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  • Tea and Teapots – A Potted History

    It’s perhaps difficult for Westerners to separate the teapot from the ritual of tea. But in reality, few homes today actually utilise the teapot, preferring instead to dunk a teabag in a mug and leave it at that.

    However, there are still many purists who choose loose leaves over bags and teapots over cups and luckily, manufacturers are happy to provide a huge selection of different styles for them in addition to other tea-making-tools.

    The teapot first originated in around 1500 with the development of the Yixing teapot in the Jiangsu Province of China.

    These pots were made from a purplish-red clay called Zisha and still are today. Zisha was originally chosen as the perfect clay for teapots because of its absorbent qualities.

    For this reason, teas were only brewed in their own dedicated pots…nobody would brew mint tea in a pot meant for green tea because the delicate flavours would be compromised.

    The pots of the 1500s were not meant for shared tea though…they were designed for individual use and the spout was designed to be drunk from! Each person would carry their own pot and make their tea in it.

    It wasn’t until around 1644 that the original, plain designs of the Yixing teapots began to change and artists began to paint them with decorative scenes which gradually became more and more extravagant with gold details and more elaborate scenery being added.

    In Europe, it wasn’t until the 17th century that people were introduced to the fine teapots from China when the East India Company used them as ballasts for their cargos of tea.

    Europeans used these pots until the invention of Porcelain and soon afterwards, the creation of more and more unusual and novelty teapots became a popular pastime amongst the potteries of Europe.

    People vied with one another to produce the most amusing or beautiful teapot for their table and some amazing creations are to be found in museums today.

    Luponde stock a wide array of pretty and stylish teapots for your pleasure.

  • Christmas Gift Ideas

    I know it is still November but Christmas is well and truly on its way. With Christmas adverts hogging the television and the Christmas lights being switched on in London yesterday it is definitely time to start thinking about Christmas shopping so I thought I would share with you some gift ideas from Luponde!

    Subscriptions are a great gift for someone who has everything. Treat them to a yearly subscription of our tea and they will receive three large tins of our Tea of the Month every quarter for a year. They will also receive a 750ml glass teapot so they can enjoy the teas straight away.

    Gift boxes of tea make a perfect present for friends or family. We offer a range of different sized gift boxes and you can mix and match between loose leaf or tea bags and our full range of tea and herbs. Why not give them a tea they may not have tried before! A gift box of tea also makes an unusual teacher present!

    Our Dunoon fine bone china range is quite simply stunning. With a choice of mugs, teapots, tea cups and saucers and with a wide variety of brightly coloured patterns there is something for everyone.

    Tea accessories such as infusers, tea bag holders and pincers make fantastic stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts.

    Whoever you need to buy for this Christmas we have something that suits everyone. Just visit us in-store or online and if you need any specific help we will be more than happy to assist and advise. Throughout December in-store there will also be some tea to try and some biscuits on offer!

    Melissa, November 2014

  • Gwyneth Paltrow's Pear and Lemon Verbena

    I was flicking through my copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good trying to find some healthy smoothie recipes for my last few weeks of pregnancy and came across another scrummy drink idea using some of our lemon verbena. I thought I would share it with you as another use for our herb!

    Pear and Lemon Verbena

    • 3 cups of water

    • ½ cup raw honey

    • 2 ½ pounds pears (about 6 pears), stemmed and seeded and cut into large pieces

    • 1 sprig of leafy lemon verbena

    • Juice of 2 lemons

    Combine the water, honey, pears and lemon verbena in a large pot set over a high heat. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, remove and discard the lemon verbena, and cover the pot. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Puree the mixture in a powerful blender in batches and pass the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Discard the contents of the strainer and whisk the lemon juice into the agua fresca. Serve immediately over ice.

    She also says you can add more honey if you would like it sweeter!

    Melissa, November 2014

  • Dunoon is back in stock!

    We have just had a delivery of our stunning Dunoon fine bone china, just in time for the Christmas shoppers!

    Get in there early and choose from a range of mugs, teapots and tea cups either for yourself or as a present. The difficulty comes when deciding which design you want! My favourite pattern is the Starburst.

    We have some of the collection on our website but come and visit us in-store for even more designs or give us a call or email if there is something we have that you would like!

    Why not pair a mug with a tin of our tea for something a bit different or mix and match the mugs so that every member of the family gets a different pattern. Whoever you choose to buy for this Christmas there is something for everyone and Dunoon will brighten up every kitchen or desk!

    Melissa, November 2014

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