Monday, December 09, 2013

49 before 50: Make Tea in a Pot (with bonus FO)

One of the aims of my 49 before 50 list is to slow down and make more of my experiences.
To start to take more notice of the world around me, enjoy new tastes, relish the old ones.
While I love my morning coffee, I can only cope with two mugs a day or I start to go a bit doolally ;)
Tea doesn't seem to have the same effect.
But I had started to knock back multiple cups of "builder's tea" without paying much attention to what I was drinking.  It was just a hot drink which punctuated my day at regular intervals, keeping me warm and giving me an excuse to leave my desk.
I wasn't really enjoying it.
So I started buying loose-leaf tea instead of tea bags, and brewing it in my lovely Zero Japan pot.
When The Girl and I went on holiday to Hebden Bridge, I treated myself to two packets of Hebden Tea:  their Queen's Jubilee Earl Grey with Cherry and some Nuwara Eliya Ceylon Orange PekoeOoh - fancy!
FL took a shine to the Cherry tea, and it was soon gone.
So in October I visited the Hebden website and tried out a few more of their specialities:  Lady Hebden (an Earl Grey-type with orange), Earl Grey Blue (a gentle Earl Grey with a subtle bergamot taste), and the Hebden Breakfast Blend ( a simple black tea with lots of flavour).
Lady Hebden took the place of the Cherry tea in FL's affections and we are down to our last spoonful!
Fortunately, Cherry is back in stock, so I have made a pre-Christmas order for that, more Lady Hebden, some Mango and (very exciting this!) some Santa Tea, which is a seasonal blend of black tea with Apple and Vanilla :)
This is all light years away from PG Tips or Typhoo tea bags!  And while those still have a place in my life when I need a quick cuppa, my tea pot now has pride of place next to the kettle.
It is such a pleasant, calming ritual to measure out my spoonful of leaves into the little metal basket, pour over the boiling water and wait for it to infuse, inhaling the fragrant steam all the while.  Ahhh!
But... what is THIS?!
No, FL that is not your Christmas hat!  Put it down immediately!
While my son was here in the summer, he was intrigued by the tea ceremony, and for his Christmas /  21st birthday he has asked for a tea pot.   Well, I could not possibly let it go naked, could I?!
I have knitted him this rather special tea cosy, using the Baby Jester Hat pattern by Woolly Wormhead.
It took one ball of JC Rennie Chunky Aran plus the remains of the two handspuns I used to make another gift tea cosy, the Betty.
No jester is complete without bells and pompoms!
But the weight of those fluffy beasts was pulling the points down and flattening the top of the cosy, so I stuffed the top with some bfl fibre, which will also help to insulate the pot - woo hoo!
I think The Boy will appreciate it... if I can just get it away from my darling FL!


beate grigutsch said...

me too make footprints on the ceiling when drinking more then to cups of coffee.
but after a lot of black tea over the day i cant sleep at night. so herbal/spice teas are the choice. no manmade aroma in it please! and fresh ginger in boiled water - sooo warm :-)

Tamsin said...

I love reading these 49 before 50 posts. I always make tea in a pot but it is just 'builders' tea, nothing fancy, just seems to taste better that way. I think the tea cosy will fit its teapot better than it fits FL!

Gail said...

This tea cozy just makes me smile!

Linda C said...

What is "builders tea" ?

I used to spend the night once or twice a year in a homeless shelter our church operated. There was coffee in the back for the volunteers, but, out front there was a huge urn of tea kept hot and refreshed all night. ( the shelter was under a very limited budget and it was decided the it would be better to take in one or 2 more visitor for the night instead of serving coffee to all. I usually took the first shift which was the time we got there (6 or 6:30 p.m.: until around two a.m. That strong hot seemed like it had more caffeine than coffee. Of course I would not have been able to drink that much coffee over those hours. Around 2 I would crash on a couch back in the back volunteer area and be aroused around 6 or 6:30 a.m. How I ever did that and then went home and got the kids out the door and went to work, I cannot imagine now. Of course that's why it was once or twice a year.


jessica said...

Heh - that's awesome! I think he will love it.

I had a teapot at work and also loved the ritual of making a pot of tea - it was a nice break, wonderful to pause and smell the tea and taste the delicate flavors and feel the warmth in my hands (and usually a good excuse for a bit of conversation!)

Most of the caffeine in black tea is released in the first 15-30 seconds, so if you steep your leaves/a bag in a bit of hot water for half a minute, and then pour that out and steep again, you should have a mostly decaffeinated drink! That's what I do :-). Otherwise, herbals for me! I really love peppermint and chamomile.

Donna Hensley said...

I'm really enjoying these '49 before 50' posts too. That picture of FL is priceless. :)

MaryinTN said...

Neat cosy! I've looked at that hat pattern and wondered how to keep the points looking nice. Never thought of stuffing it with roving but you have just given me some ideas for left over quilt batting :) The photo of FL is truly one of a kind----just awesome! Keep 'em coming!

Roobeedoo said...

Linda C - "builder's tea" is what we call ordinary cheap black tea-bag tea. The stereotype is that it has to be drunk very strong with milk and too many sugars by manual workers.

Rehanon Mackenzie said...

Ooh you're so making me want a cuppa. One of my favourite presents over the last few years is my teapot and I relish Sunday when I get to listen the radio whilst I get a brew on. I blinking love the tea cosy as well.

Karen Marie said...

I love the 49 before 50 posts! I have a question. I have loved tea for a long time but have often used tea bags (never heard builder's tea before). I usually drink it black. But I bought a tea pot last spring. It has a ceramic inside cup with holes that rest on the edge of the top opening where you put in the water. I think the holes are meant to let the water out and not the tea leaves but it doesn't work perfectly. How do you keep leaves out of your tea? Thanks!

Roobeedoo said...

Hello Karen Marie! My teapot has a fine mesh metal basket for the tea leaves, which keeps everything out ot the water, but the traditional tool was a tea strainer - like a medium sized spoon with holes in it, or else a tiny sieve - I have seen these made of plastic in hardware shops - very cheap!

madeinoxford said...

I am a committed and addicted coffee-drinker, but I have a little white teapot for times when I need something quieter. There's nothing quite like it, and we're lucky enough to have an independent tea and coffee emporium here in Oxford. The main problem is choosing!

I absolutely love the cosy. It's brilliant, and anyone would love it!