Tea Caddy

Tea Caddy

The first containers used for the domestic storage of tea were the jars and bottles that arrived from China with shipments of tea. They were usually small, round-bellied, covered jars, often in typical oriental blue and white porcelain, with cup-shaped lids that were used to measure the tea leaves into the pot. Gradually, European jars and boxes were developed in a wide range of shapes and sizes - round, square, and cylindrical boxes, jars and bottles, in silver, crystal, stoneware, and wood.

The word "caddy" was not used until the end of the eighteenth century when the Malay word kati - denoting a measure of approximately 1 pound 5 ounces--was adopted into English, Early eighteenth-century boxes, called tea chests, had two or three separate compartments for different teas and sometimes also for sugar. All were lockable and the keys were guarded by the lady of the house whose responsibility it was to brew the tea for family and guests. The tea was far too precious and expensive to risk leaving in the charge of the servants, so the caddy stayed in the family drawing room.

During the late eighteenth century and through the nineteenth, chests and caddies were made from a wide variety of materials including rare woods, silver; tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, ivory, porcelain, and crystal. The Chinese had started producing fruit-shaped containers earlier in the eighteenth century, and English and German wooden imitations appeared as pears, apples, strawberries, eggplants, pineapples, and cantaloupes. Some were painted but most were varnished and their loose-fitting, hinged lids opened to reveal the foil-lined cavity that held the tea. As the price of tea decreased toward the end of the nineteenth century, the use of lockable caddies declined and leaves which had held pride of place in valuable ornate boxes and chests on mantle shelves and sideboards in refined drawing rooms and private boudoirs were relegated to more cheaply produced tins and boxes that were stored in the kitchen.

The earliest caddy spoons were long-handled ladles made for use with box-like tea chests. From about 1770, short-stemmed caddy spoons began to appear, designed to fit into shorter, dumpier caddies and often in the form of a miniature scallop shell. This motif originates from the fact that oriental merchants always placed a real scallop shell in the top of tea chests to provide potential purchasers with a scoop for taking samples from the chest before deciding to buy. Spoons have been manufactured in the form of leaves, acorns, salmon, thistles, and shovels, but the most popular have always been the shell, the jockey's cap, the hand, and the eagle's wing. The "caddee shell" motif also often appears on teaspoons, tea strainers, and sugar tongs.

A tea caddy is a box, jar, canister, or other receptacle used to store tea.

A tea caddy: a must-have item for anyone thinking of buying and storing loose leaf tea. And, if you decide to buy a tea caddy online, we offer a large selecetion.

Why is the tea caddy so important? because the quality and the flavour of your loose leaf tea depends on how you store it. Tea leaves will easily absorb other aromas. Put them in your tea caddy, and they will never be the same again. That is why an airtight tea caddy is essential, when it comes to preserving the flavour of your tea.

Our tea caddy will also protect your tea from moisture, and from the sunlight that may otherwise cause it to fade. What's more, if you buy a tea caddy from us, you can rest assured that all our tea caddies will be made from a non-contaminating material.

If you are looking for a unique and colourful tea caddy, UmiTeaSets is the best price. Take some time to have a good look at our tea caddies, we're confident you'll find the one you like.

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