Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do you have a penny lever lid tin?

The best things in life really *are* free, it seems. In the tea world, one of the greatest freebies I enjoy is the Upton Tea Quarterly published by Upton Tea Imports. They say it's free to customers and $12 a year for others, but I received free issues before I ever placed an order. The new issue arrived the other day, and as always this more-than-just-a-catalog publication is simply packed with great tea selections and articles for the tea lover's continuing education.

When I discovered the Upton Tea Quarterly several years ago, I couldn't believe they would actually send it out for free. Must be a catch, I thought. I'll get a bill after one year, or they'll pester me to death with e-mail "sales" or something. Nope. Just a nice, newsy and free publication, and I have greatly enjoyed reading and collecting these issues. (Go to uptontea.com to sign up if you haven't already!)

Page 3 always has a letter from Upton letting readers/customers know what is going on at the company. This time, I was pleasantly surprised to find a discussion of their tea tins. I have ordered only sample packets from Upton's this year, for my Saturday tea tastings, but I do have an older tin of their Rose Hips Tea.

The Upton article explains that this type of tin is known as the penny lever lid tin, "but our original supplier," says Upton, "called them by their nicknames, penny lid tins or lever lid tins. We have failed to find the source for that name, but perhaps a penny coin was once thought to be the proper lever to open the tin? Most people use the handle of their scooping spoon." Have you ever heard this type of tin referred to by any of these names (penny lever lid tin, penny lid tin, lever lid tin)? All these names were new ones to me, so I was quite intrigued with the Upton discussion!


  1. No, I didn't know that these type of tins had a special name. I've never ordered from Upton Tea Imports but thanks to your link, I'm now on their mailing list. Thanks.

  2. I never knew that these tins had a particular name. Thanks for the lesson.

  3. Interesting! I hadn't heard that term.

  4. I love Upton Tea's catalog, tins, and teas! They will personalize the tea tin labels at no charge! I have a tin of River Shannon (a lovely Irish Breakfast) that was given by a sweet friend. I open my tea cupboard and see the label that says, "Have tea and think of me!"


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