Years ago we received a teapot for Christmas from a relative. We were not really tea drinkers at the time, beyond the usual tea bag of Lipton or Oolong received with Chinese takeout. We used it a couple of times and then it got put into a cabinet and forgotten.
Then we received a package of loose tea and the teapot was remembered. I really wish that I could remember the tea that started us on this whole journey. We pulled out the pot, heated some water on the stove, and brewed it up. And we were hooked.
We've added a few things to our tea arsenal along the way such as this and that, but we still use the teapot. I took a picture today to share with you. It is just a classic white, ceramic teapot. It is probably used at least once a day.
I have dreams of adding a cast iron teapot to the collection sometime. They are great for retaining heat and keeping your tea warm. Plus the Tetsubin are handcrafted and have beautiful designs.
Anyway just wanted to share where our tea cabinet started. Share in the comments below where your love of tea started. We would love to know.
Monday through Friday I have to drive my daughter to school, so morning is a rush. I seldom like leaving without a travel mug full of fresh brewed tea in hand though. The mornings are pretty cold right now and it is nice to have something warm to drink for the drive. I typically brew my tea inside of a teapot, but in the morning I am in a hurry and don't want lots to clean later.
My solution for brewing loose tea to go is an infuser basket and a stainless steel travel mug. Why stainless steel? We tend to avoid plastic in our house for a variety of reasons. They do make some lovely glass travel tea mugs, but I'm a huge klutz so I'm guessing it wouldn't travel for long (for me anyway). Stainless steel is a great choice because it is resilent (within reason of course), cleans up easily and retains heat for a long time.
I use this one and really like it. It has a 20 oz capacity so I can make a really big cup of tea to get me through the morning. Plus it can also be used at my local coffee shop for their venti size drinks. I like to go green whenever I can. I then start my kettle, set the infuser basket to rests on the rim, fill with some loose tea, and steep for a few minutes. When it is done I just remove the infuser basket, put the lid on and go. Very easy and minimal cleanup.
That is how I enjoy a nice cup of loose tea to go. You can save even more time by setting up everything the night before, including putting the tea in the infuser basket.
If you are just starting out or are a long time tea drinker, it is always a great idea to have all of the right tools for brewing the perfect pot of tea. Here is our list of the Top 5 Tea Essentials that you should have in your kitchen.
- Tea Kettle. You need hot water when making and having an appliance that is devoted to this task makes it very easy. We currently use this Chef's Choice Tea Kettle. I like that it is stainless steel, shuts off automatically, and will not operate if there is no water in it. It holds 1 3/4 quarts of water, which is perfect for making a pot of tea. It boils water in minutes and is much faster than trying to do so on the stove top and safer than using the microwave. Someday I would love to have the Breville Variable Temperature Kettle, as it brings water to 5 different temperatures no thermometer required. This is a great feature for tea making as different types of teas need different temperatures of water for the perfect steep. For now the Chef's Choice is a great tea kettle though.
- Teapot. When brewing loose leaf tea, it is necessary to have place for the tea to brew. Tea leaves that have a chance to open, infuse the water with more flavor than your standard teabag tea. There are many different ones to choose from, made from a variety of materials. The standard teapot is ceramic, but there are also glass, stainless steel, and cast iron ones.
- Infuser/Strainer. Many people that brew loose leaf tea prefer to steep their tea inside of an infuser basket. These generally sit within the lip of the teapot and then can be pulled out when the tea is done steeping. We prefer brewing the tea loose inside of the pot and then pouring the tea through a stainer into a tea cup. We are currently using the Rösle Tea Strainer and absolutely love it. It is a very fine mesh, so even the smallest of tea leaves do not get through.
- Tea cups. It is always nice to have an assortment of teacup to choose from. Sometimes you want a large cup of tea and other times it is nice to have some smaller cups to share a pot of tea with friends. It is all up to you to have all matching cups or an oddball assortment of cups to choose from. Our tea cabinet has a collection of tea cups and mugs that we have gathered over the years.
- Tea. This is definitely the most important component of all to making a great cup of tea. All teas are definitely not created equal. Personal preference is also a very important part of deciding just what kind of tea you are going to keep in your tea cabinet. Some of our favorite teas come from Teavana and the American Tea Room. We will be giving reviews of them in future posts.
We hope that gives you a little peak into what we keep in our tea cabinet. These are definitely the tea essentials that you need in order to brew a great cup of tea.
Growing up, I was never really a tea drinker. My parents were more into coffee, so it wasn't really something we had around the house. About 10 years ago, my husband's aunt gifted us a teapot and some loose leaf tea for Christmas. It all got placed on a shelf somewhere and we forgot about it. Fast forward about 4 years ago, we were again given some loose leaf tea. The teapot was remembered and we used it to brew the tea. It was wonderful.
I had tried many different types of tea, in their teabag form before that, but this was something else entirely different. The flavors were so much stronger. Plus I loved the ritual of setting the tea leaves to steep, pouring through a tea stainer and into a teacup. Whether it is a enjoyed alone or with a group of family and friends, there is something very comforting and appealing about tea.
My husband and I have a whole cabinet in our kitchen devoted to our love of tea. Now we would like to share that love with you. Welcome to the Tea Cabinet. Brew up a fresh pot and enjoy this journey with us. We can't wait to get to know you better and explore the world of tea.