It’s the dead of winter and you’ve just settled into your warm home after a long day outside. The only thing that could make this moment better is a nice cup of tea. But as you go to get your teapot, you realize it’s cold as ice! How can you keep your teapot warm in winter? Fear not, dear reader, for I have some tips for you. Keep reading to find out how to keep your tea cozy all season long.
Why do you warm a teapot?
No matter what you read in Victorian novels, tea was not meant to be poured piping hot directly over ice in the summer or straight from a snowbank in winter. Drinking tea at its hottest is uncomfortable and even dangerous in some cases. Like many other things in life, for safety’s sake, it’s best to find the middle ground. Any tea can be served a little warmer or a little cooler and the optimal temperature is the point at which you enjoy it most.
Most teas need to be steeped in hot water to extract their flavors. Hotter water speeds up this process so if you have your tea kettle on too high, it will brew faster than you want it to. This isn’t a problem for black teas, which can handle being steeped in boiling water. However, green teas yield their best flavors when steeped in water under or around 200 degrees Fahrenheit while white and oolong teas are at their best around 180-185 °F. If you brew tea too hot, it will taste sharp and even bitter. These flavors are difficult to fix so if you want optimum flavor, take care not to heat your water too high. It’s better for your tea and it makes for a more relaxing experience.
A proper temperature takes time to achieve so brewing your tea in a warmed teapot means you’ll have access to hot water throughout the entire process without having to reheat. This is particularly helpful after you’ve steeped your tea and are waiting for it to cool down enough to drink. Without a warmed teapot, even if you have an electric kettle with temperature control, by the time the water reaches the right temperature, it may be too late. If you want hot tea right away, use a preheated teapot.
If you’re trying to fight off the winter chill, your hands are likely cold when you go to make tea. Even if you can hold onto your kettle while it’s heating up, chances are that after putting it down, it will be too hot to handle comfortably. A warmed pot will stay warm for a longer period of time and make handling it much more pleasant.
What is a glass tea warmer?
Just as some teapots are made of glass, it makes sense that there would be a glass warmer too. This delightful contraption is an insulated dish on which you place your teapot during the brewing process. The cooling water in the pot draws heat from the warmer but the insulation keeps it hot enough to keep serving perfectly warm tea for a long time.
What can you use in a pinch?
If you don’t have a glass tea warmer and the weather is particularly chilly, there are several things you can use to keep your teapot warm: A thick dish towel. Fold it up and lay it on the table before placing your teapot on top of it.
How do I keep my teapot warm?
Fill your teapot with steaming hot water. Swirl it around so the insides are coated. Dump out the water. This not only preheats the pot but will also help clean away any debris inside that might impart an undesirable flavor to your tea. Fill your teapot with the right amount of water for what you’re making and rewarm the teapot as necessary so you can serve warm tea all day long.
For more about steeping the perfect cup of tea, check out our guide here. For those looking for a hot beverage, we recommend trying chai or spiced apple cider.