The Story Behind our British Teaware We all have them. The lonely packet of loose leaf tea pushed to the back of the shelf. No one quite knows when it was purchased or often what type of tea it actually is. Everyone likes the idea that someday, perhaps on a special occasion, it will come out to be admired, perhaps even infused before returning to its dark forgotten home.
Why can’t great, flavourful, fresh, loose leaf tea be an everyday pleasure? We don’t save great coffee for a special occasion or wait until it is way past its best to enjoy it at home. The problem with tea seems to lie in the fact that we all think it is quite a hassle to store, prepare, enjoy.
When starting out on our adventures with tea we used to have the same problem. We just didn’t have all the kit needed to brew great tea and to be honest, we didn’t have the confidence to present and prepare our fine teas in a simple and accessible way. Alongside this we wanted a modern tea experience. Tea has deep ceremonial roots and traditions which have been long overlooked in the UK. Chintzy doilies and flowery tea cups were not really for us and the great flavours of fine teas are let down by chunky coffee mugs.
How to get around this? A simple idea : let's create the ingredients for a more modern tea British tea experience - taking traditional elements of tea culture and adding our own unique British twist to create a range of teaware that makes it simple for our customers to prepare and enjoy great tea at home.
OK. What are the essentials. A way to store tea (dark & dry). A way to measure the right amount for a pot/cup. A way to prepare and enjoy the infusion. Who to work with.....Not as easy as you might think. Not for a lack of great British companies but how to find British makers and manufacturers who have the patience for a small start up. Luckily we are persistent and had the fortune to meet some very patient partners. So meet our British Teaware and start making fine loose leaf tea an everyday pleasure!
Storing your tea : Comins Style
1. Storing : Our British Made Tea tins : the modern way to store & display your loose leaf tea.
Once you have invested in great tea you need to store it properly to ensure that it retains its flavour. Our tea tins are British made, stackable & have fantastic story behind them :
The Story : The design of our tea tin was inspired by a visit to a Brussels antique shop. Here we discovered what turned out to be an old tea-sample tin, a scrap of an order form still inside. Further investigation revealed that our tin would have been one of hundreds sent from a tea garden in India to the, now closed, London Tea Auctions in the early part of the last century. Each one had an embossed identification number and contained a small amount of loose leaf tea for sampling before an order was made. They were sometimes retained in case a buyer had any issues with quality. Such tins are still used in some parts of the world. Once we discovered the origin of our tin we knew instantly we had to recreate it for our tea house.
Preparing your tea Comins Style
2. Measuring : Our Tea Caddy Spoons.
The Story : Preparing tea is a ceremony - whether you choose to take a few minutes or much longer over it. Tea Caddy spoons were traditionally used in the 19th Century in conjunction with tea caddies. Our Caddy Spoons are made from English Cherry wood and are designed to fit beautifully into our tins - as Cherry wood is inert they can be kept in our resealable tea pouches with your tea.
3. Brewing : Our unique Tea Pots and infuser system :
The Story : Time and temperature are key to brewing tea correctly. Our Tea Pots have been designed so that the infuser is easy to remove and replace with the teapot lid once the infusion is complete. British made by Ceramacist Rachel Dormor.
4. Brewing : Biodegradable Tea Filters [Not British Made]
The Story : We first came across Tea Filters when living in Belgium where loose leaf tea is an everyday pleasure. We now use these daily at home when we want to make a quick bowl of quality tea.
Enjoying your tea Comins Style
5. Drinking : Our Tea Bowls : The perfect way to savour your infusion.
The Story : Inspired by the simple bowls we have admired in many tea houses our tea bowls are a larger British take on the more common Chinese and Japanese Tea Bowls. We believe that Tea Bowls enable you to make a connection with the tea that you are enjoying and the fine porcelain compliments the delicate and subtle flavours of our fine teas. Our Tea Bowls are hand thrown by British Ceramicist Rachel Dormor.