Water Boiler

This copper water boiler is typical of the type used to make “boiler tea” in south India and Sri Lanka from the 20th century, and would have been seen at tea shops, stalls and restaurants. The boiler would be used to heat a large quantity of water over a coal fire, or similar type of long-burning fuel. The tea maker would use hot water from the boiler to brew tea. It is an interesting artefact from the 20th century, and reflects the rise in popularity in beverages such as tea and coffee among Indians, during the Colonial era, and the paraphernalia that has since become associated with their consumption. This type of water boiler is becoming increasingly rare with the emergence of cheaper fuel, as well as changing methods of brewing tea.

Date/Period
20th century
Region
Kerala, India
Dimension
Object Size: 106.5 x 47.5 x 39.0 cm
Accession No.
2016-00234
Material
Copper
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Category
Copper