Reprise: The Brown Betty teapot (our most popular blog post)

Denise's Brown Betty Teapots

It is a known 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 special clay used in its manufacture that holds heat so well.

Why is it called a Brown Betty? Well…it is brown, thanks to a Rockingham Glaze. 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 have served the tea. Some believe that the special brown teapot came to be known as a “Betty” or a “Brown Betty“. But no one knows for sure.

Cauldon Ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent hold the exclusive design rights and are the sole producers of the Brown Betty teapot. They have been making Brown Betty‘s since the end of the 17th century. (Stoke-on-Trent is the historical home of English ceramics and features on the Tea in England banner.)

I have always owned a Brown Betty. At the moment, I have a 2-cup personal size, and a larger 6-cup size for when company visits. Based on my experience with a wide variety of teapot designs, I definitely believe the Brown Betty produces an excellent pot of tea – but the quality of the newer models by Cauldon are sometimes less than perfect.

Should you decide to buy your own Brown Betty, don’t be fooled by imitations! An authentic Brown Betty will have a small [removable] Union Jack sticker on it, and the bottom will be marked, “Cauldon, Made in England”. The newer ones are also stamped “©Original Betty”, and carry a swing card with the history of the Brown Betty.

 

Markings on bottom of Brown Betty teapot. Photo courtesy of www.gravelandgold.com

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Good to see you here today, Denise!

  2. Hi Denise,
    I really enjoyed reading this post. Although I’m not sure I agree about these pots making the best tea, but I am bias.
    All the best,

    Alison

    • Hi Alison, Thank you so much for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed the post, and can understand your bias – your products are beautiful! 🙂

  3. KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

    Hi Denise! Just popping in to re-read some of my favorite blog posts if yours and thought I would say hello! You always bring such great info and a special joy to my heart.

    • Hello #1 fan 🙂 Lovely to have you back again. How’s the family?

      • KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

        Everything is great! My daughters took me to the Watts Tea Room for afternoon tea on my birthday last month. Very fun! We met Mrs. Watts who just happened to be coming into the shop as we were.

        • Hi again Karen … You have me intrigued. You must tell me about Mrs. Watts and her tea room!

          • KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

            Watts Tea Room is a part of the George Watts store, a fine china and crystal business in Milwaukee, WI since 1870. They have a tea shop that has breakfssts, luncheons and specialty teas. Mrs. Watts is the current owner, not sure how many generations. We met her as we were coming in…. tied encounter but nonetheless, we met her! Ha! Here is a link to their blog. We weren’t too impressed with the Afternoon Tea. Nothing as fancy as you have posted. http://www.georgewatts.com/blog

            • Aww, shame about the Afternoon Tea. How are their scones? I see that they ship them throughout the U.S. Can’t quite figure out how that would work, but hey ho! LOVE the glass they sell at Watts, especially those William Yeoward vases. W.O.W.

              • KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

                Beautiful, yes!! And everything is very pricey! We didn’t have scones! Can you believe it? I did buy a package of their English muffins to eat at home. Sooooo delish! 🙂

  4. Hi Denise, thank you for such a great article, loved reading it. I am also a lover of tea. I realy enjoy puer tea, it really has great flavors and is really healthy.

    • Hi Lisa, Lovely to meet you and glad you enjoyed the article on the Brown Betty. I must admit, I am not a fan of Puer tea at all. Different strokes, I guess! Thank you for leaving a comment.

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