Traditional Tea Ware and Tea Sets
The sheer variety of teapots, infusers, strainers, cups and more that are available can make it difficult to
find the kind of tea ware that suits your particular taste and needs. That being the case, why not invent your own
individual style of tea set.
A teapot is central to the set and you will find yourself simultaneously frustrated and delighted at the
options. You could spend a week just cataloging all the different choices. Everything from chrome and plastic to
ceramic to clay to glass is available and each has its pros and cons. There are teapots with in-built timers and
thermometers, detachable base plates and handles - the list goes on.
Some look very much like ordinary traditional coffee pots. But even those have all sorts of extra, modern
conveniences like a detachable pot from the heating base for example. Very handy for preparation and pouring.
Others have the look of a much older tradition - the look of ancient China. Yixing clay teapots, of the sort
that have been made by fine craftsmen in China for centuries, are both functional and beautiful. Today they have
the added advantage of being prepared in modern clay ovens with extraordinary quality control. They represent the
best of art and technology combined.
Traditional porcelain teapots from Japan are both works of art and utilitarian objects. Strong, yet with
delicate designs, these shining white and blue containers look great and function perfectly even in the most modern
Many American designs now emulate the best of Scandinavia, where tea drinking is an art done with the practical
sense of the Danes or Finns. One elegant glass design has an oversized cup with a plate that sits on top and holds
a strainer. The assembly on top makes it easy to prepare the tea to perfection, then lift off the upper components
and carry the cup to your favorite easy chair for drinking.
The range of artistic styles, beyond the merely functional, would fill a museum. Along with the teapot, the tea
devotee will find an equally abundant array of choices for other teaware.
Strainers or infusers, which are used to strain hot water through tea leaves, are essential for those who want
to expand their choices beyond tea bags. These come in a variety of materials and designs. Pyrex, copper or
aluminum, ceramic and other materials are used. Large mesh, fine mesh and everything in between are useful since
you may want to use large leaves or even fine tea powder.
A tea caddy is helpful for those who like to buy in quantity or have on hand different types of tea. That would
be everyone, wouldn't it? They come in a large range of sizes and designs. Some hold only one type, some have
compartments for holding bags, leaves or powder in different chambers.
While you're buying, don't forget to look for that unique cup that fits your hand and tastes. Then, in about a
year when you've reviewed one percent of what's available, you can actually sit down and brew a cup, then relax.
After all that shopping, you'll need one.