13 May
Tea for Two or Just for You

I smile every time I walk past a display of tea-for-ones. They sit proudly, wherever you place them, their double handles making them look a bit impatient. Sometimes called tea butlers, I prefer to refer to them as tea-for-ones. I also enjoy tea for two or tea for a group, but a pot of tea, just for me, will always refresh and refine my thoughts.  

A tea-for-one consists of a teapot sitting on top of a matching cup in a visually pleasing way. It is no accident that when such a pot is full of hot water and tea leaves, the cup beneath it absorbs warmth. A warmed cup is a pleasure to hold and keeps the tea hot right to the last drop.  

Tea-for-one pots hold the right amount of tea for the cup beneath. Completely draining the teapot keeps the tea leaves from sitting in a puddle of water and becoming bitter. Adding water to the once used tea leaves creates a second cup as delicious as the first. The second infusion, however, contains little or no caffeine. Enjoy! 

If you add milk to your tea, put it in the cup before you sit the warm teapot on top. While the tea is steeping, carry the tea-for-one to your favourite chair. Once the tea is ready, pour the hot tea into the warm milk. This action will create a perfect swirl; there is no need for a spoon. 

Having tea should be pleasant in every way, so I only keep items that delight me. Despite their beauty, I give tea-for-one sets away if they don't please me. I like the lip of the cup to be thin. I occasionally look in antique stores and online for something to add to my collection. I hope to find a tea-for-one that matches my mother’s Lady Hamilton tea set by Royal Albert or my mother-in-law’s Billingsley Rose by Spode.  

The cheery, polka dot set in the photo came from the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and has the Theodore Maass mark on the bottom. Theodore Maass has been around for 125 years and sells tea and accessories under the name TEE-MAASS. Although the company sells tea-for-one sets online, I was delighted I was able to examine this set and judge the thickness of the lip for myself. I knew this set would be perfect in my collection.  

If you have a tea lover in your family, a tea-for-one makes a perfect gift. A package of quality loose tea is a natural accompaniment. Ask the tea store to provide you with the brewing instructions for the tea you buy. Different teas require different water temperatures and steeping times. Whatever your preference, enjoy a little tea for one, from time to time, and keep collecting the things that give you joy. 

Where there’s tea, there’s hope.

A thought by Arthur Wing Pinero



Comments (4)

  • Jo French
    May 30, 2019 at 09:34 am

    I’m looking for a tea for one, but I’m holding out for two saucers! One for the teapot and one for the cup. I’ve only seen one once but alas it was more than I as willing to pay! One day....

  • Gayle Senger
    May 13, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    A tea for one sounds wonderful, but tea for two with you would be fantastic ????

  • Marion Murawsky
    May 13, 2019 at 09:42 pm

    Great article Maureen, I love the pictures. I love tea but I seem to more often choose coffee. Maybe I need to try tea more!!!! Especially to refresh & refine my thoughts! Lol

  • The Boy
    May 13, 2019 at 05:11 pm

    Although I rarely have a tea and only peppermint tea when I do, I love seeing the "tea for ones" that my wife displays in different seasons. They always make me smile because they have such "happy" colors on them.

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