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Honey Bees, Beehive Kettles, a Recipe and (whisper it) Christmas!!!

Honey Bees.

Honey Bees are an important piece of the environmental jigsaw as they pollinate flowers and crops as well as provide honey for human consumption. A Honey Bee is responsible for pollinating around 10% of the UK’s pollination crops – which translates to pollinating approximately £69m worth of crops per year…for free! Not only do they(and other pollinators) provide such a fantastic free service, an average UK beehive produces 35 – 40lbs of honey per year which equates to approximately 17kgs.

Unfortunately, there is a very real concern about the declining numbers of these wonderful creatures due to habitat loss, pesticides, disease and climate change. Thankfully, governments are looking to redress the problem with long term strategies and plans. How can we help? In terms of encouraging pollinators, plant more flowers, increase space for wildflowers and, for honey bees especially, buy more honey! The fact that there are nearly double the amount of beekeepers managing somewhere around 63% more colonies now than in 2008 is encouraging and this trend needs to continue.

Beehive Kettles.

Many of these colonies live in the type of beehives known as skeps that are the inspiration behind our recently introduced Beehive Kettle. Beehive Kettles are available in Copper or Chrome with models suitable for electric or gas stoves. They combine the Edwardian handcrafting techniques that are synonymous to the Richmond Kettle brand with the style and class fit for high tea with the finest of visitors. Made in the heart of England the kettles have a whistle song and high gloss finish that provide a magnificent accessory for any gas or electric stove top.

 

Recipe:

With honey, tea and kettles in mind, here’s the perfect recipe to use as we rapidly approach Autumn and cosy nights by the fire.

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice;
2 Tablespoon of honey;
1/2 cup or more of hot water;
Optional: add a sliver or two of fresh ginger.

Method:
Put you Richmond Kettle on the stove to boil!;
Put honey and lemon juice into a tea cup or mug;
Add a sliver or two of fresh ginger(optional);
Add hot water and stir;
Add more lemon juice, honey or hot water to taste.

 

Christmas!!!

Sitback, relax and start thinking of your Christmas List as you while away a well earned break! Did we mention Christmas? Yes, we did as the last thing we want you to do is miss out on ordering any of our range of Richmond Kettles in time for Christmas delivery. Our art is a joy to behold but quality – beautiful handmade Great British quality – takes time to come together and, to avoid disappointment, ordering early will ensure a Merry and Happy Christmas for you and yours!

Don’t forget to keep in touch via our Facebook page for all the latest news about Richmond Kettle Company.

Cream Teas – A Great British Tradition – And Your Chance To Win A Tea Towel!

Summer is here, British schools have just closed for the 6-weeks holidays and the crowds are already flocking to the seaside to relax and enjoy family time together. Two popular counties where you can find many holidaymakers are Devon and Cornwall. Both have beautiful coves, beaches and crystal clear sea water with coasts to both North and South of the counties. Although renowned for surfing and gorgeous sunsets they are both home of a very British tradition – the Cream Tea.
A cream tea is a form of afternoon tea that consists of tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream and jam. History suggests that the tradition of eating bread with cream dates back to the eleventh century at Tavistock Abbey in Devon but finding a cream tea as an item on the menu of quaint, local tearooms belongs to the 20th Century. Perhaps the tearooms were inspired by Richmond’s wonderful tea kettles?
In the past, there has been a subtle difference in the type of bread used – Cornwall Cream Teas were served with a type of slightly sweet white bread roll, known as a “Cornish Split” rather than a scone. Nowadays, the consensus has been the scone but the burning question – and one that is often discussed and mused over – is which do you spread first, the jam or the cream? In Devon, locals prefer to split their scone and cover each side with clotted cream and then add the jam on top(a Devonshire Cream Tea). Whereas, in Cornwall, locals prefer to split the scone, spread with jam(usually strawberry) and finally top it all off with a spoonful of clotted cream(Cornish Cream Tea).
Either way, at Richmond Kettle Company, we know that any combination of lovely scones, jam and cream will be better off accompanied by a beautiful pot of freshly brewed tea boiled by a handmade Richmond Copper Kettle!
With this in mind, it’s Competition Time – here’s your chance to win one of our wonderful Richmond Tea Towels via our Facebook page. All you have to do is post a picture with your Richmond Kettle and share the photo to our page. The three we feel best capture the essence of Summer and Richmond Kettles will receive a Richmond Kettle Company Tea Towel before they go on general sale. Competition closes on Friday 10th August, 2018 and a winners will be announced on Wednesday 15th August, 2018.

Spring Has Sprung!

At long last, after the Beast From The East has departed – hopefully not to return- we can now look forward to the Spring. With the Spring Equinox passed and the start of British Summer Time last week, we can now look forward to lighter evenings and more outdoor activities. More time to sit in our gardens in the evenings enjoying a refreshing drink or two.

A recipe is listed below to try out.

The equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator. This is the time the Northern Hemisphere marks the first day of astronomical spring and the Southern Hemisphere marks the beginning of autumn and the end of summer. The Spring Equinox was observed on March 20 this year, although it can occur as early as March 19 or as late as March 21.

The clocks in the UK adjust twice a year, and the last weekend in March is when they ‘Spring Forward’ to allow lighter evenings. As we are all aware in the UK this happened last weekend, so we were deprived of an hours sleep but have been gifted those lighter evenings to compensate!

Easter

We also have Easter this weekend and hopefully, the weather will be kind to us with little ones on egg hunts in gardens and parks, then maybe a hot cross bun and a well-deserved cup of tea as a reward for all the hard work done getting our outside spaces summer ready.

Across the UK, spring plants start to show through the soil, bringing swathes of colour to our countryside and gardens, and that along with a bit of sunshine warms nearly everyone.

Salted Caramel Iced Green Tea

Ingredients
100ml Salted Caramel Green Tea
Caramel or Fudge Sauce
Apple Slices to Garnish
Ice Cubes

  1. Infuse the Salted Caramel teabag in freshly boiled water for 3 minutes and remove the bag.
  2. Stir through the caramel or fudge sauce and leave to cool.
  3. Serve over ice.
  4. Garnish with apple slices.
  5. Finally, enjoy!

A Unique Gift For The Important Lady In Your Life This Mother’s Day…

 

 

Celebrated almost everywhere in the world, Mother’s Day is one of those special events on the calendar that is celebrated around the world.
This celebration honours Mothers and Motherhood across the globe, not always on the same date and sometimes celebrating simply ‘Mother Earth’ or ‘Mother Church’.
Mothering Sunday though is universal in that the act of Mothering is to be celebrated and in the UK  falls on March 11th this year.

Here in the UK, typically we try to make the day a special day for our Mothers.


In America it seems to have all started with Ann Reeves Jarvis who was a social activist, she was founder of Mothers’Day Work Clubs. Ann had a friend called Julia Ward Howe, who had first advocated in 1870 for the idea of a Mother’s Day as a call for mothers throughout the world to work together for peace.
The celebration of Motherhood was at the core of creating the idea of recognising, appreciating and celebrating at least one day in the year all that being a mother represents.

There cannot be a more special start to the day than perhaps Breakfast in Bed accompanied by a lovely cup of tea.
Whilst Ann Jarvis did not like commercialism, I think she too would be in favour of a nice cup of tea to start the
day. Such an easy pleasant way to start a day, just one of those simple moments we can share with a loved one.
Life is all about the moments.

The moment our kettles whistle leads to the moment you enjoy a break, share time with friends and family and a hundred other moments, savour each one – At Richmond, we believe we make the finest ‘Copper Tea Kettles’.
The perfect way to start the day and it all starts with how we prepare the tea, boiling the water in a hand-made copper tea kettle is the best!

Using less energy and creating a better flavour too. Our kettle designs have a place in any kitchen.

We are pleased to present our Richmond Kettle Company Collection, helping people enjoy lifes’ little moments… in style!

We at Richmond Kettle Company would like to take the opportunity to wish all Mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day.

Induction Hob Copper Kettle & Copper Beehive

We are very excited to launch our new Induction Hob Copper kettle’s to the Richmond range.

The first to be launched is the Richmond No. 8 Beehive kettle suitable for gas and electric stoves. Hand-crafted and meticulously designed to display a beautiful finish, this kettle is the ideal addition to any kitchen. The whistle song and high gloss finish provide a magnificent accessory for any gas or electric stove top. Take pleasure in the small things in life and take time to make tea right.

Order your kettle today!

The Richmond Kettle Company team will also be attending the prestigious Frankfurt trade fair Ambiente – the must-visit fair to view some of the worlds most unique, and beautiful consumer goods. Be sure to visit us, and view our wonderful range of Edwardian style kettles on 9 – 13 February 2018, on stand A21 in hall 3.

Christmas, Royal Engagements, Reviews and New Kettles!

With Christmas fast approaching, the long nights and chilly days we are cheered and delighted to have received a wonderful review of our kettles by ‘The Proper Bostonian’.

We have worked extremely hard here at Richmond over the past 10 months to ensure we are offering the very best, solid copper, handmade, seam-free kettle available.

The review was welcomed and makes all the tweaks, changes and hard work worthwhile. It also means we have accomplished our goal.

An exert from the article is shown below as a comprehensive, unbiased review may help with your decision making:

In a nutshell:

I think the Richmond is a terrific kettle, and I recommend it. It has features that I feel improve upon the Simplex’s design. According to the manufacturer, in England, Richmond kettles have been evolving and improving with small but telling tweaks made over the past year. Judging from my most recent kettle, I’d say they’ve definitely got it right. Their chrome plated kettle is louder, sturdier, and has a more elegant, Edwardian-style look than my original 2007 Simplex.

Read the full review, especially if you are undecided about which make kettle to buy.

The other good news is, of course, the Royal Engagement of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In celebration of this we have produced 100 limited Edition, Silver plated over solid copper kettles, and they are just beautiful! I know this as I have the prototype here on my desk.

Other exciting news here is that I also have prototypes for 3 additional models to add to our range. The first is the new ‘Beehive’. This will be available in copper or chrome for both electric and gas stoves.

Next is the Induction Kettle – in copper only.

Lastly, the ‘Dome’ kettle This is also available in copper or chrome for both electric and gas stoves.

All 5 of our main kettles, No’s 1/2/3/4 and the Jubilee are all in stock, ready to despatch in time for Christmas. For those of you holding your breath for the ‘Care Kits’ … we are nearly there, it is simply a shipping issue that should be cleared up very soon.

We also have a fabulous Richmond Tea Towel in wonderful quality cotton due in stock any day, pictures will be on our website and Facebook page soon.

Finally, Richmond would like to wish each and every one of you, our wonderful readers the very best of Seasons Greetings and we look forward to sharing with you again in 2018!

The Heritage of the Heritage!

Whilst pondering what might take our followers fancy this month I came across the delightful piece below about the history of the tea kettle. I thought you would all enjoy it as much as me. It really is a lovely read.

Few things more readily evoke the cosy comforts of the cottage kitchen than the image of a burnished copper kettle singing and bubbling on a hob or range. When tea came to Britain in the second half of the 17th century, it was a luxury only the rich could afford. The price steadily declined throughout the 18th century and took a sharp dip in the 19th century when the removal of importing monopolies opened up trade with the Orient. By the time Victoria was firmly seated on her throne, tea was served above and below stairs.

From the first, kettles were an indispensable item of tea-making equipment. Originally, the word kettle was used for any flat-bottomed, lidded pan used for cooking, as opposed to the round-bottomed cauldron. Kettles as we know them today evolved alongside tea drinking. Before tea became the national drink, water had always been heated in large iron cauldrons suspended over an open fire. Since nobody could be bothered to hang about while a cauldron came to the boil when they fancied a cup of tea, special water kettles were developed. They had spouts for pouring and to let out steam so they didn’t boil over.

 

Since tea was originally only for the wealthy, so were the first kettles, which were usually made of silver. As 18th-century tea drinking was a fashionable social habit, kettles weren’t confined to the kitchen, and usually came complete with stands and heaters so they could be used in the drawing room. While the lower classes were eventually able to afford tea, their funds never stretched to silver. Copper was used instead because it was cheap, bright and an excellent conductor of heat. Copper kettles were flat-bottomed to stand on the newly developed hob grate or range. Their shape was subject to experimentation.

Wide, low kettles were tried at the end of the 18th century. As much more metal was in contact with the heat, they boiled quickly, but they were unwieldy and difficult to pour. Semi-circular half-kettles were put on a trivet with their flat side snuggling close to the grate, but their sharp angles made them difficult to air. Neither type caught on.

What we think of today as the traditional kettle shape, with its rounded shoulders, cylindrical or pot-bellied body and spout shaped like the neck of an advancing angry goose, proved hard to beat.
Early copper kettles had all-metal handles since some people still hung them over a fire to boil. Sometimes the handles were hinged. Later ones had handles with grips of wood or bone to protect the user’s hands from burning.The lovely warm patina that comes with age adds value and isn’t easily faked; ideally, copper kettles should glow quietly, not shine with metal polish.

To read the whole article, see the link below.

http://antiques-art-collectibles.com/collectible/copper_kettle.html

So, I hope you enjoyed that and with that in mind, I have included a picture of one of our very own ‘Richmond Heritage’ kettles being spun in our spinning barn using the same technique’s of old.

New Product Feature – Richmond Traditional Lassi Cup

Lassi is a reference to a popular yoghurt-based drink from India. The flavours of the lassi drink vary by city, region, health benefit and personal taste. Typical recipes include blends of yoghurt, water, spices and occasionally fruit. Traditionally, a lassi (or salted lassi) is a savoury drink often flavoured with cumin. Sweet lassi drinks have become increasingly popular and there are many variations adding in blends of fruits, sugar and honey.

 

Historically, the lassi drink was served in hand-crafted brass cups – carved, engraved and moulded into unique designs. Brass is a copper alloy so in a similar way to our copper kettles heating up quickly, these intricate cups get cool quickly and stay cool. Lassi drinks have been coined ‘the ancient smoothie’, dating back to around 1000BC. We find it fascinating that such an ancient tradition sits so comfortably within our society of modern healthy eating initiatives that we wanted to celebrate it.

 

Our Richmond Traditional Lassi Cups are hand-crafted from solid copper and lined with stainless steel. Working with copper is in our heritage, but its natural properties are what make it perfect for a lassi cup. We have added a stainless steel lining to give the cup longevity, a premium weighted feel and allow for perfect flavour from your chosen drink. Uniting the ancient shape and concept with a modern geometric style; our cups are a celebration of old meets new.

 

Copper cups have been used across many cultures for centuries but in recent years they have become most popular as a vessel for the famous Moscow Mule cocktail. Our lassi cup can be used as a decorative feature or vase, but its best use of course is also a cold drinks vessel. For best results, place in the freezer for up to 1 hour before use. This will ensure your refreshing drink of choice stays perfectly cool. The Richmond Traditional Lassi Cup is the perfect companion for smoothies, iced teas and cocktails – we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. You can see our product listing for Richmond Traditional Lassi Cup for further details.

 

 

How Do We Make A Richmond Kettle?

The art of metal spinning has been passed down through generations and it truly is a dying art. The artisan techniques have gone unchanged for over 100 years. After the establishment of the innovative Edwardian kettle design, barely anything had changed except the hands of the craftsmen.

 

Why Copper?
Copper is the key ingredient to our kettles. It’s soft and highly conductive properties make it perfect for spinning and perfect for use as a stove top kettle because it heats up very quickly. Historically, our organic copper was mined in the United Kingdom, from Cornwall, Cheshire and Scotland.  Copper had been mined in the UK since the roman times and had vast uses from cookware to coins, but in more recent decades unfortunately supply has not met demand.  Our copper is UK sourced but imported from Germany. We believe that aesthetically, copper is magnificent material and you can learn more about copper here.

 

Hand Tinning
From copper sheets, our craftsmen cut, stamp, form, punch and press the parts.  These parts are then placed on hotplates and the hand-tinning process can commence. A flux is added to the surface before liquid tin is brushed on. During this process, the tin binds with the surface of the copper creating an integral surface for the inside of the kettle.  The tinning process is fundamental for two key reasons: firstly, untreated copper will oxidise quickly in contact with water; secondly (and worse of all), the taste of your perfectly brewed cup of tea may be jeopardised!

 

Spinning
Once the pieces of our copper jigsaw puzzle have been tinned, the craftsmen can begin the spinning process. Spinning is the process of manipulating metal using a lathe and different levered tools.  Unlike wood turning, no material is removed in the spinning of metal. As the copper discs spin, they can be manipulated into shape by using the lever tools against a chuck. It is common for spinning in today’s age to be completed by CNC machinery but the organic properties of copper (being soft and having weak spots) can make it difficult to complete using CNC machines. The best results for spinning copper come from the hand spinning process where the craftsman can feel the inconsistencies and work his techniques personally to each individual piece.

 

Soldering & Polishing
Following the spinning of the parts, there are a series of pressing, crimping, cutting and soldering processes to take place before our kettles begin to resemble kettles.  We use pure grade silver solder for our kettles to ensure they stand the test of time.  The kettle parts must be heated in excess of 400 C allow the molten silver to create a seal.  Throughout these stages, the kettles undergo three sets of integrity trials in the various parts before being hand polished using a polishing wheel.

 

Final Assembly
Most of the kettle parts are now ready for assembly. For our chrome models, we have to send the parts out to be chrome plated first (that is a whole other story for another day), but then assembly can begin.  During the assembly process, a further two integrity trials are completed as well as two more cleaning and polishing processes.  All of these processes are completed by hand.  In total there are over 80 processes involved to make the kettles from over 20 different parts.