Thursday, July 31, 2008

Forgotten tea infusers

The other day I was looking for something in the tea cabinet and pulled open a drawer where I keep tea party odds and ends such as candles, tiny glass baskets for serving lemon curd, that sort of thing. When I saw a few chains jumbled together, I investigated and realized that the bottom of the drawer is the place where I had exiled a particular style of tea infuser.

One of the first tea infusers I ever used was one of these little teapot-shaped infusers. I remember using it to make my cup of tea to be enjoyed at my desk at work. When it came time for cleanup, however, I discovered it was often messy to get those tops to pop off just so. Eventually, I discovered the joys of the paper tea filter, and so that's what I generally use today when making loose tea at the office.

Still, I keep these old infusers because, while some of them don't work worth a toot, the designs are kind of nice. I particularly like the shell (souvenir of a beach trip), the heart and the Christmas tree because of their shapes. Recently, I saw one of these on Etsy being sold as a pendant, but the idea of wearing these as jewelry is not exactly my cup of ... well, you know!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oddball reasons to buy tea

We all know the legitimate reasons to buy tea: It's a beverage we enjoy. It's healthy for us. It's the ultimate "slow food." But when it comes to why we choose one particular bag or box or tin of tea over another, I have to admit I'm not always a purist. I've bought tea to get free figurines (Red Rose), because I wanted a souvenir and bag (a local museum gift shop), and yesterday, I bought some new Mango Tea because I liked the fact the lime green tin is hinged, and it will make a nice storage box and/or a container for holding flowers.

I don't know about you, but the vast majority of tea tins I own, perhaps all, have lids that are totally separate. I liked both the color and style of this hinged tin, and although I like Mango Tea, I was more concerned about the package than the contents this time. (The tea is quite tasty, by the way.)

Interestingly, enclosed in the tin were two of these business cards from Hedley's Real Tea, pointing me to the website I always like to check out new tea vendors online, and this one has some unique things listed, such as the Tea Plucker doll in the "Souvenirs and Gifts" section. I don't quite know what to think about this, but it certainly qualifies as something new and different.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Research: Pinehurst Tea Gardens

Pinehurst Tea Gardens was not on my "tea radar" until I toured the Charleston Tea Plantation back in May and learned that Pinehurst and another South Carolina business, Golden Grove Tea Company, were forebears of Charleston Tea Plantation. I made a vague mental note to be on the lookout for anything to do with Pinehurst Tea Gardens and Golden Grove, and apparently I set up an alert on eBay for the names, because recently I was notified this postcard was available. Let's consider it "Exhibit A" in our ongoing study of tea's horticultural history here in the U.S.

I don't know why, but I was surprised to see that even in 1906, when this card was mailed, Oolong, Green and American Breakfast blend were all being advertised. Does this surprise you as it did me?

There's another curious note about this postcard as well. It's addressed to Mrs. Herbert Brawley, 27 Avondale Park, Rochester, N.Y., but there's no message, no signature. Wonder why? Who is that man under the entrance to the tea factory? Could it be Dr. Charles Shepard, the founder? (His picture appears on the May 20 post if anyone would like to compare.) And why did the sender of this postcard visit a tea plantation in South Carolina in February instead of spring? This postcard almost raises more questions than it answers, but at least I have some new information about precisely which teas were coming out of that tea factory in Summerville.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gift from a new tea friend

I know I'm not the only tea lover who is also a crafter and thus a fan of some creative individuals in the arts and crafts world, particularly those who contribute to Somerset Studio, Somerset Life, and other publications from Stampington and Company. So when I wrote a blog post about one of them last year and heard from her, I was thrilled! Connie Govea Stuart's art has long been some of my favorite in those magazines, because I just love her style. She has also featured tea motifs in her work, which made me love it even more. The first time she commented on this blog I figured it was just a polite "Hello." When I later learned she was a returning reader, I was so pleased that someone whose work had given me so much pleasure found my little blog worthy of repeat visits. (I feel the same about the rest of you, by the way, but ... she is a paper arts celebrity, y'know.)

Connie and I have actually e-mailed a few times, and one day she mentioned trying to find one of those "tadpole tea strainers" I wrote about a while back, the one that was kinda ugly and didn't even properly filter the tea leaves. She wanted one for some artistic purpose, not a tea purpose, so I told her I'd be glad to mail her the one I wrote about, and did. (I'm hoping one day I'll get to learn about what she does with it!)

Soon I got a sweet e-mail saying she had received the "tadpole," and she was sending me some sort of thank-you in the mail and to be looking for it. Really wasn't necessary, I said, but I thought perhaps she'd send a teabag or two of some new tea she had mentioned enjoying. She did send the sample of tea, but oh, you will not believe what ELSE she sent! This has to be the BEST arts and crafts gift I have ever-ever-ever received, and I just can't keep this to myself because I know *this* group will appreciate the gift. So, with the giver's permission, I'm sharing the good news. First, there's the package itself. My husband laughed when I took a photo of the package before opening it, but hey, if Van Gogh sent YOU a package, wouldn't you want to remember it?

After opening the box, I quickly started saying "Oh my goodness!" A lot. If you look at the right hand side of the box, you can see Connie's business card with the logo from Somerset Life. That would be THE Somerset Life! Oh. My. Goodness.

The first bit of eye candy that struck me was these Japanese cupcake papers. If any of you have Rachel Ashwell's book "The Gift of Giving," these remind me very much of the colorful, ethnic grocery finds she was so fond of using. I have always hoped to find some of these one day and cannot WAIT to use these at an upcoming tea!

And look at this fabric bundle! With matching ribbon! It's already putting me in the mood for fall, and I even know what I'm going to make first. Look for it soon ...

This candy box has a sweet sentiment, doesn't it? And check out the silk flowers in the background ... some with handwriting on them! I LOVE things with handwriting on them! Expect to see these in some future tea-themed work of my own.

Connie has a friend opening a new tea room in the San Francisco Bay area and thoughtfully enclosed a card for "if I'm ever in the area." Actually, DH and I were talking about how, if overseas travel isn't a good idea next year, California is our U.S. choice. And now I have a tea room that's calling my name! I just love the name of this place, Crown & Crumpet, and whoever designed their teapot crown is just brilliant. Crowns are so "in" right now. I hope they have T-shirts with this logo on it when I arrive ...

The teabags I thought she "might" send were indeed here! And in a sweet little glassine bag. I am a sucker for glassine bags. Love 'em!

And here's another one ... packed with Japanese candies, the bag has retro graphics I just adore. Cute orange stuff now makes me think of orange-loving Steph from Steph's Cup of Tea.

It was only on second exploration that I discovered a paper umbrella and these cute cones. Hmmm. Which friends will be getting these?

Here's another wonderful idea from Connie that I plan to borrow: With your tea gift, include an assortment of tea-themed paper napkins! My favorite is the one at front (so classic, so tea), but I also love the one with the petits fours, and the lemons with HANDWRITING, and the one with the language that I don't know what it says, and the one at back that has a multitude of tea bowls. California must have some great shopping sources!

And Frivolitea, whose crafts I so enjoy, will understand how touched I was that this gift included a magnificent array of paper ephemera. Aren't the teacups at top just lovely! And everything else too ... numbers and letters and roses and ladies and ... oh my ...

But I have to say, my favorite item from this truly wonderful gift was a piece of original art from Connie herself. Isn't this gorgeous!

And here's a close-up. Don't miss the lady hidden in the teacup. This is so great, it looks just like something that would be in Somerset Studio! Oh, wait a minute ...

And finally, even the handmade card is sealed in teacup style. I apologize for the photo overload of today's post, but as you can see, I was (and am) pretty excited! But I also wanted to always remember what it was like to receive such an unexpected and extravagant gift. And when, in the future, you see pieces from this box in my own work, you'll know where it came from. Thank you for sticking with me today, and again, THANK YOU CONNIE for absolutely making my day!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer 2008 Tea A Magazine

The new issue of Tea A Magazine has arrived with perfect timing. I have the day off, recovering from having only yesterday (about 3:45 p.m., not that I was counting) finished our annual newcomers' guide for the year! That is always the hugest, most stressful project our magazine's art director and I do all year long. This week, I popped Advil like they were M&M's, and I am so relieved to have this off my plate. I think it turned out beautifully, thanks to the art director, writers and various photogs, and some of our co-workers cheered our hearts by saying they think this is the best one we've ever done. Still, I have proofread 'til I thought I'd go cross-eyed, and when I decided to stop by the local antique mall yesterday after getting through, I honestly couldn't focus my vision on small things like pricetags. Last night at bedtime, I was reading the new Tea magazine and came across this line in the article on flowering teas: "Chrysanthemum ... is a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, being used as a liver tonifier, and for clearing the blurry vision of tired eyes." So, I am going to investigate my various teas and see if I don't have something containing chrysanthemum!

I always enjoy Pearl Dexter's editor's letters a great deal, and in this issue I was interested to learn that *she* took part in the first U.S. auction of Sri Lankan teas and won. Good for her! If I lived near Boston, I'd want to participate in the Sept. 7 tea at the Boston Park Plaza, where this tea will be served at a fundraiser.

I enjoyed reading about the flowering teas pictured on the cover, and in another piece I was most intrigued to learn that tea company Ito En (I've bought their teas at Big Lots, of all things) is recycling spent tea leaves. The article shows both a resin bench and a piece of plasterboard made with used tea leaves, and it also said elsewhere pens are made from the tea leaves. (Where can I get one for my pen collection?) All in all, this is just a fun issue of the magazine with lots of new information, and a perfect way to spend a relaxing morning at home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The woodworker and the teapot

First, I'd like for you to look at this photo and see if you know what this is. Do you? (Yes, I know. Some of you very likely DO know what it is. Show-offs!)

I'm not going to show this "in use" until the end of this post, just in case anyone is still trying to guess. But I'll just say this: it's something I recently found on eBay for $1.99, and it was just so odd I had to have it. I don't really have a lot of wooden pieces, just a couple of very-special-to-me pieces made by a friend's woodworker husband -- including a wooden tray for holding my needlework supplies. He is well known in our area for his handmade, handturned, hand-inlaid wooden tables, clocks and more, as he is a master woodworker and his pieces are pretty "high end," if you know what I mean. So I was very delighted when I house-sat for them one time and found the smooth-as-silk wooden tray waiting for me on their kitchen table.

But back to the less-polished wooden teapot I found on eBay: I haven't figured out what to do with this piece just yet. Maybe it could be used for needlework? Or pens? Or reading glasses? Or fruit? Maybe it should go to the craft room? For now, it's residing next to "my" spot in the living room, awaiting just the right bit of inspiration. I don't mind it empty, but goodness knows I'm antsy to put something inside. Here's what it looks like today. I'd love to know what YOU would do with this!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tea decor & more

When it comes to decorative items that have a tea theme, I think I am perhaps more drawn to the teapot than the teacup. I actually own more teacups than teapots, but I have more decorative items with teapots on them: salt and pepper shakers, a kitchen timer, crochet motifs, jewelry, etc. Sometimes, though, you see decor that features both pieces. Like this metal sign.

I was at the local antique mall Rockin' B searching for (and finding, happily!) rhinestone jewelry when I was leaving and happened to spot this metal sign. Can you believe they had this for $5? This immediately struck me as something that might prove useful when I open my tea room one day. Meanwhile, I was sure I could find some place where it could be on display at home right now.

But there's not really a place inside where this semi-country sign would fit. And our entrance is rather simple, and I want to keep it that way, so no doodads can go there. But then it struck me that there is this spot in the garage I usually see twice a day, when I'm backing out my car to go to work and then coming back home. Why not have a little tea decor there? I realize I didn't hang it properly (you can see in the second photo where I *should* have placed two nails, but one was already there, and it worked just fine). Anyone else decorated an odd spot with your tea decor?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ice Breakers Iced Tea Mints

Tea's time in the limelight seems to have no end in sight. Every time I read a tea magazine I learn of a new tea vendor, and even the local grocery stores seem to be featuring more and more varieties of tea. Those "Ready to Drink," or RTD, bottled teas are all over my local Publix. Even the candy companies seem ready to jump on the "tea bandwagon."

In the past year I've come across green tea mints, hard candy with the flavors of both iced tea and green tea, chewing gum made with green tea, and the latest addition to the tea candy store: Ice Breakers Iced Tea Lemon flavored sugar-free mints.

I shared these with DH, who noted right off the initial taste is reminiscent of iced tea mix out of a jar, which is not a great memory for either of us. But just about a half second later and a nice lemony tea flavor appears. Rather odd, really. All I know is, I'm not that much of a mint fan, but I did actually like these mints.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Girlhood Home Companion

"The method of serving every-day afternoon tea differs according to the presence or absence of servants. If there is no maid the tea-tray may be set ahead, ready in the pantry. It should be sufficiently large to contain the entire service. The best shape is oblong, although an oval tray sets to good advantage; it may be of silver, copper, carved wood, mahogany or wicker."
-- From "The Right Way to Give a Tea," The Ladies Home Journal, 1913

This quote, excerpted from a long-ago magazine article, is just one of the things I enjoyed in a magazine I discovered just a few weeks ago, The Girlhood Home Companion. It's for "daughters, mothers and grandmothers," and I think anyone reading this falls into at least one of those categories.

I don't remember exactly what I was googling when I came across this particular website, but I was instantly charmed by the pretty, feminine look of the covers of Girlhood Home Companion, which reminded me very much of the classic issues of Victoria magazine published back when Nancy Lindemeyer was at its helm. Inside its pages, you'll find this magazine is aimed at a younger audience, girls 10 and up, but I think women of any age who enjoy the feminine things in life would enjoy it. The sample copy I purchased was the "Tea and Faith" issue, and in addition to the 1913 article on tea, there art lots of great tea time recipes as well as lovely articles on May baskets and how to natural dye Easter eggs. If you're interested, copies are available at

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Silver Overlay Tea Pitcher

I have acquired a new tea pitcher that is currently the one I'm using to "cold brew" iced tea in the refrigerator. But this isn't just any tea pitcher; it's a silver overlay tea pitcher, and I am thrilled to have found it for just $10 at What's in Store, the wonderful little thrift/antique store just a few doors down from the office.

What's in Store is a real favorite with the folks I work with. As I checked out with my pitcher, the owner told me this had actually come out of her overflowing kitchen and is Cambridge glass. Well of course I ran with that piece of information and happily explored Cambridge pieces on the Internet. I also found a great web article on silver overlay that some of you may find interesting as well.

I fell in love with silver overlay pieces years ago. An antique store back home had a sugar and creamer I really liked but which I thought were too expensive at the time. My mother kept an eye on them for me, and one day a friendly salesgirl asked my mother if there was anything in the store she would like to see marked down. Guess what I got as a result? I really love to polish these pieces and bring the silver back to life. In the photos below, you can see detail of the silver design on the front and then the interior of the piece showing the white backing of the overlay. I love it because it looks just like a paper lace doily to me! Anyone else a fan of silver overlay?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Buying tea as the Royals do

The warm relationship between tea and the Royals first came to my attention years ago when I was in Atlanta covering an appearance by Sarah, Duchess of York for the newspaper. I was one in a sea of reporters that day, so there was no one-on-one with the Duchess, alas, but I did learn from her talk that she sipped Twinings Tea and was fond of their Earl Grey. When I sip my Twinings Tea today, I am well aware this tea is one long favored by the Royals and that it displays the Royal arms and the words "By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

I knew that Royal Warrants are bestowed upon all manner of businesses who supply goods and services to the Royal family, and I learned much more about the process thanks to a delightful book I found in an antique store over the weekend, "The Royal Shopping Guide: How and Where to Shop Like the Royal Family" by Nina Grunfeld (Morrow, 1984). It's an interesting system. A company has to have supplied goods to the Royals for at least three years, and a Royal Warrant is first granted for 10 years. It can be cancelled at any time, and no reason has to be given. If it's renewed, it is usually granted for another 10 years. There are currently (in 1984, at least) about 800 Royal Warrant holders, with 20-30 new ones granted each year, and about the same number losing their Royal Warrant. (Can you imagine how heartbreaking it must be to LOSE your Royal Warrant?) At the time the book was written, the four Royals eligible to bestow a Royal Warrant were The Queen, The Queen Mother, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales.

You know the McVities "biscuits" many of us find at places that stock British groceries? They are the Royal Warrant holders who made this wedding cake for Princess Marina and the Duke of Kent in 1934.

And I've seen this artwork of the not-yet-queen-Elizabeth and family before, but I love that it was included in the chapter on Royal Warrant holders supplying tea and coffee.

Here's the opening to the listing for Tea and Coffee suppliers, and it cites H.R. Higgins (Coffee Man) Limited, Melroses Limited, Nairobie Coffee & Tea Company Limited, Ridgways, The Savoy Hotel Coffee Department and R. Twining & Company Limited. So if you're a tea lover, a shopper or just a Royal watcher, I think you would enjoy this book!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Te Med Blabarssmak

"If you would like this blog post in English, please press 1." Just kidding! But it's turning into "International Week" here on this tea blog: South Africa on Monday, China on Tuesday, and today I want to share a bit of Scandinavia with you. You see, on Monday a girlfriend and I ended an evening of shopping with a visit to the IKEA store at Atlantic Station, IKEA being famous for its low-price, Swedish-design furnishings and housewares. It's also where I came across this Te Med Blabarssmak. This organic, blueberry flavored tea from Denmark is made with Chinese Keemun tea, and the resulting blend was quite enjoyable, especially since I'm fond of Keemun. I don't believe I've ever had a flavored Keemun before, but then there are LOTS of teas I haven't tried. (Yet.)

Now IKEA is an interesting place. I've been only a few times, but every time I just marvel at the maze-like configuration of the store and the massive number of room settings they have displayed. My friend and I both were lusting over every kitchen we saw, and it slowly dawned on us that the style of these kitchens didn't really suit either of us. It's the clean counters and the spotless floors and furniture that made them so appealing!

Although I gave serious consideration to a much-needed kitchen cart at IKEA, all I left with was coffee beans for DH and a bag of loose tea and treats for me (and I did share the treats with my friend). Ever heard of these "Delicatoboll" sweets? It's like a giant, super-sweet truffle flavored with cocoa, coconut and mocha. Very rich, very sweet and ... very good with IKEA's blueberry tea!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Art of Tea Magazine No. 4

The latest issue of The Art of Tea magazine arrived last week, and as always I am enjoying learning about tea culture elsewhere in the world. One of the articles, "The Aromatic Cuppa," is about Taiwan's practice of enjoying the "aroma cup," or a small cup of tea poured strictly to be sniffed. I find this so intriguing because the scent is actually low on my "tea enjoyment" priority list, but perhaps my sense of smell isn't finely tuned enough to concentrate on tea's aroma. I do enjoy the scent of a nice Earl Grey and something cinnamony in the fall. It seems that the strongest tea scent for me, however, comes when I open the tea container, not once the tea is brewed, and I'm not sure I ever really smell the "base" tea.

As always there is information on vintage cakes of Puerh tea, those pretty round packages with Chinese lettering on the paper wrapper. This issue has a piece about the various tastes found in Puerh tea. Because it is translated from the Chinese, I continue to notice some language differences in this magazine, and I find them quite charming. Example: "In order to boost the standard of appreciation of tea, I experienced many Yunnan Puerh teas from different cultivation areas in the past years. I have the following comments to share with readers so that I hope this can help and bring more fun to the tea drinkers." (I love that this tea fan wants to "bring more fun to the tea drinkers" and totally agree!)

There is a wrap-up piece on the 2007 World Tea Expo in Atlanta and the author's impressions of it compared to such expos in Asia. And one of the most beautifully photographed pieces in this issue is of the Yixing teaware made by a master potter, Madam Zhou Guizen. The magazine is printed on nice, thick paper, it's 130 pages, and at $12.99 I think they charge a fair price for what amounts to a quick course in tea appreciation and culture. I get my issues from Hou De Asian Art and Fine Teas in Houston, Texas, and they give fast and reliable service every time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Taste of South Africa

I've had the pleasure of sampling several varieties of tea-infused jams and jellies over the years (Marmalady's remains my favorite brand), but over the weekend I came upon a new one at a T.J. Maxx store in Marietta. It's called Rooibos Spread, Tea You Can Spread, and it's made by The Original Rooibos Jam Company in Killarney Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa.

I like rooibos tea a lot, but frankly I wasn't expecting this "spread" (which I would call a "jelly") to taste exactly like it, but it did! I spread some of it on a croissant, and it was quite delicious. There were other varieties, including one with chilies, but I decided classic rooibos was a safe bet, and I'm glad I got it. I wonder if we'll be seeing more treats flavored with rooibos tea.

But enough of that! I know you're wondering who won the teapot tape measure, right? Well, I was going to be a tightwad and give away just one of them, but then I read Teresa's highly creative rhyming entry, and I found myself thinking "Wow, she ought to win a prize just in honor of that poem!" That's when it hit me that it would really be fun to give away all four of the extras! So, the random number generator has selected Linda, Michele P. and Hi'lesha -- and I have unrandomly chosen Teresa. So, if the four of you will send your snail mail addresses to, your prizes will be in the mail. Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

"The Traditional Shops & Restaurants of London"

At an antique store in Pine Mountain last weekend, I came across one of the most charming little guidebooks I've seen in a while, "The Traditional Shops & Restaurants of London: A Guide to the Century-Old Establishments and New Classics" by Eugenia Bell. The publisher is channeling the spirit of Twining with this tea-tin looking cover, don't you think?

I'm waiting for the exchange rate to improve before I book a trip to London, but meanwhile I'll be reading and planning. Read almost any travel book about London and you are bound to stumble across something about tea. The book opens with a nice tea graphic, and I also found a few tidbits about two London department stores well-known for their teas, Fortnum and Mason and Harrods. Because I am currently well into reading a wonderful old biography of Queen Victoria, I was intrigued to read this about Harrods: "Charles Henry Harrod had a wholesale food and tea business in Stepney, East London, when he moved into a small shop in Knightsbridge in order to take advantage of the Great Exhibition crowds spilling into nearby Hyde Park in 1851." In the Vicky book, I have just finished reading about the splendid success of the Great Exhibition, the brainchild of Prince Albert. I would not have related this to the founding of Harrods if I hadn't been reading the old biography and the new shopping book at the same time.

And here's a final fun bit from the "Shops and Restaurants" book. I'll bet I'm not the only Anglophile who has wondered about that so-very-British word "bespoke." Well, in the section on the famous Savile Row district, known as London's "golden mile of tailoring," the author explains the term. "Bespoke dates to the seventeenth century, when tailors kept whole lengths of a particular cloth on their premises; when a customer chose a particular cloth, the entire bolt was said to have 'been spoken for.' Bespoke differs from 'made-to-measure' ... Bespoke, by contrast, requires more than twenty individual measurements and other shaping details to be taken before a suit is tailored." Won't that be fun to know the next time you're in London and see a gentleman in a "bespoke" suit sipping his Earl Grey?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Measuring up - a giveaway!

A friend and fellow antiques lover I work with told me she recently came across a piece of furniture that was an absolute perfect fit for an area she'd wanted to decorate at her home. How did she know it would fit? Well, like any organized soul, she'd taken the measurements for the spot and carried a measuring tape in her purse. (She is also our office manager, which is no doubt why our workplace runs like clockwork.)

The measurements I usually wonder about are for tablecloths and curtains I come across in antique and junk shops, so I'm going to start carrying a measuring tape with me as well, and I found the perfect one on eBay.

A vendor who sells wedding favors had these recently for just $1.29 (you can personalize them with stickers), and I ordered several for future tea party favors - and one more just for one of you. So, anyone who leaves a comment between now and midnight Saturday "measures up" for this giveaway! How's that?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Caddy spooning

One of these days, when my ship comes in (it will be a tea clipper, no doubt), I am going to sink some money into some world-class tea accessories. Until then, I'll happily wander around collecting the occasional affordable tea trinket, such as this new tea caddy spoon I found at World Market over the weekend.

This one has a nice feminine look about it, and I like both the ladle shape of the piece as well as the etched design in the bowl of the spoon.

I have only a few caddy spoons, including the one at top, a souvenir from The Tea House in Covent Garden, London; the small leaf-shapped caddy spoon, a tea room souvenir; and the everyday, all-purpose, Republic of Tea caddy spoon, the one which I have used most often for measuring tea. (There's also one hanging on the side of a silverplate tea caddy I bought a few months ago, but it's really quite ordinary.) I was looking up something about Queen Victoria on the web the other day and, quite by accident, came upon this wonderful page of caddy spoons and their history. The page goes nowhere because it's apparently being updated, and I couldn't find a new version, but the page alone is worth seeing for the lovely caddy spoons. Here's the link if you'd like to pay a visit yourself. Does anyone happen to have one of those gorgeous cap-shaped caddy spoons? My favorite, no surprise, is the one made in the Victorian period. Do you have a favorite spoon to measure your tea? If so, what does it look like? I'd love to know!