Oh… I’m currently dealing with seasonal allergies which means I have a stuffy head and can’t taste a thing so cooking is no fun. So it seemed like a good time for a peek into my endless supply of tea doodads.
With green or white teas, temperature after steeping isn’t so much of a concern, but when it comes to black tea I want mine piping hot whether it’s the first cup or the last in the pot.
As good as my memory is, I can’t remember where I got my little teapot warmer. It’s possible it was a gift. It’s the only one I have and it’s been through the wars, but I love every dent and spot of encroaching patina. I proudly top it with my finest porcelain pots.
I always brew the tea in one pot and transfer the tea to another pot which goes on top of the warmer. You don’t want tea leaves stewing over heat for long periods of time as it’s likely to produce off flavors in the tea.
The warmer I have isn’t readily available anymore, but there are many out there. Metal, ceramic, glass… I tend to shy away from glass because I’m a bit clumsy, but they are pretty to look at. There are also a lot of pots and warmers made to go together. None of them are too expensive, and, well, I think it’s a handy item indeed. If I had one piece of advice it would be to buy a warmer that’s large enough and stable enough to securely accommodate tea pots of varying sizes.
I’m unlikely to do a rousing post on tea cozies at any point. Though they can be adorable to look at, I don’t find them practical. They just don’t keep the tea as hot. They can also be a bit messy. I don’t need one more thing to wash every time little errant drips and dribbles soak into the cloth. They are also a bit more cumbersome to use. With a warmer you just plop the pot on top; with a cozy you have strings and bindings and… I guess sometimes they just drop over the top, but then they’re really not going to keep anything too warm.
Hopefully the wind will die down a bit and the pollen will subside and I can get back to cooking sometime soon…