If you or someone you love – your mother, perhaps? – is a dedicated tea drinker, the unique and practical teapot warmer makes a thoughtful gift. My own mother has three or four teapots of different sizes, and a beautiful collection of teacups that she’s running out of space to display, so I was hard pressed to choose a tea-lover’s gift for her last Mother’s Day, until I hit upon the idea of a teapot warmer.
A Tea Pot Warmer for Mom
The gentle flame of a tiny tealight candle, set in a specially designed fireproof stand that goes under Mom’s teapot, gently keeps her tea warm even if she’s called away from the table before tea time is done or just wants to linger over her cuppa.
The one I chose for my mother is a teapot warmer by Grosche, a very simple but elegant design in sturdy steel with a bronzed metal finish. It looks amazing even with her “every day” Pyrex teapot and even better when she’s gotten out the good china for a party.
I like the other products I’ve seen from Grosche International (good quality, nice finish with no rough edges, that sort of attention to detail), plus it is a Canadian family-run business, not some big nameless overseas reseller, and that’s something that matters a lot these days. So, basically, the brand’s reputation, the materials (it is made of steel, not cheap aluminum), plus the appearance of this particular warmer were my initial reasons for choosing the “Cairo” design. It turns out to be a good choice.
Now, my Mom’s an inventive sort, so it shouldn’t really be surprising how many ways she has found to use my gift. At our last family party, over the holidays, for example, I noticed that she used the teapot warmer to keep the turkey gravy warm! When I asked her about it, she said she also uses it without the candle, just as a trivet to protect the tabletop from a hot casserole dish. Evenings on the patio, she likes to light the tea candle at times – even when she isn’t having a pot of tea – just for the beauty of its small flame flickering through the lattice work of the warmer.
With Tea Drinkers, Temperature is Everything
Drinkers of hot tea are particular about the temperature of their beloved beverage. Lukewarm tea just won’t do! The water must be at the boiling when it’s poured onto the tea leaves, of course, to fully release the sensuous flavors and scents from the essential oils of the tea leaves. If at all possible, it’s prepared only minutes before it is to be savored. The challenge, however lies in keeping that vital temperature within the pot, without overheating the brew while it gently steeps. Overheated tea has a distinctive “stewed” taste that pleases no one. Teapot warmers to the rescue!
If I hadn’t picked out the steel Grosche tea warmer already as a gift for Mom, it would have been tempting to go for either one of these two lovely accessories to keep her drink toasty between cups.
There’s a fair range of stnad-alone tea warmers to choose from out there, but I keep finding myself drawn to the metal ones rather than glass – perhaps because I find them more attractive with a ceramic or china teapot – or perhaps just because they’d hide the tea spills better?
At any rate, here’s one I love. The traditional look of cast iron is a natural in the kitchen of an older home, and if I’d been buying for myself instead of a gift for Mom, for myself I’d likely have chosen this vintage-inspired tea warmer by Esschert Design USA, with an antique finish.
Wouldn’t it look amazing in a traditional or country kitchen, or on the serving table for a garden party or al fresco lunch on the patio or deck? I envision myself on my front porch rocker, in the last rays of the sunset, enjoying an evening cup of tea with the pot warming gently over the tiny tea light candle, it’s flame casting lovely shadows through the old-fashioned iron scrollwork.
Adagio designs are practically a work of art, and the combination of borosilicate glass and wooden warmer stand here is the sort of tableware that fits with any decor, which makes it a super choice for a gift. Yes, that’s a stainless steel infuser you see inside the pot – it is included in the set.
The glass teapot is said to be dishwasher safe, but personally I would probably choose to wash it by hand.
Borosilicate glass is the top choice for glass teapots because it’s not prone to get cloudy over time but stays nice and clear. More importantly, this type of glass is durable and good at standing up to changes in temperature. But that doesn’t mean it’s not glass, after all. In a dishwasher, I think it’s all too easy for something else to get knocked over into the pretty teapot, so I wouldn’t risk it. Much easier just to give it a quick swish out under the tap with a soapy cloth between pots of tea.
Mmmm, Hot Tea…
It’s one of the comforting rituals of our lives – one part tradition, one part meditation, one part refreshing beverage whether we’ve sipping alone or in company. And one of the pleasures of the hot tea ritual is the beauty of the accessories that help us make the perfect pot of tea. Some take their black tea black, some with milk and sugar, some with lemon – while others love nothing better than a delicate Oriental oolong, a spicy chai, or a delicate floral or herbal infusion. But there is one vital key to a perfect cup of hot tea – it must be good and warm!Top photo: Glass teapot with infuser and warmer modified by author.