There's Big Appeal In A Tea Cosy
Tea Cosies By Shoreline, Co Mayo
There is so much value in a tea cosy. You may ask yourself what the benefits are of tea cosies in Ireland. The first and foremost beneficial aspect is the practical use of course. Keeping the tea warm over a long chat or a family teatime is crucial. You can keep topping it up with more water and a few more leaves and it becomes a real 'brew' doesn't it. There's plenty for everyone and 'there's more where that came from' and plenty of 'fuel' for further comfortable conversation. You might even quote from our beloved 'Father Ted' hit comedy series,' Ah, go on, go on, go on!'
Why I love tea cosies!
A tea cosy gives your kitchen a homely feel. The sight of one on the table gives a very hospitable feel to your living quarters whether that be a house, caravan, flat, tent, picnic blanket or bench. Years ago, in the 1970s, my mother in law would, from time to time, collect my husband at school lunch time, bringing the teapot full of tea with the tea cosy and all, so they could share a brew and sandwiches in a nearby field. That conjures up such a lovely homely idyllic image.
There Is An Art To Getting It Right
There is an art to getting it right too. The tea cosy has to be big enough to cover all parts except for the spout and the handle. There's no point in having it stretched over so that other parts are sticking out as you will quickly lose heat. You can't have it too big either as it will get in the way, get covered in tea and at worst make it awkward for placing back down without knocking other things over or getting stuck under the teapot putting it off balance in which case you could quickly lose tea. We show the sizes in how much tea the pot can hold. 1/2 Ltr, 1Ltr, 2Ltr etc. Size is not the only consideration..
Where Did Tea Cosies Come From?
Although tea first arrived in England in the 1600s, seemingly, tea arrivied in Ireland in the 1800s when it was considered very sophisticated, classed as a luxury product and was really only drunk by upper class wealthy people. It was during the Victorian era, around 1840, that a certain Lady Bedford opened her tea shops in England and thus made drinking tea a fashionable thing for ladies to do. It is widely accepted that although the first record of a tea cosy in use was in England in 1867, they were probably in use well before that. However with the advent of fashionable tea drinking with afternoon tea sessions becoming de rigueur, the tea cosy became part of the 'must have' Victorian table decor items around the same time. They were practical items beforehand but it was the Victorians, with their penchant for embellishment and the use of decorative cloth coverings at every opportunity, who made the humble tea cosy a fashion statement. We are very grateful to them for that.
Who Drinks The Most Tea?
Although, tea really only arrived here to Ireland in the 1800s it is not a surprise that the tea cosy became popular here also. Did you know that according to www.irishcentral.com we in Ireland consume more tea per capita than any other country in the world? It explains maybe, how it is that we might have a thing, it seems, for tea cosies here too. We've needed them to keep the tea warm over long conversations, parties and wakes.
There Are Many Styles Of Tea Cosy In Ireland
Tea cosies are everywhere in Ireland. There are a million different designs and more. Especially knitted ones. Of course with Covid-19 restrictions there has been a surge in people taking up crafts again. When you have knitted all the hats you can wear or share then you will most likely turn to the tea cosy. They are similar except that there are holes allowed for the spout and the handle. They could at times be a little thicker than a hat in fact. An amusing observation just crossed my mind. In general it is acceptable to have a tea cosy that looks like a hat but not the other way around. Why? I don't know. Tea cosies can be very funky indeed and so can hats. They aught to be interchangeable to my mind.
The Irish Tea Cosy Gift
What is clear to me is that although you may not have a use all year round or indeed ever, for a tea cosy, the chances are that you have one tucked away somewhere. They are lovely things and are often gifted. Fun, colourful and not too personal. Cheerful, practical and fashionable. It's hard to get it wrong with a tea cosy.