While not a stranger to the concept of tea cozies, I never actually owned one. That is until recently when I became the proud owner of two HOBs from Thistledown. Of course, I understood the concept of the tea cozy coined the HOB by Thistledown, but must admit I was curious about whether they actually worked. So when, my brother-in-law and his girlfriend Dee came over for dinner I was excited to try them out for the first time. Armed with two steaming pots of tea – lavender oolong and strawberry oolong, I prepared to settle the debate once and for all.
After pouring cups of tea, I dressed the strawberry oolong with the smaller of the two Thistledown HOBs. The lavender oolong went naked or commando as others would say while Dee and I sipped and talked. Sated and ready for a second cup, it was time to test my theory…
The actual pot of strawberry oolong felt distinctly warmer than the lavender oolong. When poured into a teacup, the strawberry oolong liquor had remained warm and ready to drink while the lavender oolong required microwave subjection to reheat. It was official, my Thistledown Tea Cozy definitely kept the pot of tea warm for a longer period of time. The test duration was 15 minutes, but the HOB is capable of keeping a pot of tea warm much longer. (Check out the Heat Retention Experiment found on the Thistledown website.) I was pleasantly surprised! Now convinced of the HOBs utility, I’m compelled to share a bit more about this great product.
The HOB is the latest in Thistledown’s line of tea warmers and is available in two sizes 20 ounce and 40 ounce. As described by Thistledown, the HOB is constructed with two layers of high-tech mylar batting. This batting insulates with both a layer of mylar reflecting heat back into the teapot and layers of polyester preventing heat conduction away from the teapot. Perhaps you are familiar with mylar batting, but I however, am not. So I took a trip to Fabric.com for help.
According to Fabric.com, mylar batting is the material that makes pot holders, oven mitts, and casserole covers safe. The material is breathable and won’t break down with washing. It contains hollow fibers that resist conduction while the reflective mylar resists radiant energy. The energy, hot or cold, is reflected back to its source. This is key to how the HOB is able to keep your pot of tea warm for an extended period of time.
Now you know the “why” and “how” the HOB works, let’s talk about its construction. The bottom of the HOB also has two layers of mylar batting, acting like a built-in trivet. As you can see from the picture, the HOB completely encases the body of your teapot. It is extremely easy to use: simply sit the teapot between the two “clam shells”, flip over the top and clip together with the buckle. Yes, there is a buckle – simple yet practical construction. But the greatest thing of all… the fabric is washable.
For years I have always called products like the HOB a tea cozy. Thistledown has chosen to call this new product a HOB for two key reasons – 1) “tea cozy” was too feminine and 2) HOB defined means a shelf in the back of a fireplace used to keep things hot. The name HOB is a perfect fit!
My HOB is pictured in the beginning of this review, while my other is two-tone red and brown. Be sure to keep your eyes open for many new colors and patterns available from Thistledown this spring. The photo on the right depicts a few.
To purchase the HOB visit Thistledown’s website where they retail for $35 for the 20 ounce and $40 for the 40 ounce. If you have used this product, please share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!
**The HOB was provided by Thistledown as a sample.