It's been Great - But all good things must come to an end!

November 27, 2010

This is the last month for Tea Cosy Renaissance. A website evaluation of how this site has performed over the two weeks it has been active will be submitted on Sunday night 30th  November 2010 and the website will go off line on 30th  December 2010.

It has been an interesting experiment and maybe one day when working 5 days a week, studying part-time and pretending to be in control of a house with two children, a husband, guinea pigs and cooks feels a bit more manageable I might seriously launch a similar venture.

I thought I might share with you my latest tea cosy - 'everything's coming up daisies'. It was a gift from my Aunty Sib that recently came up to visit us from Sydney. She always manages to give the perfect gift - and did it again.


See photos of it below.


How to make a decent cup of tea & George Orwell’s tea rules

November 18, 2010

Drinking a cup of tea is only good if you make it. Whether you like it milky with three sugars or strong with no milk, if someone makes you a cup of tea you are more than likely to receive a cup of tea the exact opposite to how you like it.

And if you leave it you run the risk of offending the tea maker which is possibly the last thing you want to do, so you sit there drinking almost a pint of sweetened milk when you prefer your tea super strong with no added sugar.

If only everyone had their tea the same way and there was no other way to make it. How easy would that be?

The famous George Orwell in his time had a set of tea rules that he lived by that no one should dare depart from.

George Orwell’s tea rules

  • Use a teapot, preferably ceramic
  • Tea should be strong – six spoons of leaves per 1 litre
  • Take the pot to the boiling kettle
  • Drink out of a tall, mug-shaped tea cup
  • Add the milk to the tea, not vice versa
  • No sugar!

Orwell said that tea was one of the "mainstays of civilisation" and completely ruined by sweetening. He said that anyone flouting his diktat on shunning the sugar bowl could not be called "a true tealover." That’s us told!

Not only did he have a weak spot for a good cuppa, he also had distaste for scientists, so in 2003, to mark the 100th anniversary of Orwell’s birth, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) broke down his 11-point formula to rubbish a good many of his ‘golden rules.’

And Dr Andrew Stapley – a chemical engineer at Loughborough University – found a number of Orwell’s points were wrong.

Orwell’s six-spoons of tea per pot were found to be just far too strong to drink. The RSC research found that just a single spoon of leaves was sufficient.

Pouring milk after the tea was made was seen as a no go because according to their research;

"At high temperatures, milk proteins – which are normally all curled up foetus-like – begin to unfold and link together in clumps. This is what happens in UHT (ultra heat-treated) milk, and is why it doesn’t taste as good a fresh milk," says Dr Stapley.

"It is better to have the chilled milk massed at the bottom of the cup, awaiting the stream of hot tea. This allows the milk to cool the tea, rather than the tea ruinously raise the temperature of the milk."

And this whole malarkey about no sugar isn’t backed up by the team as sugar "acts to moderate the natural astringency of tea." In other words it just makes tea less bitter.

This would clearly anger Orwell who said that "Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter."

Well whatever your tea style we at follow these fabulous tips to ensure that all of our staff get a decent brew every day of the week.

  1. Make sure the kettle is clean and well maintained. Water contains minerals and limescale that can build up at the bottom of your kettle overtime. De-scale and rinse your kettle regularly especially if you live in a hard water area.
  2. If your water tastes good then half the battle is complete. Tap water is usually fine but filtered water can be a better option as it has a high amount of oxygen circulation throughout. Try to avoid using distilled or previously boiled water as the kettle prefers pure water.
  3. Whether you are using a teapot or a single cup, give the tea at least 2 minutes to brew. A good tip is to ensure that the water stays hot and this can be done with either tea cosies or simply placing a small plate on top of the cup. This keeps the heat in giving you a steaming hot cup of tea every time. Be careful not to burn yourself on the boiling water.
  4. If herbal and speciality teas are your thing then let the water in the kettle cool a little as finer teas taste better at lower temperatures.

Whether you put the milk in before or after or whether sugar is your thing is a personal thing, but one thing we can all agree on is that tea needs to be piping hot.




This Week

November 13, 2010

Well what a week this has been - burning the candle at both ends well and truly.  The webpage was launched at midnight last night after a week spent clinging very tightly to a very steep learning curve - but I think I got there.  Yah!!!
While this was going on I also managed to put the finishing touches on two of my long running tea cosy projects - another Yah!

They both come from Loani Prior's first book Wild Tea Cosies.  I must thank Cosy Kate for buying this for her friend for her birthday only to find she already had one - wasn't I lucky.  Everybody should own a copy of this book.  I certainly hope that Loani never stumbles across this blog - I think she would be horrified to see what I have made of her lovely patterns - anyway, they are my interpretation and I can live that that.

My first one I have had to call Ernie Emu.  I used Loani's Eddie Emu pattern but didn't feel that it looked enough like an Eddie to call it that.

For Sale $126.95 (including postage)

This second one was called Coral Fantasy and again, mine has absolutely no resemblance to the original but it was my first attempt at this pattern and I am going to have another crack when I get the time and see if I can get it looking a bit closer to the original.  I did find this one a bit challenging.

For Sale $135 (including postage)


What is the relevance of a tea cosy today. Is it just a leftover for our granny's days? Has it always been here? OR is it making a resurgence in the 21st Century?

November 11, 2010
Tea cosies have been around since the 1660's but since the 1950 and started to decline in popularity - probably liked to the invention of the tea bag - or have they.  Most of us would have fond memories of afternoon tea at our Nan,s (or our nan,s friends) house drinking cups of tea out or bone china tea cups, and little cakes of matching bread and butter plates and smack bang in the centre of it all was the teapot wearing a wonderful creation and keeping warm enough for a second cup - OR IS THAT JUST ME?

ADD A COMMENT to the Blog
Click blue Blog title at left of below under recent posts.  This will open a comment box a the end of the blog.

Blog Archive


Go back Home                  


Go to Tea Cosy History               


Things of Interest Page


This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola