The Taming of the Tea Cozy
Much like getting a puppy, the decision to bring a tea cozy into your home is a serious matter that requires careful consideration.
Yes, they're cute and cuddly, but remember that they can also get full of themselves and make a mess.
It's a commitment. You have to be prepared. Consult with all members of the household in order to ensure that everyone is ready and willing to share their home with an unfamiliar occupant.
Tea cozies are very particular creatures. They don't waltz into the home of any tea guzzler with a fancy for argyle.
Cozies hate vulgarity. Dress well for the occasion and go easy on the perfume, so as not to offend their sensibilities.
When you first make their acquaintance, nod respectfully and ask permission to touch. The more polite you are on first impression, the more the cozy will be amenable to your approach.
Once you've nailed the intro, make sure that the cozy is comfortable in your presence. If the two of you are going to see each other on a regular basis, then now is your chance to put yourselves at ease and get to know each other. Allow yourself to be human. The cozy will appreciate this.
When you sense that the time is right — both you and the cozy are relaxed, perhaps you've already enjoyed a cup of Raspberry green — extend the invitation to accompany you home. If all is well, it will acquiesce.
Make sure you've tidied up beforehand. Your teaware will be glad for the dusting, and the cozy will feel more welcome in a hospitable environment. They despise mess.
Having established that the living space is to their liking, you can begin to introduce the cozy to the other members of your tea family: cups, mugs, 'pots, infusers, and every type of tea you've got in the cupboard. Let them sit and get to know each other for a while. Lonely utensils will enjoy the new friend. Here you can step back and allow them to bond in the same way that you did upon encountering the cozy for the first time.
This moment, for all members, is crucial. They'll be working together from now on, and it's important that everyone gets along in the homespace. Disharmony only produces bad tea.
You probably were able to start using your other 'wares right from the get-go, since teapots and mugs are jolly fellows with a great desire to please their new owners. But tea cozies take time to acclimate. Don't worry if you find the first few teas to be less than stellar. Cozies secretly suffer from stage fright, and may be self-conscious when called to action for the first time in a new atmosphere. This is normal and part of their personality.
However, once the trial period has passed, you will be set with a lifelong best friend. Tea cozies will keep your tea warm in the throes of midwinter, fighting chill with steadfast insulation. Your tea will never taste better, and your 'pot will have finally found its perfect mate.