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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Brown Betty Teapot



A trio of Brown Betty Teapots

It is a well known tea fact that the Brown Betty teapot brews tea better than any other teapot design. This is because of the shape of the pot which allows the tea leaves to be gently swirled around as the boiling water is added, and the dense clay that holds the heat so well as the tea is brewing.

But why is it called a Brown Betty? Well sure, it's brown. But why "Betty"?

In the 1800's no self-respecting house in England was run without at least one servant. As Elizabeth was a very popular name at that time, odds were that you had a servant named Elizabeth. And Elizabeth - shortened to Betty - would serve the tea.

Thus, this special brown teapot came to be known simply as a Betty or a Brown Betty.


9 comments:

Tealady said...

It is sad to say that Brown Betty Tea Pots are no longer made in the United Kingdom.

Angela McRae said...

How very interesting! I have a Brown Betty and a Baby Betty (2-cup teapot) myself, but I did not know the reason for the "Betty" name. Thanks, as always, for enlightening your readers!

my cup of tea said...

Thanks for the info! I did not know why it was named Betty.
Blessings,
Donna

Smitten by Britain said...

I am inclined to agree that my Brown Betty makes the best cup of tea.

teabuktu.com said...

Thank you for the info. Personally, I love the way they look.

Jason Witt said...

"Elizabeth, I'd like another cuppa." I wonder what the Chinese think of tea steeped in teapots shaped like this. --Spirituality of Tea

Denise ~ Charleston, South Carolina. said...

Well Jason, the shape of the Brown Betty is not dissimilar to that of a Chinese teapot. After all, English teapots were copied/based on the design of the Chinese pot, no?

Jason Witt said...

That's what I was kind of thinking. But the Chinese are very particular about the tiniest details of shape. So much so that I'll never understand most of it. I just know the classic Brown Betty shape is proper. --Spirituality of Tea

parTea lady said...

I have a couple of Brown Betty pots that I often use and enjoy. The origin of the name is very interesting - makes sense.

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