Saturday, February 19, 2011

In Defense of Tea Cozies

I started making tea cozies a couple years ago and started trying to sell them last summer. I'm not really sure how this happened. I think I made one or two for gifts and then it grew from there. Sometimes I wonder, "Why on earth am I doing this!?" Especially when I see people responding to them.

(a "frilly" cozy)

Here's a hint: how many of you readers are thinking "what the heck is a tea cozy!?"

I would guess about half of you have no idea what I'm talking about - even if you see the pictures. That's about the ratio when I'm selling them at the farmers market. Half the people know what they are, the other half think they are hats!

(sleeping cat cozy)

So let's back up. A tea cozy is a padded cover for your teapot. It keeps your teapot, and your tea, nice and warm. If you don't have something wrapped around your teapot the tea will cool off quite a bit quicker. And, though I cut into my business by saying this, anything will do for a tea cozy! Before I made my own I wrapped a small towel around my teapot - and that did the trick just fine.

(the excited chicken cozy)

I've managed to sell half a dozen or so of these tea cozies in the last year (so obviously I haven't quit my day job!). I was thinking about tea cozies and teapots and, I admit, waxing philosophical, the other day.

(this little piggy cozy)

What does it mean to have a teapot (and hopefully a tea cozy!)? What does it mean not to have these? I saw in the answers to these questions the state of our society (remember: waxing philosophical!).

(dinosaur cozy)

We are a nation of people who desire instant gratification. We are impatient and always on the move. There is no time to make tea in a teapot, let alone boil water on the stove. We'll take the hot water dispenser or a mug of water in the microwave, and plop in a single serve tea bag. Which reminds me - we're a nation on the lookout for the cheapest price, which means there is an awful lot of substandard, nasty tea on the market. We're also a nation of individualism and isolation. Back to that single-serve tea bag in the individual mug.

(elephant cozy)

Having - and using - a teapot, means patience and taking time. I hope it also means selecting a higher quality tea. And - unless you're drinking that whole pot of tea yourself - it means sharing time with friends or family. Sitting around the table, eating tasty (homemade?) snacks, sipping hot cups of tea, and catching up on life. Doesn't that sound great?

(my first dinosaur cozy)

(Coffee drinkers - you're not off the hook! Coffee can also be made the "instant" way or made more slowly and savoured, and enjoyed with friends instead of alone.)

(another chicken cozy)

So here's your challenge: if you have a teapot, dig it out, dust it off, invite a friend or two over, and drink some tea together!

(stars & galaxies cozy - a birthday present for my brother)


Jane said...

I 100% agree. I am a purist tea drinker who boils that water, uses great loose tea, and yes I do drink the whole pot sometimes. I always pass on those dust bags that they like to pass off as tea. More people would drink tea if they knew how good it could be.

Aimee said...

dust bags!! I love it! I agree that more people would like tea if they had really good tea.
Lucky for us we have a great tea shop in town that sells loose-leaf tea by the ounce.
But, I have to say my favorite tea is Yorkshire (from England). Comes in a bag, but it's way better than Lipton's! (and somewhere around here you can even buy it loose leaf.)

Anna said...

My mom is a collector of tea pots and a tea drinker so I was introduced to tea cozies at a young age (sometimes when we were litte she let us wear them as warm as cozy hats warmed by the tea pot). They are one of those useful but very low tech things that don't seem to get a lot of use, but as you demonstrate they can be quite fun!

Living on Less Money said...

Those are so adorable! I love them! Thanks for sharing!

Jessica (your sister) said...

Do you remember the tea parties we used to have? With our radish or cucumber sandwiches?

Aimee said...

Anna - wearing a warmed tea cozy hat sounds wonderful about now, with all this snow around! =)

LoLM - you're welcome - glad you like them!

Jess - nope. I don't recall having tea parties like that.

Debrah said...

I loved this post. This is yet another lost art in America as we have fallen head over heels into individualism, duped into thinking that it is freedom.

I long for a quiet afternoon tea with friends...and a quilting bee!

Aimee said...

Debrah - sounds good to me! It seems like quilting groups aren't like they used to be (at least from what I remember growing up). It too has become more individualistic as we each invest in the fanciest computer-chip sewing machines. =(
A fancy machine does not necessarily make a beautiful quilt!