Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ode to Two Brown Bettys

After 12 years of love and thousands upon thousands of cups of tea, my Brown Betty is no more. An unfortunate fall by a fleur de sel jar has been the end of my teapot - she served me well.

From this sad experience, I have discovered the beauty which resides inside a well-loved teapot. It is beautiful inside - the reddish brown tones, scratches through the tannin-stained surface, the cleanness of the break almost right down the middle. I was inspired by this and thought I would share it with you.

We had been making do without a Brown Betty to help us for many months when unexpectedly Laura found us our new Brown Betty. On our WeDine girls' weekend away in Birch Bay (WeDine + honorary members), during an afternoon shopping excursion in a strange little shop, a totally different but equally great Brown Betty called to us.

Our new Betty is a deep chocolate brown almost (black in some light), she is more rotund with a larger capacity and a slower pour. We are now enjoying tea daily.

I am trying to find out where the term 'Brown Betty' comes from but didn't find any online references to its origins. The most I have found is that the clay used in these teapots from Stoke-on-Trent, England since the 1690s is a deep red colour which retained heat better than any other materials available, so maybe the firing turns it a brown colour along with the brown glaze originally applied. But what about the Betty part? If you know where this reference originated, let us know.

Here's hoping this one serves us as long as my first.

No comments: