In this age of technology and massive world trade, there are many ways to brew or steep your favorite teas. I grew up drinking loose leaf tea (primarily from India – given the historical relationship between Great Britain and India). My family always used china or ceramic teapots to brew tea and of course on Sundays and special occasions, the best china tea service came out…As many of you will know, these heirlooms would be passed down through generations and as such were very special. I have had the good fortune of traveling widely throughout the world and have lived in the Far East and Middle East, the Mediterranean and even Scandinavia. I was alway amazed at the tea culture in those many countries and found it was not as different as one might imagine. I have enjoyed tea in Chinese Apothecaries, to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey (during a three hour ‘negotiation’ with a Turkish carpet maker…how very civilized…). The function, shape and design of teapots and cups or other vessels really hasn’t changed that much over hundreds of years, probably because that particular culture desires it stay that way. To the western world, Chinese Gaiwans and South American ‘Gourds’ in which to drink ‘Mate’ similarly have not changed much – perhaps become a little more ostentatious or embellished for the western or world wide market.
Interestingly, the way that something like a Mate Gourd is pronounced in different dialects of the same language, varies considerably. For example, in parts of Argentina the drinking straw (mostly metal) is called a ‘Bombilla’ In most Spanish speaking pronunciation, the double ‘L’ is spoken as a ‘Y’ therefore sounds like ‘Bom – Beeyah…but in Argentina they would say ‘Yerba Ma – tay’ and a ‘Bom – bee shah’ Personally, I have only been interested in ‘what’ I’m drinking, not so much in how its pronounced…
We offer a range of Japanese ‘Tetsubin’ cast iron teapots or tea kettles. We love the function and the design and often bright colors that they are made in. These days, they are made with a loose leaf tea filter that make it easier to brew your tea. Leaving tea leaves in your tetsubin, will result in an ‘astringent’ or bitter tea after steeping too long – so it makes absolute sense. The Tetsubin should be simply rinsed out and over time, it will take on an aroma of ‘tea’ which is desired.
Additionally we will be offering a range of other types of teapots such as the Chinese ‘Yixing’ purple clay teapots, The ‘Gongfu’ teapot and of course Porcelain which has historically been used widely throughout China for generations. We are always on the lookout for quality teaware for our customers and will be adding items as we are able to identify and acquire them…
We have a large range of ‘Collectible’ teapots directly from a Staffordshire, England pottery. These are truly hand made and hand painted fun and functional teapots. These are literally made to order in limited quantities so patience is required, but the wait is worth it. If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for a loved one who happens to be a tea lover – and there are many of us!, then you could not do better than starting a collection of these special teapots.
Lastly, we will be continuing to add a section we call ‘Drinkware’ – this will include anything from cups and mugs, from classic to highly functional – the world is a busy place and having a ‘to go’ cup that keeps your tea at the right temperature until the last drop, is important. We will offer biodegradable paper filters and a range of implements to assist you in steeping your tea and getting the best enjoyment from it…
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