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Tips for Collecting Teapots

Collecting teapots can be a very satisfying hobby that will take you across many eras of history, through many different designs and shapes. While no single article could ever hope to cover the breadth of what is involved in collecting an item, this article provides you with a brief overview of the things to consider when you want to get started in collecting teapots, so that you can begin your collection in an informed and directed way.

Get inspiration. Before you start collecting, it is important to know what you like about teapots. Check out collections and styles of teapots held or owned by other people that you know and try to see some exhibitions if possible. Here are some good resources to get your research started:

• Museums - especially museums concerned with design, with household items, with the way people used to live. Look out for teapot exhibitions, which are held regularly in different parts of the world. Even if you can't make one in another country, you might be able to browse some of the collection online through the museum or exhibitor's site.

• Books and magazines - look in antique and collectibles resources in the library, ditto for magazines.

• Antique and collectibles stores - browse around; you will be amazed at what you will find; and don't forget opportunity shops (charity stores) either - they will often have teapots.

• Friends and family - look at the items kept by people you know. Ask them questions about where they bought the teapot, why they bought it, how they feel about it, etc. It all goes towards informing you about how you will approach collecting teapots.

Decide on how you will collect teapots. There are many different ways to collect, based on interest, budget, availability, etc. You will need to consider how to define and limit your collection so that it is doable, affordable and fits in with your lifestyle (space!). Here are some considerations to take into account:

  • Historical teapots - Do you like teapots belong to a particular era in history? Do you only like modern teapots? Or old teapots? There are many, many possibilities here. For example, you might be fond of Victorian era silver teapots or Art Deco ceramic teapots. This will be something that your prior research will help you to decide.

  •  Style - Do you prefer a particular style of teapot? Are you looking for teapots that will match existing decor or themes in your home?

  • Make - Do you prefer a particular brand or make of teapot?

  • Material - Perhaps you are keen to a certain material only; for example, you can collect silver, terracotta, ceramic, glass, bone china, cast iron, etc., teapots.

  • Country of origin - Do you only want to collect Japanese or Chinese teapots? Or Early Colonial teapots from the southern hemisphere?

  • Design - Perhaps you only want teapots with animal motifs, or spots, or stripes? This type of collecting is known as "novelty" teapot collecting. Collecting in this manner can narrow down the options but it can be a huge source of fun and enjoyment at the same time!

  • Tea company designs - Sometimes tea companies sell their own brand teapots and this can be a collectible theme of its very own.

  • Eclectic - There is nothing preventing you from collecting teapots in an "anything goes" fashion either, collect it just because you like it! This is probably the easiest and most budget-adjustable approach to collecting teapots because you can be very flexible in your additions. An eclectic collection can be just as valuable and interesting as a themed one, provided that you take good care of the teapots and choose quality to begin with (see below about spotting problems).

Consider affordability and availability. These are two key elements of a successful collection. If it will be difficult to source a teapot, or expensive, you might want to consider alternative ways of branching out in your teapot collection. It might be a case of having one expensive centerpiece and a cheaper supporting cast of pretty but budget-conscious teapots.

Learn as much as you can about marks and designs so that you can avoid buying fakes. When you get really serious about collecting, it's likely that you'll start looking for more expensive and rarer items to add to your collection and that you will focus on particular makes.

  • A good way of doing this is to attend local auctions or to search online auctions for sales. However, it is important that you are familiar with the marks and signs of the manufacturer so that you avoid making costly mistakes and bringing home a fake. Take the time to borrow books on the topic and learn the marks and design signatures that confirm the authenticity of your teapots.

Avoid buying teapots in poor condition unless you have a really good reason for doing so. It is important to add only quality to your collection, or it won't carry value (beyond sentimental) into the future. Things to be extra careful of when examining teapots include:

  • Cracks, including fine hairline cracks that are difficult to see, and glued-back sections. Look closely at the lid and spout for the most likely break lines.

  • Chips

  • Missing parts (such as the lid, a handle, etc.).

Broaden your collection. If you have the space and the interest, you might consider teacups, tea trays, tea kettles, sugar bowls, milk jugs, tea towels featuring teapots, fabric with teapot prints, etc., as part of an overall collection. While this will increase the cost and the usage of space, it can be a very rewarding dimension to your collecting hobby that can also be put to good use during tea parties.

Source: Wikihow

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Maxwell House Sponsors NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Races

Michael Waltrip Racing and Maxwell House earlier this month announced a partnership which names the iconic coffee maker as primary racing sponsor for five Sprint Cup races during the 2015 season and the prestigious DAYTONA 500® in February 2016.  The 10-month agreement officially kicks off on Aug. 2 with the Pennsylvania 400 at the Pocono Raceway.

“Maxwell House is a well-respected brand and on behalf of our sport, I’d like to welcome them back to NASCAR,” said Clint Bowyer, who will race in the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. “We pride ourselves on taking care of our sponsors at Michael Waltrip Racing, and we’re certainly going to do our best for them – both on and off the track.”

Bowyer will drive the No. 15 Maxwell House Toyota at Watkins Glen International, Pocono Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in the second half of the 2015 season. Waltrip, a two-time DAYTONA 500® champion, will carry the Maxwell House colors at Talladega Superspeedway in October and in the 2016 DAYTONA 500® at Daytona International Speedway.

Maxwell House is no stranger to the racing circuit, having partnered with some of the most well-known drivers in professional racing between 1989 and 2003, including Michael Waltrip. During a recent press conference the companies jointly unveiled the new Maxwell House Toyota Camry car design, to be fielded by Michael Waltrip Racing.

“Racing fans share a lot of the same qualities as Maxwell House coffee drinkers, including their loyalty to and passion for their favorite brands and sporting events,” said Chris McClement, Senior Director, Maxwell House. “With its excellent reputation and powerful drivers, Michael Waltrip Racing is the perfect partner to help us rev up our brand and bring coffee that is ‘Good to the Last Drop’ to racing enthusiasts nationwide.”

Michael Waltrip Racing, co-owned by Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman, began fielding fulltime Sprint Cup entries as the flagship team for Toyota Racing Development in 2007. They own seven Sprint Cup victories, more than 70 top-five finishes and earned berths in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2012 and 2013.  

“It makes me proud to wear the Maxwell House colors again,” said Waltrip, who drove a Maxwell House branded car in 1989.  “I am really looking forward to racing at Talladega this fall, but everyone knows how special the DAYTONA 500® is to me, and I want to thank Maxwell House for letting me compete in my 29thGreat American Race.  Clint and I are going to do everything we can to get the Maxwell House Toyota Camry in victory lane for them.”

Other elements of the sponsorship will include special appearances by the Michael Waltrip Racing team, exclusive behind-the-scenes access for select fans, special in-season and grocery store promotions and sampling at select races. Maxwell Houseis also an associate sponsor of the remaining Sprint Cup races.

For more information, please visit www.MichaelWaltrip.com or www.MaxwellHouseCoffee.com.

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Hibiscus Tea

If you are ready to try hibiscus tea, you may wonder how to prepare it.
Ingredients:

1 teaspoon (5ml) dried hibiscus flowers
1 cup (237ml) boiling water
Honey or other suitable sweetener, to taste

Put the dried hibiscus flowers into the teapot.

Pour the boiling water into the teapot, on top of the flowers.

Leave the tea to steep for 5 minutes.

Strain the tea. If your teapot does not have a filter or mesh, pour the tea through a tea strainer to catch the flowers.

Sweeten the tea with honey or any other sweetener, as wished. It is now ready for serving.

Enjoy!

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Using Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

Coffee grounds are an excellent garden helper when directly applied or used in compost. They have a 20 to 1 ratio of nitrogen to carbon, which makes them ideal for helping grow plants such as tomatoes. Here are a few ways to use them in your garden.

Add to the compost. Coffee grounds are able to speed up the decomposing process in compost. Add two teaspoons of lime for every 5 kilograms of coffee grounds. Don't use more than a quarter of the heap as coffee grounds and keep the size of the heap small.

Add grounds to plants that need a pH between 3.0 and 5.0. The addition of coffee grounds to hydrangeas is good for blue blooms. Blueberries, cranberries, and citrus fruits also like coffee added to their soil. Other coffee-loving plants include camellias, gardenias, rhododendrons, and vireyas.

When adding coffee grounds directly to your garden as a mulch and soil conditioner, add a pinch of lime. This ensures that the pH is adequately balanced.

Coffee grounds can also be used to deter pests. Slugs and snails are not fond of coffee grounds sprinkled around plants.

Source:  www.wikihow.com

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Find Me Coffee App

Find Me Coffee shows you all the coffee shops near your location, or any other location in the world* you want to search. Read and submit ratings and reviews, get a map and directions to your shop of choice, and a phone number so you can call ahead and place your order. Filter your search to find coffee shops with amenities like food, parking, WiFi, a drive thru, and so forth.

Find Me Coffee is a great way to meet up with a friend. Find the coffee shop where you want to meet, and then share it with an email, SMS, Tweet, or a Facebook status update. Your friends will get a link to that coffee shop, with a map so there will be no mistake.

Quickly find any coffee shop, from small independent cafes to big brands including Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Dunkin' Donuts, Second Cup, Country Style, McDonald's, Timothy’s World Coffee, Krispy Kreme and more!

Future releases will even allow you to submit photos with your review, right off your smart phone. FREE.


* Full support available for North America and large international cities, more locations are coming soon!

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