What is a HOB? And how does it keep my tea warm?

by Tony Gebely 4

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I received a curious package in the mail last week. It contained “hobs” from Thistledown.com. What is a “hob” you ask? Their site defines hobs as: “a shelf in the back of a fireplace on which to place things to keep warm”; and “hob” is a British colloquialism for a stove top.” Thistledow’s hobs are not shelves in the back of fireplaces, rather — they are cozies for your tea. Not one of those old-lady Victorian style cozies either. It looks cool. They have all sorts of designs on the site. But, the big question… do they work, and if so, how affective are hobs? Do hobs do their jobs? From the website: “HOBs are 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. This material results in superior heat retention.”

“The HOB has a bottom, also with two layers of mylar batting, acting as a built-in trivet. Once on, the HOB completely encases the body of your teapot, keeping your tea hot!”

“The HOB is extremely easy to use: slip the teapot between the two ‘clam shells’, flip over the top and clip together with the buckle. I set out to find the answer. I monitored the temperatures of 2 identical tea pots one with a hob, one without for 2 hours, and I was surprised to find that the HOB kept the water inside the pot considerably warmer for longer.

Check them out here: http://www.thistledownshop.com/hobs.html

Tony Gebely

Tony has been studying tea for over ten years and has traveled to many tea producing regions throughout Asia. His book, "Tea: A User's Guide" is available now.

Comments (4)

  1. I revelled reading it. I need to read more on this matter…I am admiring the time and effort you put in your blog, because it is apparently one great place where I can find lot of reusable info..

  2. Okay so liking the Hob, I may have to get one to do my own testing with and report on the blog. How fun!

  3. Ma..this is a cute one and people need it now in this cold weather,thanks for the share-Tony.

  4. These cozies are rad. The tea shop I work at in Seattle carries them. I use mine all the time now.

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