Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tea from a coffee pot...

My little mid-century home has a wealth of built in storage disguised as a china cabinet in the dining room. Deep within the closed bottom cabinets, I found my old percolating coffee pot about a week ago. It was by accident, really, since I had to rearrange cookbook space due to the new additions. I can proudly say that I think I now have more cookbooks than any other genre of book, an obsession that really is only curtailed by my lack of funds. Fortunately, I have a great library within walking distance to fill in my gaps.

I'm not sure what made me decide to making tea in this contraption, but I figured this brand new percolator was not going to live out its life hiding away in the depths, or brewing up coarse grind coffee. Back when I got the percolator, 1996 I think, I did use it for coffee. I was not impressed with the lifeless, lackluster joe that emerged. In those days, I resulted to straight espresso instead of the brewed coffee that is currently my morning mainstay.

Faberware. A decade has passed, and it is still in the same pristine condition I left it in. No crazy, leftover coffee smells either. The tea snobs may shutter at my new found method of brewing, but I don't think I'll succumb to regular brewing again, at least for awhile. The basket neatly holds loose tea and prevents it from littering the water. It's a self-contained unit and only needs to be plugged in for about 3 minutes to cycle.

Granted, I think I do prefer the method of strainer basket for my nicer (and more expensive) Rishi Teas, since they can then endure multiple infusions. When I ran a second infusion of this Cinnamon Plum (below), a new seasonal obsession, it was rather weak - but not really non-palatable. But if you are in a hurry for great tea, and don't worry about the waste (or are using a teabag), 3 minutes is all it takes before you could be pouring that first cup.

I have recently recultivated a love affair with Celestial Seasonings. When I was a kid, there was a menagerie of CS boxes lining the back of the stove at my best friend's house.

I thought the artworks were amazing: of the boxes that I still remember - Tension Tamer: a princess atop a great green dragon, Bengal Spice:a burly, lounging tiger, and my most favorite Mint Magic: with its wizard conjuring up a golden chalice, presumably filled with my favorite beverage)....and what a treat to choose from 30 different kinds of tea! We liked tea at my house too, but usually we had only one kind open at a time. Even now, when you ask my Dad or Brother if they want tea, it is just assumed that you mean Lemon Zinger. I can see why. I recently bought a carton and am drinking it with honey.

just 3 more minutes...

My cabinet has expanded to include several open boxes. I like the choice of boxes, but I still waver back to my loose teas. A short list of links to my most favorites lately:

If you happen to have a percolating coffee pot around, I'd suggest having a go with tea brewing. My 4 cup pot is perfectly suited to one tea bag, I'm supposing because of all the percolating going on.


  1. What a great idea! I don't think I would have ever thought to use a percolater for tea -- but I'll bet that infuses nicely (much better than percolated coffee!!)

    I share your love for the Rishi cinnamon plum. Great stuff. And I love being able to support a local tea company.

    Coconut Thai Chai, huh? Haven't seen that one. Bet that's great with coconut milk creamer!

  2. Thai Chai is supreme with vanilla soy milk, too!


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