If you are reading this, you probably enjoy hot tea at least as much as I do. Many ways of keeping tea hot have been proposed and are offered for sale on the internet, however, although they may keep your tea hot, most fail miserably when it comes to keeping the tea fresh. When tea is exposed to free air, it will oxidize rapidly, leaving the tea with a very bitter, flat taste. How is tea exposed to free air? Almost any teapot leaves the air free to circulate though the pot via the spout and lid. Adding heat via a warmer speeds up the circulation and thus the oxidation also. Tea left on a warmer will be undrinkable in as little as 10 minutes, and not more than 20 minutes. So what to do?
Empty your pot of tea into a good vacuum bottle and seal it in. The tea should stay nice and fresh for a good long time. Great for the office maybe, however, it won’t look very attractive sitting on your living room tea table or at your fancy afternoon tea!
Buy a good tea cozy. Now I should define what I consider good.
- If it is knit or crocheted, it does not qualify. It will not have the necessary materials to do a good job.
- Avoid designs that leave the teapot spout and lid open to the room. They will not reduce oxidation of the tea.
- Choose a design that completely covers the teapot down to the table. The goal is to stop air movement around the teapot.
- Choose a design with a heat and stain resistant liner. This helps protect the outer layers from high heat and stains.
- Choose a design that includes a moisture barrier in addition to good insulation. Trapping moisture under the cozy preserves heat and reduces oxidation effectively.
I only know of one company producing tea cozies that live up to these expectations. That is Design In Mind, Inc. Their Tea Quilt(tm) tea cozies, sold through devotea.com meet the criteria above and, having owned several, I can say the company does not exaggerate in their claims for what their products can do. Oh, if you are one of those people who expects your last cup of tea to burn the skin off your lips just like the first one, you’ll be disappointed. But if you just want a comfortably warm, fresh tasting cup of tea, you’ll love these tea cozies.
My advice, before you get too wrapped up in the 300 or so fabric choices grouped in 21 theme categories, spend some time with their Sizing Guide to determine which size or sizes will best serve your teapot collection. And don’t worry, radical designs and extra large designs can be provided with a custom designed cozy in most of their fabric choices for a moderate up charge.
Be prepared, these tea cozies are not cheap. But as one of their customers is quoted as saying after his purchase: “When I first saw the price I thought ridiculous to charge so much for a cozy. Wrong. It is worth every penny.” I’ve included a few photos below for your viewing pleasure!