I’m Alex. I’m 23. I once spent three days on a train across Canada with a lot of retired Australians.
Here we are, my first proper blog post, dedicated to an essential part of the old lady lifestyle. The teapot. If you are truly part of young person old folk you will have known this from the title. If you’re here out of intrigue or boredom and had no idea what a ‘bad pourer’ was, you are about to embark on an important life lesson. One that cannot be unlearnt.
Firstly, what does a train across Canada have to do with teapots? Well, it was on said train, having a conversation with one of my many retired old pals, that I had a revelation about the importance of a good teapot.
One night, at the end of dinner (the story of the train we will come to another time, for now just know it was heaven for the old person lifestyle) I was having a pot of tea. Sitting next to one of the only other English people on the train (he was 28 so clearly had some secret old person in him as well), he turned to me and said: ‘that teapot is a great pourer’. One of our many retired Australian friends opposite was made up by the idea of a good pourer. She said: ‘it is the most English thing I have ever heard, it’s brilliant’. I had given the good/bad pourer situation some thought before, but her excitement at the idea of a good pourer gave it new life. It reminded me of just how important it is that teapot functions in the way it was intended.
Because here’s the thing: nobody likes a bad pourer.
If you’re reading this as an outsider (aka someone who actually acts their age and doesn’t spend their Saturday’s browsing homeware departments) you might not understand this but let me explain:
Picture it; you have your pot of tea there in front of you. You let it brew, you pour, but as you pour somehow 70% of the liquid doesn’t end up in your cup. Instead, it ends up in an embarrassing puddle on the table. Or worse you try and save the situation and just find yourself scolded with hot tea. This is a bad pourer. Life is too short for a bad pourer.
Often it is the stainless steel ones that get you, but don’t be fooled. Some teapots look great, they draw you in and they trick you. The nice floral teapot might look pretty, you might start to picture it with the colour scheme of your future kitchen (OK, this could well be just me) but it isn’t necessarily your friend. Think you’ve hit the jackpot with the modern glass contraption (breaking all those boundaries?!) Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You look with admiration, you might even turn it round just so you can get the full sense of it from every angle, eagerly awaiting that cup of tea that’s brewing nicely inside. Then the moment you’ve patiently waited for has finally arrived. Your tea is brewed to perfection, you take the handle, you begin to pour. But in that moment it’s all ruined. Suddenly half your cup is on the table, you’ve got a second degree burn and you are filled with bitterness and disappoint. Tea is not supposed to be stressful. Bad pourers make tea stressful.
Hopefully the importance of a good pourer is now clear. Unlike the distress that is felt at the sight of a dripping spout, a good pourer gives a genuine sense of accomplishment. The way the tea flows out of the spout and hits the cup leaves you with feelings of happiness and comfort. You can enjoy your cup of tea without having to stare at a dodgy brown patch or accidentally getting a soggy sleeve half way through your slice of cake. The ease at which the whole process has happened adds to the sense of internal warmth that the cup of tea has brought you.
Everyone knows that there is nothing better than a good cup of tea. It has a healing power like no other for an endless list of problems. And yes, a good cup can come from a mug. But a great cup of tea, yes, for a great cup of tea you have to have a great teapot.
I’m hoping some of you reading this will relate to this sense of elation; some fellow young person old folk who understand the power of the pot. But some of you may be about to embark on a journey of discovery. Just like my Australian friend, you have had your eyes opened. I warn you though, from here on in there is no looking back. You have crossed a line that can’t be uncrossed. Each and every teapot is seen in a new light. Yes, there will be dark days of dripping spouts and unsightly stains. But the joy of a good pourer is out there, waiting to be discovered.
So now this young old lady is going to make her pot of tea. I hope each of you find the satisfaction of a good pourer in the not so distance future. Thanks for procrastinating 5 minutes of you day with blog post number 2. All I can promise is that from here on in is that it won’t get much wilder than this.