This episode is subtitled: ‘Ahh, tea…’
I’m so glad we started ‘Companions’, the Wednesday afternoon session where people in need of a little company come and share a table in Teacups, drink tea and eat cake. Mrs Lucas, one of our widows, tells us how much she enjoys it every time she comes to see us in Tulips. Each week we get a run down of the type of tea she’s tried, which cake she’s eaten and who she’s been chatting to. She gets quite giddy about the varieties of tea available and told me this week that she’s been out shopping for some interesting selections to have at home. Once she’s opened a new pack of loose-leaf tea she keeps it in an old Douwe Egberts coffee jar.
‘I got the idea from you when you said they were too nice to throw away,’ she said, referring to when I did some glass etching to make a treats jar for Blue.
‘That’s a brilliant idea,’ I said, ‘why don’t you write a Salvage Box post telling us all about it? I could introduce you as a guest writer for that week.’
I was getting excited about the prospect of something a bit different for you, the readers – a change from me rabbiting on about not very much.
‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly do anything good enough to publish,’ she said in a flash.
‘Have you seen my creations?’ I said, ‘I just have a go, take a few photographs and point things out that I could have done better.’
But she couldn’t be swayed so I took her idea, shaped it up a bit and set about creating my own quirky ‘tea salon’ for when I’m at home, alone or with company (but always with a little stretch of the imagination).
If your French is good you can read about French salons de thé by clicking on the link. But if not, just know that it’s a place to go and have tea – a bit like Teacups!
I chose the small Douwe Egberts coffee jars (95g) to store my loose-leaf tea because you tend to buy it in small quantities. Luckily I remembered Kim and Gary had brought some back for me from a trip to Sri Lanka which had been pushed, unopened, to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about, probably because it requires a bit of equipment to enjoy it (ok, only a strainer).
I prised off the plastic part of the lids and cleaned everything.
Here is my selection of tea. Some of the packets are quite attractive but it’s just not practical to use them once the tea has been opened.
Then I turned my attention to the labels. In my mind I’d thought of yellowing discs of newspaper trapped in the lids with the type of tea printed over the top of the news. But when I noticed I had an old poster that had quite an interesting design on I decided to use that. Obviously, you could use anything, including just plain printer paper.
I measured the size of the circle in the plastic part of the lid. For the small (95g) sized jar the diameter is 4cm so I set my compasses to 2cm and cut out quite a few discs so I could practise writing. I decided to just use a Sharpie to hand write them.
After a few attempts, this is what I ended up with. I know, it’s not any special writing but it still took a bit of trial and error to get it how I wanted it.
I glued them onto the plastic lids with PVA glue.
Then I joined the glass and plastic parts of the lids back together. Ta dah! I think they look super cool!
Then all that was left to do was invite Laura round for a civilised cup of tea and a sisterly natter, using my favourite mugs and my new tea strainers.
Now, I don’t know what the etiquette is these days but because I like this type of tea black and not too strong, I provided cups of steaming water, tea in the tea strainer and additional hot water in the teapot. Probably not ‘tea salon’ standards but we thought it was perfect.
- Two table knives or butter knives work well for prising the plastic off the lids.
- Make sure you’re aware of which way up the plastic goes in the lid before you make your labels. It’s not the way I expected it to be!
- Leave the glue to dry before you add the glass part of the lid. I had a bit of condensation under the glass that I suspect was from the glue. I just opened it up again and let it dry out.
- I attached the jingly bits from the Darjeeling package to that jar with some wire because I didn’t want to waste the little bells. You could add something relevant to the neck of each jar.
- Unfortunately, my Assam tea was too fine for my lovely new tea strainers. I’ll keep my eyes open for some with smaller holes.
- Douwe Egberts coffee jars
- Old poster or something similar for the labels if you don’t want them plain
What a relaxing project it was this week! Don’t forget to share your creations on Facebook or just use the button below to share this post with your Facebook friends.
Have fun, and see you all next week.