[British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?

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Referencing the famous article "A nice cup of tea" by George Orwell[1].

What do you think he meant when writing that the teapot is best warmed
by placing it on the hob?

Wouldn't it damage the teapot?


Note:
[1] http://www.george-orwell.org/A_Nice_Cup_of_Tea/0.html

--  
Dario Niedermann.              Also on the Internet at:

gopher://retro-net.org/1/dnied/ , http://devio.us/~ndr/

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
On 2015-03-17 11:42:22 +0000, Dario Niedermann said:

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An old-style wood or coal fired stove was often constructed with the  
entire top surface as one large piece of cast iron.  The fire would  
usually be the most intense off to one side where the firebox was, and  
the further you got from that side the cooler it became progressively.  
At the opposite side from the firebox the stove would be well below a  
simmer (say 70-80º C or so) so you could place things you wished to  
keep warm there.

["https://www.lehmans.com/p-109-heartland-oval-wood-cookstove-with-reservoir.aspx"]  



Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?

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Interesting, thanks! I wonder if there is a way to reproduce this with
a modern gas stove. I'm interested in this waterless teapot-warming
technique, because I often want to re-warm a 'pot containing spent
leaves from a previous brew, to which I'll add fresh leaves to make new
tea. So that, in a way, the two teaspoons of spent leaves, already in,
are "for the teapot" and one teaspoon of fresh leaves "for me".

Does anyone use this method? It seems to work, taste-wise, especially if
the teapot hasn't gone cold.

--  
Dario Niedermann.              Also on the Internet at:

gopher://retro-net.org/1/dnied/ , http://devio.us/~ndr/

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
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I don't think you could use it readily unless you kept the stovetop warm
for a good time, say with a cast-iron pan that had been left at low heat for
an hour or so.

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I use a Chatworth "vitrified hotelware" pot so I don't have to worry about
pre-warming the pot!  I highly recommend them!
--scott


--  
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:

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Are you saying that when you pour boiling water into the Chatsworth, the
pot removes only a negligible amount of heat from the water?

/Lew
---
Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
http://babelcarp.org

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
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Right, the material is very very thin and so there is little thermal mass
to take heat up, unlike a thick earthenware pot.  And, unlike a thin porcelain
pot, it won't crack from the thermal shock.

Now, the bad news is that heat loss via radiation is more significant than
it is with a thick earthenware pot.

Hmm... you know.... you might be able to pre-warm a pot effectively by
pouring hot water on top of it rather than inside it.
--scott
--  
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:

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That’s a well-known gongfu technique (using much smaller pots, of course.)

/Lew
---
Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
http://babelcarp.org

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?

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That's what I was thinking: the thinner walls should provide less
insulation.

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Must keep into account heat loss from evaporation... I wonder if it
would be significant enough to prove detrimental. Maybe not, if done
repeatedly during infusion? Sounds like something I could experiment
with.

--  
Dario Niedermann.              Also on the Internet at:

gopher://retro-net.org/1/dnied/ , http://devio.us/~ndr/

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
On 17 Mar 2015 I wrote:

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Following up on an old thread I started, just to report that I
eventually found a way to pre-warm my teapots on the hob (aka gas
stovetop).

I can finally follow Orwell's advice, thanks to a contraption called
a "heat tamer". Many models are available: mine is a solid cast iron
disc. I interpose this item between the teapot and my smallest flame
at its lowest setting.

Now, the process isn't quick. It might take up to 10 minutes.
But it allows for two things that are important to me:

1) I can finally steep in a finely pre-determined amount of water, since
I don't have to pour out "some" from the kettle, for teapot warming;

2) I can warm a teapot that contains spent leaves, to which I'll add
fresh leaves to make a new cup.

I've been subjecting my teapots to this treatment for more than a month,
with no ill effects; so I just thought I'd pass this trick on to the
group.

Cheers,
DN

--  
Dario Niedermann.              Also on the Internet at:

gopher://retro-net.org/1/dnied/ , http://devio.us/~ndr/

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?
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My guess is that Orwell wasn't talking about a gas stovetop but a coal or
wood-fired one.  The hob then is just a metal plate on top of the firebox.
--scott
--  
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: [British-style tea] What did Orwell mean?

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True, "hob" meant something different back then (as I learned from this
very thread). The point is that a heat tamer lets me emulate that metal
plate of old, using my present-day gas hob.

--  
Dario Niedermann.              Also on the Internet at:

gopher://retro-net.org/1/dnied/ , http://devio.us/~ndr/

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