Friday, 1 March 2013

The Comfort of Teapots

I have a 'thing' for teapots.

To me, they symbolise the warmth and comfort of home and hearth, due to clear associations with past family gatherings.  Always, always, throughout my childhood, having a cuppa helped smooth troubles, soothe heartbreak and create a space for companionship.

It was our family's habit to put the milk in first (apparently this is very non-Upper class!) then pour on the tea (always black Ceylon) from a large metal pot ensconced in a knitted cosy.  The tea-making ritual could involve the best china cups and saucers - mainly for guests and great-aunts - or the mugs and glass tea cups for the everyday.

Tea making has changed somewhat since tea bags became widespread in the 1970s/80s.  I remember being incredibly shocked to find, on travelling to London in 1990, that tea bags were everywhere and a Decent Cup of Tea wasn't.  I had up to that point considered England to be the heartland of tea drinking, but we clearly made a better cuppa in the Antipodes!

I admit that do I use tea bags quite often now - a good quality, single source, ethical, Ceylon black tea (bag).  But I still find pleasure in making tea in a pot from time to time, whether 'properly', with leaves, or with the ubiquitous tea bags.  I garner enormous pleasure in setting out a tray with teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl and tea cups.  It tastes better that way, somehow - partly, I'm sure, because the tea actually draws properly!

So back to my slight obsession with teapots . . .

As far as I know, none of my teapots are particularly valuable, but I love them all in their own sweet way.

Here is my everyday teapot in its slightly rough cosy . . . far from posh, but beloved in a slightly taken for granted kind of way.*

* The teapot is Maxwell and Williams and has served us well for about 10 years.  The cosy was one of my first knitting adventures, hence its scruffiness.  While I was/am not particularly happy with the cosy as a work of art, it's keeping my teapot warm till I make another.  PS the pansy tea cosy kit is not recommended - way overpriced and the crochet pansies, being made with 3ply, are too fiddly to be fun.

Moving on, here are a few little teapots gathered over life's journey . . .

  This is my favourite tea pot . . . not sure why it's my favourite, it just IS.

This dear, sturdy, brown teapot particularly represents the joys of the everyday . . .

and here are a couple of posher looking teapots.  This fellow is actually a Steelite coffee pot, but in my mind I have converted it to the true path.

And finally, I bought this fellow on impulse from Provincial.   I like it for its fol-de-rols.

For me, there's still nothing like a good cup of tea!

May your next cuppa be how it should be - companionable and comforting.


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