How to make a teapoy. But, before that what is a teapoy? In a world full of coffee tables, it’s easy to lose track of this fabulous piece of old furniture that once graced homes of the rich and the royals. But that’s what I am here for. To ignite the love for old school furniture that fills your home with an ambience a thousand chrome cannot.
To the T(eapoy)
Tea and Britain are synonymous. But it wasn’t in this fair land that tea first became fashionable as a beverage. It was China that taught the world the concept of Tea. Shortly after the Stuart Restoration in 1660, China tea was introduced to coffee houses in London. Between 1720 and 50 however, the import of tea quadrupled as it started to gain popularity amongst the rich.
Why do I emphasize on the word rich? Because, East India Company held inclusive monopoly over tea, keeping the prices high enough to protect profit. Plus, the government levied import tax on tea. So it was not just a drink for the fashionable but also for the ones who could afford it.
Enter the teapoy
As and on it caught up, tea began to be seen as a symbol of status. And tea caddies were specially made to store and display fine teas. Teapoy is that ultimate tea caddy.
Manufactured in India, in the mid 80’s by British cabinet makers, the name strangely comes from the word “Teen Paya” or three legs which is quintessential to the furniture. Somehow, tea and teapoy caught up with each other and the rest is history.
At my granny’s, we used to have two of these after which one of my sisters is named. She is called tipai because she was kinda skin and bones and she reminded my granny strangely of a skinny teapoy! Well, so much history in post innit.
The gradual modifications
What started off as a box on top of three legs which was used to store tea and also as a table gradually lost the box, retained the top and borrowed another leg for the ease of use I presume. Today’s teapoy is much like the coffee table though teapoys are characteristically smaller that its western cousin and should not be the size of a traditional center table.
Okay, enough talk. Let’s make it
I had cut the legs off a dining table (later on that one) to turn it into our center table and I just couldn’t part with the legs. Gosh, sounds like Dexter: episode furniture except for the fact that I would never wrap them in plastic and dump it.
So I repurposed them into a Teapoy with a wooden tray that lost its handles. Haha, let me rephrase this. I opened the handles and added to my bath caddy!
So roughly this is what you’ll need:
- A saw- to level the legs/ Legs that you can get from your hardware
- A table top/ ply
Keep the top on a raised surface so you can attach the nails. A stool or table is ideal.
With a hammer, nail the top to the legs securely. I kept 5″ from each side before attaching the legs. Measure, mark and then secure.
Finally, a added a little bit of clear glue on the underside – where the legs attach the top- for extra strength.
Rest for 12 hours before using! Also, please note, this is a teapoy and not to be used as a stool for standing on and reaching for the ceiling. For that, there’s a ladder!
It’s 3:27 pm here. Roughly tea time. And thanks to all the tea discussions, I am finding myself rather thirsty for a cuppa. I’ll leave you to the tutorial but before that, what kind of a person are you? Tea or coffee? And if tea- what tea? Tell me. I’d love to know.