It is a beautiful Colorado day with lovely blue skies, a light breeze and almost springlike weather but still not quite spring. A friend of mine used a quote from Charles Dickens to describe a day like today and I think they are perfect.
My Brown Betty teapot arrived today and she needs a little cosy to keep her contents warm. I will be knitting one of Kate Davies’ many ‘sheep’ designs, this one a tea cozy called Sheep Carousel. The pattern was sized to fit a ‘standard’ teapot and not knowing what size someone in the UK deemed ‘standard’ required a bit of investigating. As I researched the pattern on Ravelry I noticed many UK knitters putting their finished cozies on a ‘Brown Betty’. Knowing how much the Brits enjoy their tea led me deeper into more research until I uncovered a charming history behind the Brown Betty teapots.
The teapot itself came with a tiny card detailing the history further. I found it interesting, you may not. If you are interested read on and, if not, you can stop reading – pronto.
“During Queen Victoria’s reign, tea became a symbol of Britain’s greatest period of expansion and stability. Every home owned a teapot, even if it was a basic ‘Brown Betty’ . Tea was no longer a refined, upper class beverage but a basis of a whole meal.
While Charleston dancers and many Victorian glamours have disappeared from the scene, the humble ‘Brown Betty’ teapot has still remained a firm favorite. Its origins go back to the 17th century and to the birth of the British ceramic teapot…”
The Brown Betty I bought is still made from Terracotta just as the Elder Brothers used in 1695. I will see if the claims of ‘making the best tea in the world’ holds true. They claim that the shape of the pot causes the tea leaves to be gently swirled around as the boiling water is added in thus producing an ‘exquisite’ infusion. I have always used loose tea but put the leaves in a tea strainer ball. After reading that it is best to just put them in completely loose for the best infusion I will give that a try.
I also ordered some Yorkshire Tea which I read is a popular tea in some parts of the UK. It has the finest little tea leaves, almost the size of coriander seed! I don’t think I will even bother to strain it.
Are you a tea sipper? What kind of tea do you enjoy?