Loose Tea, Tea, Tea Accessories, Tea Treats

An Expensive Burn

I have seen the MacKenzie-Childs products for years and always admired their Courtly Check pattern with the checkerboard black and white, hand-painted squares. However, it was always too rich for my blood…or so I thought.

Fast forward to a weekend recovering from a 3-day hospital stay when I wasn’t feeling my best and needed a pick-me-up. Why yes…there was HSN and their lovely display of M-C ceramics coming through my television screen calling my name. But, no. I shouldn’t. They’re far too expensive and I don’t need a ceramic tea kettle. I already have a fantastic Krups electric kettle that is THE BEST.

Oh, but I DO love that checkerboard pattern and wouldn’t it look lovely with my collection? No, Heidi. You do not NEED anything. Yes, I went to their website to see what might be attainable at a decent price. Really, not much, but oooo…look at that tea cup, saucer, and wee teapot.

Like an out-of-body experience I found myself adding 3 items to the cart and hitting COMPLETE PURCHASE. Just like that. Boom. Done. Off to the races. More than I should have spent, but I was very excited to welcome three new pieces to my collection knowing all too well I would probably never purchase another piece from them. (sly grin)

The teacup, saucer, and teapot arrived within a few days, surprising in this day and age of shipping nightmares. I couldn’t wait to try them. As luck would have it, the following weekend Maine experienced some of its warmest spring temperatures in ages and a tea outside on the deck was in order.

I had picked up some wee sugar-free & gluten free chocolate goodies from the market and, even though none of our deck furniture was officially “out of winter storage”, I grabbed one single patio chair and turned a terra-cotta pot upside down to place a small tray on.

I had forgotten these three pieces were enamel. Not the more expensive clay pieces from M-C that has been kiln-fired three times. Their larger clay teapot goes for almost $400. Yes, you’re paying for artisan, craftsmanship, and hand-painted quality, but still….$400??? So, that’s why I opted for the smaller “Tea for Me” enamel teapot.

I excitedly pulled out some Rose Black Tea from my online friends Tozy Tea. It’s one of my new favorite teas complete with large chunks of rose hips and petals. The scent and flavor is perfect for a spring pick-me-up.

However, once poured, I soon discovered ENAMEL! I couldn’t lift the teapot because the handle was scalding hot. I grabbed a pot holder and took it outside to pour. After successfully pouring, I then got a secondary scald from the mug. Enamel gets WICKED hot! I could barely hold on to the mug until the brew cooled down, which defeats the purposed of a hot cup of tea if you have to wait for it to cool down to even hold the cup.

Was this a wise purchase? I’d say it’s not one of my better ones. Will I return the items? Probably not. I should also point out each piece was made in different parts of the world. Unlike their ceramic pieces, which are made in NY at the M-C headquarters, the teapot I bought was made in China. The teacup was made in Vietnam. The saucer was made in Taiwan. It’s my own fault for assuming all their pieces were made locally. And enamel is probably the poor mans/woman’s choice when one cannot afford the top-of-the line stuff. Live and learn…or not. It’s not my first ill-advised purchase and it most certainly will not be my last.

The best part of the day was the taste of that tea with the small chocolate treats and the beautiful spring weather!

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