Saturday, August 5, 2017

Does Tea Taste Better From a Brown Betty?



Many swear that their tea tastes better from a Brown Betty.  Is it the shape?  Or the clay?  Or both?  Neither?


A Navy Blue Brown Betty, Pristine, England
Does it matter if the tea is bagged or loose?


18 comments:

  1. Yes, Brown Betty! We bought our BB in San Francisco in early 80's at William Sonoma downtown. We have 20 some teapots, we enjoy our tea, unfortunately the BB is too large for frequent use. Retirement and empty nest means a smaller teapot for our breakfast and teatimes. Do use it from time to time however. Ours is the traditional brown. I usually get loose tea too strong so bagged. One per cup and one for the pot! PA

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  2. p.s.: Had one in cobalt blue as well but broken years ago. Where did you get the blue pot? PA

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    1. British Food Supplies in Littleton, Massachusetts and British Delights in Westford stock Cobalt Blue in several sizes. I think that these companies are connected, but I'm not sure how.

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    2. Thank you. Will check for web address. PA

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  3. Loose or bagged, I think it's the quality of the tea, water purity and brewing temperature that yields a delicious cuppa. The "greener" the tea the lower the brewing temperature; black teas can take water temperatures right off a rolling boil. Experts say the clay of the pot matters & high tea in Japan/China is all about that - results are a fragrant delight. But in a home kitchen setting, bone china seems to be fool proof and all purpose. We have a Brown Betty, a gift from a friend from England; it seems to do best with the stronger, darker teas (e.g., Assam). It really steeps hot; yields a beautiful full bodied red-gold tea, but need to keep a watchful eye with the greens otherwise the tea tastes burnt. New favorite for a good on-the-go cup are those double walled borosilicate glass glasses - they're pretty good, just wait a minute or two before putting the top on and taking your tea on the road. No goofy taste from stainless steel or ceramic commuter cup.

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  4. I prefer loose tea but, if the truth were known, I wonder if the preference is just psychological. Maybe I should do a blind tasting. Hmmm.... Have never had a Brown Betty but I hope to get one soon. Love the classic, perfect shape.

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  5. In the cooler months I brew a single cup of Harney & Sons Lapsang Souchong every day about 4 o'clock. I prefer the loose Harney because I can vary the strength by the amount of tea I put in the little metal doohickey.

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  6. I have a two cup Brown Betty that I use every morning with my Yorkshire Gold. Perfect cup of tea.

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  7. Yeaaaahh, Brown Betty! My favorite tea pot! I use one or two bags of tea of choice...they "swirl" just as well as loose in this pot...and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Delicious! For those who may not already know, the clay, shape and history of this pot are interesting and can be found easily by a "search engine". This is no ordinary tea pot!

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  8. It's interesting that you should highlight the Brown Betty. As a matter of fact, I've been searching for mine since last year after "misplacing" it years ago. I have a tea pot/tea cup collection and believe I may have packed it away or else gave it away thinking I had too many tea pots. I can't remember, but it was cobalt blue, also. In actuality, the Brown Betty is universal, classic and serves up an excellent cup of tea, but so do my other pots! Loose tea versus tea bags? If you want the best to serve to guests, buy loose tea. I see where the Vermont Country Store sells Staffordshire "Rockingham" Brown Betty's in brown and cobalt in 2 cup and 6 cup sizes. I just may have to replace mine!

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    1. I just purchased two 2-cup "Rockingham" Brown Betty's from The Vermont Country Store; blue for my mom and a brown for myself. Thank you JVK for your suggestion of where the tea pots could be purchased and thank you SWNE for your consistently fine and very refine posts. Lisa R.

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  9. Most likely due to a sense of Nostalgia although they due tend to have a heat retention value for the steeping process .

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  10. Ah, happy. Thank you for always posting 'lovely, just lovely'! So glad I just subscribed, looking forward to frequent moments of sheer joy. Bless you, Muffy!

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  11. I never saw a tea bag until I went to college. My family always used loose tea and would distribute the used leaves into the flower beds most days. The tea was good and the flower beds were beautiful.

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  12. I have a UK Brown Betty and place the tea bags in the pot. Really, though, I think what matters is that one has tea in a quiet place and takes time out of the day to relax and put all cares aside. I'd much rather have a cup of tea from an inelegant vessel in a rustic spot than in a loud, trendy tea/coffee house. But like I said, I do prefer a Brown Betty. :)

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  13. We have an adorable Irish-owned shop here in our quaint little town, with all sorts of pottery, sweaters, clothing, jewelry, porcelain, etc., from Wales, England, Ireland, and Scotland. They sell BBs, but our teapot is not one. The store's restaurant serves their tea in BBs. I have not noticed a difference. --Holly in PA

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    1. Is there a website for your local Irish shop? Sounds like a place would love to spend some time. There is also an Irish shop near where I live with lovely Irish things but do not recall merchandise from Wales. PA

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  14. A true Brown Betty pot should be made with a specific brown clay from a certain region of England. That is what I read someplace anyway. Im always looking for one with holes in the spout. Anyone know if something like that?

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