When I talked to my older sister at Christmas, in December, she told me excitedly that her husband gave her a Brown Betty teapot, which she knew about from reading my books! How cool is that? Even though she doesn’t drink much tea, she was excited about it.
And well she might, for what she had in a genuine Brown Betty is the descendant of a little piece of tea drinking history.
But why are Brown Betty teapots so popular, and how has the ‘brand’ endured for so long? Here are some interesting facts about true Brown Betty teapots according my research on this website, Tea In England http://teainengland.com/2012/10/a-potted-history-of-the-brown-betty-teapot/ and others.
1 – A Brown Betty teapot is brown because of the Rockingham glaze. However, the style of teapot also comes in a blue glaze. According to The English Tea Store online, some call the resultant teapot a Cobalt Betty. Doesn’t quite have the same ring!
2 – No one is quite sure why it is called a ‘Betty’. Denise, of the Tea In England website, speculates it is because so many servants, who made the tea, were named Elizabeth and thus ‘Betty’. However… I think it is much more likely that the alliteration just sounded right.
3 – What makes it the very best for steeping tea – I have learned that ‘steeping’ is the correct term, rather than the more common ‘brewing’ tea, as you don’t use heat under the teapot – is apparently the shape of the pot and the red clay from which it is made.
So if you want a piece of tea drinking history, you must have one of these storied pots. However… don’t be fooled by imitations! Not all little brown teapots are Brown Betty teapots. The real deal will say, on the bottom, ‘Cauldon Made In England’, or ‘©Original Betty’.
Happy tea swilling, dear readers!
The Grim Steeper
Teapot Collector Mysteries
Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
About The Grim Steeper:
The national bestselling author of Shadow of a Spout invites readers back to the Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove for more tea and murder…
Mid-October in the charming Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove means it’s time for the annual Fall Fling Townwide Tea Party. The highlight of the festivities is a roaming tea-tasting, which includes a stop at Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Sophie Taylor would like to share her enjoyment of the event with her sort-of boyfriend, English teacher Jason Murphy, but Jason’s dean has accused him of falsifying grades to help an athlete at the local college. Steamed and stressed, Jason shows up the night of the party with bags under his eyes.
But the dean shows up under Sophie’s Japanese Maple later that night, murdered, and now Jason is suspected of far worse than fudging grade reports. It’s up to Sophie, her Nana, and their friends the Silver Spouts to pore over the clues to find out who really decided to teach the dean a lesson.
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