I love tea. I always have. Even in High School when the game would go to the creamery after the Big Game and get ice cream sundaes and Coke, I'd order an English muffin an tea. Yes. I was that person. Anyway! I love tea!
Look at what my wonderful friends have given me over time. I've received an annual subscription to Tea Time Magazine, a set of handmade coasters, tea galore, and a Dobin Japanese tea pot with four cups.
Just as with anything, there is a lot to learning the intricacies of tea. No, making a pot of tea isn't as simple as boiling water, splashing it over a run of the mill teabag and steeping. England, China, Japan, India, and other countries all have rituals, ceremonies, implements, and a history with tea.
The basic teacup is called a yunomi. They are usually of cylindrical shape, (tsutsugata), and small, as seen in my photo. Though for especially fine teas or for certain special occasions, there is a smaller version of the teacup, a doll-size, but it's used by people. Teapots are called dobin. They usually have a twisted vine handle, globular body and a disc-like, finial-topped lid, according to this website. The vine or bamboo handle doesn't become hot so it allows for pouring without a potholder.
A Dobin teapot contains a filter-basket either in the spout or hanging down into the belly of the pot. Ceramic is used frequently for the filter, but a fine mesh stainless steel is also used, which is what mine has. As the tea connoisseur grows in experience and knowledge, he or she often turns to loose tea which allows for a better opening of the leaves as the heat and water permeates them. Thus, a filter becomes necessary.
The Tea Time Magazine is charming. Its photographs of tea settings, tea cups filled with steaming, aromatic and colorful teas, and the pages of anecdotes regarding tea history are always interesting. So are the recipes for canapes and sandwiches! I look forward to its arrival in my mailbox each time. The first thing I do when I get home from school each day is put the kettle on and look forward to relaxing with a cup of tea.
My coasters were made by a dear reader and I love them. They are sooo cute! So now I have a tea pot and up set, a tea bar with various teas from which to choose, and coasters to set my cup and a magazine through which to browse. My morning coffee is necessary and utilitarian. My teas, those are for enjoyment, relaxation, and ritual.