Lessons of a Humble Teapot

      22 Comments on Lessons of a Humble Teapot
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This little teapot has a lesson for anyone interested enough to listen. Not only does it pour out a hot cup of tea, but maybe it can dispense a bit of wisdom. You see, it reminds me to enjoy the little things in life we tend to take for granted. Take tea, for example. Tea is so readily available and inexpensive today, we forget that at one time it was a drink only enjoyed by the wealthy. We dunk our tea bag unceremoniously in a cup of hot water for an energy lift, with no concern for how precious a commodity it once was.

My antique teapot reminds me of days when a teapot was a treasured belonging.

My antique teapot reminds me of days when a teapot was a treasured belonging.

 

What is tea, but some lowly leaves, anyway? The botanical name of tea is Camillia sinensis and there are two main varieties available, Chinese tea (Camillia sinensis var. sinensis) and Indian tea (Camillia sinensis var. assamica). Many variations can be made by preparing the tea leaves differently for unique flavors. And then, of course, there are herbal ‘teas’ made from a wide variety of herbs completely unrelated to the evergreen tea shrub. So ubiquitous has the tea leaf become, that the very act of creating an infusion is referred to as ‘making tea.’ But how did this all start?

 

Boiling tea leaves for a beverage is believed to go back almost 5,ooo years in China. Tea leaves were a medicinal herb treasured by the upper class, given as gifts and enjoyed in tea ceremonies before Europeans ever ‘discovered’ Asia. Dutch and Portuguese traders brought tea back from China in the 1600’s to Portugal and Holland. The leaves later became coveted in Britain. Only the aristocracy were able to afford tea leaves in the beginning, as they were very rare. The stimulating drink was enjoyed immensely by the nobles, who considered it a status symbol to share tea with guests.

 

Teapots went right along with the tea. They were made from pottery or silver and belonged to the privileged. Tea pots originally had a built in strainer and were quite small, as tea was precious and enjoyed in smaller amounts. As the cost of tea decreased with the advent of the faster clipper ships, the size of the tea pot increased and the number of tea drinkers increased along with it. The invention of tea bags made the strainer unnecessary. The teapot became much more common in everyday households, such as mine.

 

The design on one side is smaller and less complex. I love the natural theme of leaves and ferns, with a touch of gold.

The design on one side is smaller and less complex. I love the natural theme of leaves and ferns, with a touch of gold.

 

I will often make a small pot of Early Grey or Irish Breakfast tea in the morning, using loose leaf, a tea ball, and this very tea pot. It is cracked and discolored inside from years of use. I don’t remember where I acquired it, probably at a garage sale in my 20s. But it has accompanied me to every home I have lived in since. I could buy a new one. Like so many people, I am often tempted to upgrade to something bigger andΒ  better. But this teapot is just the right size for two big mugs of tea…any more would go cold before I get to it. And I like the character and history embedded in the crackled glaze and tea stains. When it was new, I’m sure it was treasured by the lady of the house. It was probably the only one she had for many, many years. This teapot reminds me to enjoy the little things in life that we tend to take for granted these days.

Β Do you have a special tea pot?

Lisa Lombardo

Hi! I’m Lisa Lynn…modern homesteader and creator of The Self Sufficient HomeAcre. Follow my adventures in self reliance, preparedness, homesteading, and getting back to the basics.


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22 comments on “Lessons of a Humble Teapot

  1. Nancy@livininthegreen

    I love tea and I love your post! I have LOTS of teapots. Too many I’m afraid…but I only have certain ones I use which will actually be a future post.
    I drink almost all looseleaf teas and herbals and teapots are perfect for them. Thanks for sharing about the lovelies of tea!

    Reply
  2. Rebecca

    Lisa Lynn, I ‘m English.. need I say more. We LIVE for tea, it’s our life-blood! I too have a special pot and making a ‘brew’ has been a daily habit of a life-time. I always enjoy my tea, strong, brewed for at least 5 minutes with milk added. That’s how we drink it here as they do in India. Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Seasonal Celebration! Rebecca@ Natural Mothers Network x

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      That’s how I like my tea too πŸ™‚ Do you have any youtube videos, Rebecca? I would love to hear your English accent! One of my family ancestors came from Tewkesbury, England. I’ve always thought it would be fun to visit that area. Toodles πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Katherines Corner

    Tea runs through my veins! Your teapot is lovely. I have several teapots I do not have a favorite pot but I do have a favorite cup. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      You must be English πŸ˜‰ Thanks for hosting the Thursday Favorite Things hop Katherine! I enjoy seeing all the wonderful creative posts πŸ™‚

      Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Thank you so much Karen! I find that the older I get, the more interesting history is…. and the more I appreciate those little things that we often overlook. πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting me!

      Reply
  4. Claudia

    I do have a few teapots, though I’m not a big tea drinker. My grandmother loved tea and had several pretty pots, along with teacups that she had collected. And I have my great grandparents’ tea chest – a reminder of those days where tea had to be locked in a chest because it was so valuable.

    Thanks so much for joining in this week.

    xo
    Claudia

    Reply
  5. Carol J. Alexander

    Beautiful post! I love your teapot. I have a wonderful collection of teacups I inherited from my grandmother, but not a pot in the lot until my oldest son started gifting me with them last year. I now have two lovely teapots he has bought. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Carol,
      What a wonderful gift from your son! And how nice that you have your grandmother’s tea cup collection πŸ™‚ So glad to have you visit!

      Reply
  6. Jim Darden

    a short tea story,My brother married an English girl, an I had an occasion to go to London while in the service .Of course I stayed with her parents while in London. when I arrived at their Flat May Pink ushered me to the kitchen and introduced me to the teapot and kettle . Arther Pink said “For God’s sake May ,let the boy set his travel case down before you turn him into your cabana boy”.but I did get to learn how to make a good pot of tea.

    Reply
  7. Meredith/GreenCircleGrove

    I have several teapots, all from different branches of the family. Some are hand-painted, two are “utilitarian”-very simple. Each time I sit with a cup of tea, I think of the lady who used it before me. Lovely post, thank you!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Meredith,
      I’m so happy to hear that you have a lovely collection of family teapots! I have 2 tiny teapots from my Grandma P. But I don’t remember her using them, and when I tried, they drizzled tea all over πŸ™‚ So they don’t get used much here either.

      Enjoy the history steeped in those teapots!

      Reply

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