Well, I took the plunge and picked up one at TJs on a recent trip to Lexington. There was a display of several tea kettles...and I think I touched and tinkered with most of them. (it was fun) There were two or three contenders...but I brought this one home, and for a bargain basement price. Always nice. It is thick stainless steel, with a heat plate on the bottom for faster heating to a boil. And...it whistles! (Though Mikey is not so sure about that whistling thing!)
When I traveled in England and Scotland I learned that there are different tea procedures. It seems that some British feel that one should have an electric tea kettle for extra fast hot water. That is what my daughter uses...based on the recommendation of a British friend, and from her semester of college in London. I have not moved to that...although I will attest to its super quick heating. She fixed me a cup of tea in a couple of minutes! I was amazed at her electric kettle.
My tea of choice at home is either Constant Comment, or Lemon Lift. Nothing gourmet. I sugar mine up too. Sorry...I just must have sugar in my tea or coffee. When I have lemon...I squeeze some into my tea also. I spent a year in France having thé citron sucré every day after morning class at a close by boulangerie*. (* where one buys bread) They had a few tables in the shop and we would sip something hot accompanied by une tranche de pain*. (*slice of bread)
Yes...I gained weight that year.I was in France! They cook with butter. And the French have wonderful bread. I did walk and ride a bicycle everywhere. But...some pounds found their way to my body. Enough said. ha!
I love the tea time ritual in England. I love the idea of stopping what you are doing at 4:00 p.m. and having a cup of tea and a bite of something to eat. If you are a Downton Abbey devotée as I am...they have a cup of tea whenever there is something stressful, wonderful, or a visitor arrives. Sitting with a friend and chatting over a cup of tea is a wonderful ritual to me. I am not overlooking coffee...I just have that in the morning most of the time because hubby makes coffee in the morning. For just me...I fix a cup of tea.
For more info on tea times in Britain check here.
If you would like to learn more about proper tea preparation...keep reading.
British style tea...how to,
- The kettle is brought to a rolling boil (with fresh water to ensure good oxygenation which is essential for proper diffusion of the tea leaves).
- Enough boiling water is swirled around the teapot to warm it and then poured out.
- Add loose tea leaves, (usually black tea) or tea bags, always added before the boiled water.
- Fresh boiling water is poured over the tea in the pot and allowed to brew for 2 to 5 minutes while a tea cosy may be placed on the pot to keep the tea warm.
- Milk may be added to the tea cup, the host asking the guest if milk is wanted, although milk may alternatively be added after the tea is poured.
- A tea strainer is placed over the top of the cup and the tea poured in, unless tea bags are used. Tea bags may be removed, if desired, once desired strength is attained.
- Fresh milk and white sugar is added according to individual taste. Most people have milk with their tea, many without sugar.
- The pot will normally hold enough tea so as not to be empty after filling the cups of all the guests. If this is the case, the tea cosy is replaced after everyone has been served. Hot water may be provided in a separate pot, and is used only for topping up the pot, never the cup.
How to properly drink tea...
There is a proper manner in which to drink tea when using a cup and saucer. If one is seated at a table, the proper manner to drink tea is to raise the teacup only, placing it back into the saucer in between sips. When standing or sitting in a chair without a table, one holds the tea saucer with the off hand and the tea cup in the dominant hand. When not in use, the tea cup is placed back in the tea saucer and held in one's lap or at waist height. In either event, the tea cup should never be held or waved in the air. Fingers should be curled inwards, no finger should extend away from the handle of the cup.
Tea, which was an upper-class drink in Europe, became the infusion of every class in Great Britain in the course of the 18th century and has remained so. Tea made its way to the colonies...and there was quite a historic event surrounding tea in Boston.
Milk. Lemon. Sugar. In Britain, the drinking of tea is so varied that it is hard to generalize. While it is usually served with milk, it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, with sugar being a popular addition to any of the above. Strong tea served with milk (and usually one or two teaspoons of sugar) in a mug is commonly referred to as builder's tea.
I found the following information on the different tea times on www.smittenbybrittan.com and I think it will help you understand the differences between the different "teas."
|John Warburton-Lee/AWL Images/Getty Images|
Believe it or not...you can purchase McVitie's on Amazon if you want to give them a try.
I always like to know British traditions since so many of my ancestors came from across the pond. One thing, I need to practice using a teacup and saucer. I will do that... the next cup of tea.
|My mother gave me this pretty pink tea towel, and it goes so nicely with my tea "cup."|
Weather....My part of Kentucky got another snow storm last night...we were spared in that we got just a few inches, but it is still snowing as I type this. I have heard that some places in the state have 8-12 inches. Hubby told me this morning that the weatherman said that this would be the last of winter for us. Oh how I hope that is true!
When I woke up this morning we were in "white out" conditions. Mikey has been in and out several times...playing in the white stuff. But he is inside now, napping by my chair.
|Snow Day, March 5, 2015|
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