtic knotwork and patterns. A Claddagh is embellished in the stoneware, symbolizing love, friendship, and loyalty.
These tea sets are very ideal to give to someone who fancies a quick cup of tea but doesn’t want to pull out the entire tea set. I had received my tea-for-one sets as gifts and they are the best ever. These are sure to wow and you will enjoy using your tea set.
*For tea sets with gold trim, these are not recommended for microwave use.
Whether it’s boiling water in a kettle on the stove-top or in an electric kettle, tea lovers have a favorite way of brewing their tea. Some prefer to brew theirs in a glass tea pot. When I first heard of a glass tea pot, I merely thought that was impossible, since they could break very easily. Yes, they are very delicate, but they are handled in a much different way, especially if handled properly and carefully, they are one of the best vessels to be used in tea brewing.
There are many benefits to having a glass tea pot. One of the best benefits is visual, allowing you watch your tea leaves unfurl or even bloom, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of tea brewing. I have always wondered what tea has looked like while it was brewing, and it’s hard when trying to see through a teabag or mesh infuser, so this would be a perfect item for those filled with wonder such as myself. Plus, with a blooming tea, you can watch the tea bloom and then have it as a centerpiece along with being the tea!
Glass tea pots are smooth in texture, when brewing teas, it is said that it does not affect the taste or flavor of tea once brewed. To brew up a glass tea pot, it is best use water freshly boiled from a regular kettle, and fill up the glass tea pot with as much as you need. To keep the tea warm, it is best to use a tea warmer in which you use a small tea light.
The downsides of glass tea pots are that they are VERY delicate. They MUST be handled properly to avoid breakage and burns (when handling hot temperatures). They are also meant to be used according to their instructions. They cannot be used like the standard tea pot or kettle, so follow all safety precautions when handling a glass tea pot.
Despite being very delicate, glass tea pots have generally received positive reception over its existence. Many actually prefer to brew their cups of tea in glass! While they are a bit high in price, it is well worth the value and quality.
Part of the Brown Betty’s charm and claim to fame is that it is made from red clay, or terra cotta, making it a ceramic tea pot. What the heck is terra cotta, though? It translates from the Italian to “baked earth.” It is a porous clay that is mostly used for sculptures and flower pots after being fired to almost 2,000 degrees F. Without the Rockingham glaze (or the newer cobalt) to seal it, it would be useless for the Brown Betty. Rumor has it that glazed terra cotta will ring if lightly struck.
This wraps up our series on the Brown Betty teapot, but before we go, I of course wanted to point you in the direction of something good to eat. Brown Betty is also a delicious fruit compote, usually apple. There are myriad recipes out there, and as this is a decidedly American dessert, I won’t ask Julia to jump through our hoops to try to “British it up.” But I am including her recipe for apple crumble.
Julia’s Apple Crumble
About 12 ozs fruit (baking apples or something else)
2 oz butter
4 oz self raising flour
2 oz sugar.
Oven 190 C, 375 F or gas mark 5.
I like to cook the apples and add sugar before I start but if you are using fruit from a tin it may not need cooking or sweetening. Put the fruit in a greased oven-proof dish. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and then add the sugar. If liked, sprinkle some cinnamon over the apples and then spread the crumble evenly over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden on top.
Editor’s Note: We carry a crumble mix that makes this easy-peasy recipe even easier-pesier!