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Tea Ware

Talk about Tea Ware here!

115 Replies
Cofftea said

I LOVE Adagio Teas’ IngenuiTEA, but I hate that it’s plastic. Does anyone know where I can get a glass version?

BillNV said

Sorry no help but if it were’nt plastic mine would have been GONE several times over as I tend to drop it . . . a lot!

Cofftea said

If it’s glass, then YES, YES, YES! I mean… yes please:) lol. Thanks I’ve been looking all over and haven’t found anything in my own search.

Cofftea said

I’ll wait til I can get a glass version.

S said

Polycarbonate is primarily made of BPA, just so you know. If you’re worried about BPA leaching from the product, I would not recommend the Brew-T.

Cofftea said

Shanti, it’s plastic anyway…:(

Cofftea said

http://www.eightcranes.com/perfect-steeper.html It doesn’t decant directly into the drinking vessel (although I suppose you could drink out of it), but it is glass:)

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Cofftea said

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Angrboda said

As I have just mentioned elsewhere, ‘too many teapots’ just isn’t a phrase that makes any sense to me. Too many are NEVER enough. I love getting a new teapot. Even if it’s a really ugly one.

This one, though, from Roy Kirkham is my absolute favourite of all the ten I’ve got. I saw it in the window of a tiny shop here where I live and I knew right away that I couldn’t live without it. Cost me nearly 400 kr, it did. That’s about 80 US dollars. But it was so SO worth it, and it’s the pot I use four times out of five.
Follow le link to see it. (I hope it works.)
http://www.roykirkham.co.uk/products/xple1201boxed_please_shut_gate_tea_for_one_teapot_with_classic_cup&&saucer_in_fine_bone_china.php

takgoti said

That is so FRAKKIN’ ADORABLE I want to shut the gate ON MY HEAD. I love the little chick with the egg shell on his/her head!

Angrboda said

I know, I hearts it. :) I love it even more than all my yixing put together.
I’ve got a large Roy Kirkham mug too with kitties on it, bough at the same time. That mug has JUST the right size that I can empty the whole pot in one go which is super-useful when I want to resteep. Of course, after emptying the pot, there isn’t even room for half a drop more in the cup, so the first few sips always make me look silly. :p

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… IS cast iron REALLY the best way to brew tea? I don’t want to give in to the hype if all of the inconveniences (price, design, needing a trivet due to heat retention, possible burns cause I’m a clutz) doesn’t actually brew the “best cup of tea ever” – Said by My Teavana shop girl.
I want the truth!

Auggy said

I’ve never used cast iron to brew tea but I’ve heard an unlined one can flavor the water in ways that help the tea taste better. But that’s when it is used as the heating vessel, not the steeping vessel (though I don’t know if that really makes a difference?). Personally, I usually prefer glass or porcelain so the flavor stays clean, especially with lighter teas. I do use a clay pot for my Japanese greens but don’t know if it makes that much of a difference in taste. Maybe I need to do a tasting of tea in that compared to tea in glass. I also have a yixing seasoned for Darjeelings and it can round the flavors out nicely in harsher (cheaper) ones.

takgoti said

I don’t have a cast iron either but ditto what Auggy’s heard on flavor retention. I believe that [though, don’t shoot me if I’m wrong] tetsubins that are used to brew pu-erh [and really only pu-erh] eventually soak in enough flavor that you can get a nice cup of tea just from pouring hot water in. It takes a long time, I’d imagine.

Auggy said

I thought that was yixings with the pu-ehr (and oolong)? Aren’t tetsubins Japanese? Or am I mushing together my Asian tea paraphernalia?

takgoti said

Could very well be. I could google it, but I’m too busy watching live feed.

Auggy said

snort Me, too!

Yixing is Chinese, Tetsubin is Chinese. I know yixing is used often exclusively with pu erh (though often exclusively with oolongs, as well,) but i don’t know about tetsubins in that case.
From my experience, a tetsubin being my second teapot ever, it’s lasted me. You gotta make sure you keep it clean, and if you neglect it for a few months, you need to do a deep cleaning, because it gets kinda nasty inside…

Despite the maintenance, I really having it. It’s sturdy, can handle the accidental bumps and drops, and… I dunno. It makes me happy to use. Comfortable to pour, aesthetically pleasing, and it really just gives that feel of … tea time.
I have heard that it gets seasoned, and improves taste quality over time. It’s a good investment for a teapot you know you’re going to keep around for a while, especially if you’re a bit klutzy.

Auggy said

Just as I had sucked it up and Googled! :)

Wikpedia says, “Tetsubin (鉄瓶) are Japanese cast iron pots having pouring spout and handle crossing over the top, used for boiling and pouring hot water for drinking purposes, such as for making tea. Because iron is released into the water, the water is appreciated as a dietary source of iron.”

Hmm, wonder how much iron is released?

JMKauftheil: Do you use a lined or unlined tetsubin? (I feel like lined isn’t the right word…)

I believe it’s lined…?
Pretty sure it is. There’s a word for it, but it’s not coming to me…

Enameled! That’s it!

Auggy said

Thank you!!!

I would give you a cookie, but I have none. Baked potato?

takgoti said

I have yogurt. Do you want some yogurt? Yogurt topped baked potato, perhaps? [Mine’s got cherries in it. Ew?]

Auggy said

Yeah, I’d vote for ew on that one.

Sounds to me like Teavana’s next blend XD

Auggy said

Only if they use roobios!

Strawberry Yogurt and Rooibos could work… baked potato not so much.

Jillian said

Teavana is notorious for the hard sell. They REALLY put a lot of pressure on their employees to make sales so that leads to a lot of inflated claims. So I’d take anything they tell you with a large grain of salt.

Auggy said

Or honey since they add that to freakin’ everything. :)

takgoti said

A teavana employee once tried to sell my friend a tetsubin by explaining that he likes to soak pot in it, and then the pot eventually absorbs into teapot.

Then he tried to sell us some actual pot.

I am not making this up.

We really strung him along. It was a good time.

Auggy said

Wow.

I think the saddest part of that whole thing is that Teavana’s tesubins have an enamel coating inside so probably nothing really gets absorbed…

takgoti said

HAHAHAHAHA.

“Hi, I want to return this tetsubin.”

“Why? Was something wrong with it?”

“Well, your employee? That one right over there? He sold me one. He said that if I soaked a bunch of marajuana in it, it would absorb the THC and then I could get high by drinking tea. I thought that was pretty cool, but see? IT’S COATED.”

0_0… still don’t think I want a cast iron pot…. but this thread is fricken awesome!

Micah said

Oh lord… if ONLY a Teavana employee would offer to sell me pot. I might shop there more often.

But yeah… if I had the money I’d totally buy a tetsubin. Awesome heat retention and they’re beautiful! And I’d definitely go for an enamel coated one. Metal + light flavored teas… not a happy pairing.

Jillian said

Oh they definitely are pretty-looking, I just don’t think they should be endowed with these awesome properties that are likely exggerated.

Besides, Teavana’s teaware is wildly overpriced and you could probably find a tetsubin of equal quality (or better) for a much better price if you shopped somewhere else.

Wow! enjoyed this thread.

Tyler said

I had two cast iron teapots. I gave one away. One was lined and the other was not. The lined one, to me, doesn’t seem to have many benefits. The one that was not lined kept the flavor and smell of the last tea I brewed in it and I really liked that. And if I didn’t want it all I would do is pour boiling water in it and then pour it off when it cooled down.
However, my prefered way of brewing tea is actually in a more open container like a French press (of course without actually pressing the leaves) or the Sorapot (I don’t have one since they are super expensive, but a brilliant idea). I’m all for options. Get one of everything :)

This thread was awesome to read. Awesome.

I have an itty-bitty, unlined cast iron teapot that holds about one saki cup of tea. I don’t know if it ‘officially’ makes the tea taste better, but I feel elegant when I have the time to fiddle with it.
Its great for tasting multiple green tea sample cups. I don’t leave the tea in there very long, so I’m not having much of a problem with trailing aftertaste. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve liked most of the teas I’ve had from the pot. Lovely overall, if I have the time to keep refilling.

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Cofftea said

Does anyone know where I can get a clear pouch mug? I can only find colored ones.

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I’ve come to really appreciate the simplicity and convenience of a gaiwan. I have at least two or three, now (I have one here, not sure about back home). It doesn’t need an infusing basket of any sort (though you might want to use one of those little nets for pouring into a cup), and you can either pour it into individual cups, or drink it straight from the gaiwan. The only brewing device I find worth having in glass, and they can be gorgeous when porcelain.

Cofftea said

It’s not glass, but I LOVE my clear plastic ingenuiTEA. I do wish I could find a glass version though.

I can see the practicality of it, but that device, as well as the one from Teavana, don’t really chime my bells. Either I’ll be very particular about the steeping of my tea, in which case I like to do it entirely by hand, or if I’m doing tea casually, I get lax about steep time and leave the leaves in the cup, or make a whole pot of it. I’m kinda old-fashioned, I guess… I have weird poetic notions about the brewing of tea.

IdentiTEA said

/said with index and pinkie fingers up on each hand/ Gaiwans rule!!! Woo!!

In all seriousness I love my gaiwans. Take all my other teaware, but don’t ever touch my gaiwans! They are so easy to use, easy to clean, and I believe they make the best cups of tea, in all honesty.

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Cofftea said

I’ve never seen a reusable pyramid tea strainer before!:)
http://www.designatea.com/proddetail.php?prod=st-1A

I might have to purchase just because of how cool it looks!

Dan said

I have one of these and it really works well.

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Cofftea said

http://www.amazon.com/IQ-Innovations-51552-Gourmet-Machine/dp/B001EN4EHW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1258739247&sr=8-3-fkmr0

My local tea shop is featuring this for the holiday season… I REALLY wish I could afford this! Don’t get me wrong! I ABSOLUTELY ADORE preparing a manual cup of tea, but I admit, making the 1st cup in the morning is a pain in the butt for me. I’m not a morning person, so even though I want a cup I’m just too tired. If I have to be somewhere in the morning, I’m never up early enough to make myself tea. And in the winter I’m too cold to move around even though I know hot tea will warm me up. Or I come home from being somewhere and I’m too cold to move. I’d drink more tea throughout the day if that 1st cup was ready and waiting for me.

denisend said

I dunno, especially after reading the reviews I’m not eager to spend $300 on it. I have the Zarafina and while it won’t make the first cup for me (I still have to press the button), it has a lot more temperature flexibility.

Cofftea said

7 temp settings area a lot for something like this although my CDN thermometer/timer has a total of 432 temp/timer combos. What are your timer settings like?

Cofftea said

Wait, I just noticed it doesn’t reach boiling so Idk how they expect black to brew properly. Oh well. I can deal w/ not having black when I want to use this.

denisend said

I just brewed black tea in it and it looked like it was boiling to me (big bubbles). I didn’t measure it… too lazy to get out a thermometer.

Cofftea said

How much temp flexibility do you have?

Cofftea said

I’m always running late if I need to be somewhere in the morning, I don’t have time to come out to the kitchen and press the button lol. Do any other tea makers have a pre set time feature?

denisend said

It has the following settings:
Tea Type: Black, Oolong, Green, White, Herbal
Tea Packaging: Bag, Loose
Tea Strength: Strong, Medium, Mild

There’s no way to “tell” the maker how much tea or water you put in, and I don’t know how those settings correspond to “real world settings” (temperature and time). I’m starting to put my settings in my logs, so you’ll be able to tell when I’m at home (I’m using the Zarafina) versus when I’m in the office.

Perhaps I’ll go buy a new thermometer and report back. The only one we have is for meat and I’m not sticking that in my teapot!

Cofftea said

Good to know! Thanks for the info! The Zarafina is closer to my CDN thermometer then. 13 tea types, 3 steeping methods (bag, loose, ball), and 8 strengths.

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Marie said

Anyone hear love to have their tea in fine bone china? I collect a lot of it and haven’t been able to sit on one pattern, so I just get one of each as I discover something new I like. Nothing like biting down a bit on the edge of a fine bone china teacup when I’m drinking tea. It’s just so fragile and different from the bulky mugs that don’t seem to do a premium tea any aesthetic justice.

I’ve thought about going Bone China, but, unless my research betrays me or things have changed, the “Bone” part of that pushes me away – I’m a vegetarian, and I would rather not own anything made with animal parts.
So, I guess I’m stuck nibbling on glass and fine porcelain.

takgoti said

Until I read that I just figured that bone china was just symbolic wording for something else not…bone. Now I’m highly intrigued.

You should do some research… and inform me if I’m wrong :)
That would be just mmmmarvelous.

Angrboda said

Trying again, in the correct place.

It is actually made with calcinated cattle bone, says Wikipedia.

If it helps, though, us carnivores are going to eat the rest of the cow anyway. ;)

And Amy, yes, my favourite one with the farm animals (I posted a link to the cuteness elsewhere in the thread) is bone china. Although, if it wasn’t, it would still be my favourite, because cuteness and just the right size. :) I’ve got a larger one in bone china too. I love how they’re translucent. It never fails to fascinate me, because it’s not really something that you would expect to be see-through. :)

takgoti said

http://tinyurl.com/yhleon8

[Yes, it does – calcified bone ash. But everywhere I read said it’s higher in quality. One of life’s many trade offs.]

I guess I’ll just wait for some engineering, vegan tea drinker to come along and make boneless China teaware :P

Marie said

Yeah, I’m not a vegatarian but do support cutting down on the amount of over-all meat we consume. I think about all the bones that get wasted anyway from the carnivores, might as well put the used ones to good use. I can say about 95% of my china was bought second-hand, so that could kind of be seen as promoting the recycling of already used bone ash. I know it’s a stretch… Seriously though the thin-ness of bone china is so fascinating to me and I always think I can just crunch down on it with my teeth, but know that it’s much stronger than that. Besides, I don’t think my teeth would be too happy about the post-crunch part. Just a joyfull fascination with it all. :)

Carolyn said

A long time ago an editor I worked for advised me to splurge and buy the finest china cup and saucer I could afford. Then, when life became too difficult, she told me I should take it down from the shelf, set a pretty table, and pour myself a cup of something good. She said that the beauty had the power to change the equation. She was more or less right, though there are things that happen that are difficult and no china cup will change the equation.

I have my beautiful china cup with purple pansies that must be carefully washed by hand and when life hands me an equation that must be changed, I take it down from the shelf and fill it with something good.

denisend said

Awww, that’s really a nice idea!

Carolyn said

It really is. I am indebted to her for it. Part of the secret lies in buying something that stops your heart with its beauty, that you are convinced you should never use because it is too beautiful, expensive, and fragile. That is what changes the equation. Drinking from it changes the world briefly.

PeteG said

Carolyn…I toatally understand! I am so glad my friend Mie Mie who sells me my teas understands me too…I will stand motionless enjoying the lines and colours, and symetry of the china cups, or various teapots…metal or not…my world for that moment is tea…serenatea.

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kat said

Does anyone know where I can find a glass cup and saucer…I broke mine and Adagio is out of them at the mo’.

Cofftea said

Pretty much anyone should have them. Try Walmart’s housewares.

denisend said
kat said

Thanks for the link..I am ordering the Morehouse glass-love it!!

takgoti said

Nice! Tea Forte’s glassware is super pretty. I have their teapot.

Should you find yourself craving more double walled glassware, bodum makes a ton. A few of the tea companies carry bodum products, and I believe they’ve featured some on Steepster Select before.

kat said

Cool thanks Takgoti. Have you tried the tea from Tea Forte?

takgoti said

I have! Not in quite some time, but I think I might have a few reviews on here from them from when I was drinking them. For me, where they shine is in the flavoring and not so much the tea itself because everything that I’ve had of their’s was pretty heavily flavored. That, and their packaging. They have an aesthetic scheme that greatly appeals to me.

I know that they like to do sampler packs that have one or two of a bunch of their teas in them, and I’d really recommend that route because it allows you to get some footing for what they’ve got going on.

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