Do teapot warmers work?
- Pei Oct 26, 2006 07:00 PM
Now that the weather's getting cooler, I'm in the market for a good teapot.
I think I have my heart set on a Brown Betty for aesthetic and quality reasons, but am wondering if people have advice about keeping tea warm once it's in the pot.
I know, I should just make a fresh pot when the old one gets cold, but it takes me a long time to finish a big pot by myself!
Do the teapots with warmers (and tealights) below them work? Do most teapots fare will with direct contact with a flame, however tiny?
Would I be better off knitting myself a wool/felted tea cozy?
This doesn't really answer your question, but I make big pots of tea regularly when I'm home during the day. I use an infuser and once the tea is brewed to my liking, I take the infuser out. When the tea is colder than I like I just heat a cup in the microwave.
Another version of this is to make the tea very strong, almost like a tea essence. Then you pour just a little into a cup and top with boiling water. A Russian friend of mine used to do this.
Tea cosies are really cute but not terribly effective.
The warmer you are looking at from Crate & Barrel -- how does it warm? Does it use a candle or is it plug-in? I would worry with a candle that the bottom of the teapot will blacken from the flame, or an electric cord will not be as portable as you would like. (Living in SoCal, I also worry about an open flame that I am not watching.)
As cheryl_h posted above, I brew with a strainer each cup I drink. I do drink several cups a day, and it is quite easy. I use an electric Braun pot (I think I bought it about two years ago at Macy's) to heat the bottled water and it is super fast! I can heat about 2 cups of water in a minute or two; then I just pour it over the fresh tea strainer that fits into my 2-cup mug. Sometimes I re-steep with the same tea, and sometimes I just toss it and add a different tea for variety.
These water heating pots are still available, and perhaps my favorite kitchen appliance!
I have a lovely tea cozy, very thick and well padded, and it keeps tea hot in a pot for an hour or so, I think. Won't work if you want to drink tea all day, but certainly keeps it hot for awhile. I inherited it, it is about two inches thick on each side, whatever is inside, it is not high tech, it's several decades old.
I doubt anything that applies ongoing heat will leave your tea tasting very good. I'd go with a cozy or a thermos, or just keep boiling water.
re: Anne H
I lean towards your logic, it's the same problem as keeping coffee on a warmer all day. The volatiles that provide flavor are going to be driven off by the heat leaving you with brown water.
My tea cozy is fine at dinnertime, if I want to keep tea hot longer I put it in a thermal carafe, good for 2-3 hours.
studiocate - Have you ever used it for anything other than boiling water (I know you're not supposed to!)? This is the only use I have for it, but it certainly carries its weight in the kitchen and is well-deserving of the space it takes on the counter because it does heat water sooo well! I really love it!
LOL It's never occurred to me to try boiling anything else in it! But it's so handy just for water. I used to have the Zojirushi water heater, but I didn't use *that* much hot water and wasn't sure if it was ok to leave water in the heater for 2-3 weeks. So I made the switch to Braun and have never regretted it!