The Perfect Way to Steep Your Tea!

Teacup with ingredients for teaAs we inch our way towards the Winter Solstice, the days get darker and colder. Because I work at home, I can’t turn my heat down too low during the day, but I do keep it at 66º—hence I get chilly, especially when doing sedentary tasks. A hot drink is the best remedy, but I don’t want to overdo it on coffee and creamer. Instead I drink herbal tea.

Tea’s best when it can steep for a while—at least 5 minutes—but that means it can also cool down before you get a chance to drink it. The Brits knew that a tea cozy over a teapot will help fix that problem, but I normally use bagged tea. I started thinking about making a cozy specifically for a single cup. I have the skills to sew one from leftover fabric, and quilt it…but to be honest, I didn’t want to spend the time, so I put the idea on the back burner.

Lands End® HatThen, last week as I was rummaging through my cold weather accessories, I stumbled upon the perfect solution—my daughter’s old ski hat! The fleece-lined, wool hat from Lands End® was still in perfect condition, but she’d grown out of it years ago. I had kept it, thinking I’d find someone to hand it down to, but the opportunity never arose.

Tea with hatFinally, I had a use for it. It is the perfect size to fit over a single teacup or even my largest coffee mug, and thick and insulating enough to do the job of keeping liquid hot for 5–10 minutes. And, because it is slightly porous, the steam can vent a little. This was the easiest repurpose project I’ve ever done.

I know that not everyone has the perfect hat waiting in a drawer to be transformed, but time spent in thrift stores lets me know that those hats are out there. The options are many.

Tea cozy over cupSomeone who’s crafty could add a fleece lining to a wool cap that shrunk or got felted on purpose. With simple sewing skills, an old oven mitt could easily be converted. Cozies could be embellished with embroidery or appliqués for a fancier look. Pair them with a pretty teacup (there are so many at thrift stores) and a box of tea and you have a thoughtful, inexpensive gift for the tea drinkers in your life. I know I’ll be adding that to my homemade gift-giving arsenal this year!