Making Tea on Shabbat

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Even though I mostly drink coffee, on Shabbat and holidays I often prefer tea. There’s just something about tea that feels comforting and calm. Coffee says get up and go, and tea says stay awhile, you know? The thing is, there are some people who say that you shouldn’t have tea on Shabbat, because making tea is like cooking, which is prohibited on Shabbat.

If you are really interested in this subject, there’s a forty minute lecture on the subject that you can listen to over at YU Torah online. I will tell you that this lecture lost me about ten minutes in, but I’m sure it’s really good if your brain isn’t scrambled by Pesah food.

According to Chabad, this is how you should make tea on Shabbat:
1. Take a dry cup. If the cup has been rinsed, it should be dried.

2. Fill the cup with hot water from the kettle.

3. The hot water should then be poured into a second cup (a Keli Shlishi) in which one then puts the teabag.

Other authorities recommend making a “tea essense” before Shabbat by soaking a bunch of teabags in hot water for a longer time than usual in order to make a very strong tea, and then using that liquid, diluted with some more hot water on Shabbat to make tea.

Or you could do like me and just make tea using your great grandmother’s teapot and hope you’re not offending God.

Regardless of how you drink your tea on Shabbat, I recommend having a stylish teabox to display the tea options. Here are some of my favorites:

Via etsy I found some really great and craft boxes. Or you can go the more conventional route and get a nice solid wooden box with or without a glass window. Fancy!

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Posted on April 17, 2009

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