Help, Tea Love! I Need Hot Water For A Cuppa!

First, let me apologize for not posting the past two weeks.   Things were a bit hectic in my personal life and, when I thought I would have time to post, Superstorm Sandy decided to touch down in New Jersey and stir things up a bit in my hometown of Cranford, New Jersey.

Thankfully, my family and I were safe and were only without power for a few days, a minor inconvenience compared to those who have lost homes, lost lives, are still without power as the cold is setting in, etc.   Thus, I have been busy with some relief efforts to try and help New Jersey stand back on its own two proud feet.

With all that being said, I want to extend a thank you to my readers for being patient.   If you do see anything that you think would be worth mentioning about Superstorm Sandy and relief efforts, whether they be in New Jersey, New York or elsewhere, feel free to post them onto Tea Love’s Facebook page for all to see and hopefully, through the magic of social media, the word will spread to those who truly need the help.

Now, on to tea.


Being without power for five days, quite frankly, wasn’t too bad for me.   People say I must have an old soul, being that I was perfectly content sewing and reading rather than checking my emails and being Superglued to my phone.   One thing that helped me get through those cold nights?   Tea.

My family has a gas stove so, in order to heat the house, we continuously had pots of water boiling and creating steam to help heat the two stories.   Needless to say, this is a tea-drinker’s paradise – hot water whenever I wanted!   All I had to do was grab a ladle and pour some into a mug.

But it did get me thinking.   What if I didn’t have a gas stove?   How on earth would I get my water warm enough to brew a proper cuppa?   That would be tragic if I couldn’t manage!

Fear not, fellow tea lovers.   I have come bearing a list of handy ways to heat water for your tea (as well as possibly a hot sponge bath):

1 – Get a good ole fashion fire going.   Boy scouts and girl scouts of the world, now is the time to show off your skills!   Once the fire is good and hot, get a pot of water and hold it over the open flame to get a nice boil going.   In the meantime, as you wait, you can savor the heat and the nice aroma of wood burning.

2 – You know those toasty hand warmer packs that you use for sporting events to keep your hands nice and warm?   Use them to your advantage.   Take one of those, activate it and wrap it around your mug of water.   These babies produce a heat up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough to get a new cuppa going.

3 – Want to get creative?   Take a thermos and keep it against your car engine.

4 – Remember the idea of a magnifying glass shining onto various items when you were a child to get them to burn up?   Why not use that skill to heat up some water!

5 – A pricier option would be to purchase an immersion heater and car adaptor to prepare for those tea-time emergencies.

6 – If you have a camper in the family, tell them to get out their kerosene stove and a pot of water.

7 – Got a grill?   Get a pot 🙂

8 – If you have a generator, it might be an option to buy an inexpensive electric tea kettle that will get your bones (and your water) nice and warm.

9 – Another pricey option would be to invest in a Piezo Shower.   Then you can have a hot shower and have hot water for your tea (though I can’t say I would recommend shower water)!

10 – And finally, while scouring the internet, a popular option I saw?   Just buy a hot cup of tea from your local cafe!

Keep warm and keep safe, everyone!   Until next time, happy sipping.

Demand A Free Refill!

Coffee drinkers don’t know how fortunate they are.   Go into a restaurant and order a cup of joe, you get free refills.   Sometimes you also get to have various flavors and new concoctions, complete with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle.

Tea, however, seems to have made some enemies somewhere along the line.   A $1.25 cup of tea usually comes with a single Lipton bag and a cup of lukewarm water.   When you decide to have more than one cup, start digging through your wallet again.   Either you get a cup of water sans new tea bag or you get to buy another cup of $1.25 tea.

The Coffee Matron Dolling Out Her Caffeine

The Coffee Matron Dolling Out Her Caffeine

Anyone see an issue here?

You can get a box of 100 tea bags for $18.   That averages out to 18 cents per bag.   Boiling water, I am not going to even try to calculate.   Why not have everyone pay $1.75 for a cup of tea and unlimited refills with a new tea bag!   Why is this such a revolutionary thought?

This is not a new issue.   Traveling around the internet, you can find blogs and even editorials regarding the topic (though I must disagree with “Dear Abby” on this one; restaurants that I’ve been to typically do not give free refills on hot tea).   And yet, it seems like as much as people moan and groan about the topic, nothing has changed.

I can understand if tea were a popular beverage in the States (though I couldn’t understand by much).   After all, that can cause quite the strain on the pocketbook depending on the size of the restaurant.

However, when I go into Chili’s or Applebees and have to pay $3 because I had two cups of tea?   And usually small cups, at that!   That is frustrating.

When I go into cafes, I tend to gravitate towards the tea because usually, cafes serve higher-end brands like Mighty Leaf.   However, going into a restaurant, I tend to get coffee.   Free refills instead of paying $3 for two small cups of Lipton’s tea.

If you go into a restaurant and have to wrestle a new tea bag out of your server, first, do not take it out on the server.   However, don’t be afraid to motion the manager over and ask why you have to pay for a new tea bag.   Mention the cost of tea and, if you want, even bring a receipt for a box of tea as reference.   Ask what would happen if you brought in your own tea bag.   Talk to the manager.   Quiz them on their business choice.   Be understanding of the chains, though.   Sometimes, the manager’s hands are tied by corporate.   Then, just move your arguments up a notch.

Maybe one day, we’ll have the luxury of ordering two cups of tea for $1.25, just like those coffee drinkers.