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KaTEA said

Favorite Tea Accessories

What are your favorite tea accessories? Fancy? Not fancy? Do you have a favorite tea set? Favorite Tea Cup? What makes it your favorite? Is there anyone with a unique part to your tea set? I make teapots and would love some great ideas on other tea accessories to make.

59 Replies
Cofftea said

As far as favorite accessories that I actually own: my scale and CDN thermometer as well as my entire matcha set (complete w/ chasen holder and sifter).

Favorite accessories that I’m currently coveting: the Keurig One Touch Milk Frother/Warmer and Breville One Touch Tea Maker.
That one teaspoon scale (can’t remember the brand).

KaTEA said

Is the tea bowl in your matcha set raku fired?

Cofftea said
KaTEA said

That is a beautiful “chawan”, I did not know that was the formal name for them, raku is the type of firing that the Japanese used to fire their ceremonial tea bowls, I actually fire alot of my pottery this way, check out the firing technique on my website fourstaves.com… There is a whole specific way the bowls are made and fired and by whom for the 16th century Japenese tea ceremony, it is kinda interesting, I think you may enjoy it.

KaTEA said

P.S. I think your bowl is high fired..it is very beautiful.

denisend said

The problem with just saying “raku” firing is that modern American raku is very different from traditional Japanese raku (in fact, some methods of modern American raku produce a product that you wouldn’t want to consume food/drink out of).

In both firing techniques, the ceramic ware is removed from the kiln when it is red hot, but in modern American raku it is quenched in a bed of combustible material (paper, wood chippings, etc). You can generally tell the difference visually because modern American raku will be “sparkly” due to this treatment, while traditional Japanese raku still has a “smooth” appearance.

I wouldn’t want anyone buying a chawan fired the modern way thinking it was a traditional method because it was labeled “raku”!

KaTEA said

Being a professional potter I know these things and just thought Cofftea would enjoy researching the history of the ceremony since her matcha set was an item that meant so much to her. I’m sorry I did not delve into the differences of traditional raku and the “Paul Soldner” version. I would never recommend consumption out of a vessel fired in the modern method.

denisend said

I’m sure that you (as a potter) know the difference; I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t. I just wanted to make sure that anyone who might read this thread could tell the difference, since often the finished products are just labeled “raku”.

My knowledge of artistic glaze styles is somewhat limited – my background is in mass production ceramics (I was originally a ceramics engineer). I also left that field about 6 years ago, so I’m definitely rusty! :-)

KaTEA said

OK a formal apology on my part for getting snippy, I am sorry, it is so hard to judge tone on these things. I would love to hear more about the ceramics engineer part of this it sounds very interesting..u should message me. Glazes are still something I don’t have a huge handle on. (I work with a very experienced potter/sculpture)

denisend said

No worries, these things happen.

And, on the ceramics, well, it’s pretty boring to me. My thesis work was on shrinkage and cracking, so I suppose that could apply to the art industry as well, but, it’s been a long time. :-)

Cofftea said

I just thought to use this! My favorite accessory for making iced tea is now my Pampered Chef double sided measurer. Unfortunately it only has even numbered TB but measuring 6TB at once then an extra TB plus 1tsp when I make a gallon of iced tea sure is a heck of a lot faster than measuring all 7TB plus the extra tsp separately. (But at least I don’t measure out 22tsp separately lol)

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it depends what i am doing?
i may use a nice china teacup, i use the one that’s already down and out of the cupboard in the drying rack 99% of the time
i use variety of makers (breville, ingenutea, cast iron teapot, porcelin teapot, chian teapot, in cup strainer, in cup make your own bag)

i use frothers

i use all sorts of things, depends on the tea, my mood, what’s clean, how much tea i want…

KaTEA said

That made me giggle a little, the last line I guess, thats me…"Do I want the large cup or small one, blue or glass, handmade or poured in china for the evil empire (walmart).

:) and people joke paper or plastic is hard!

i think i end up with new pieces based on need and after that is when it goes nuts

-got the ingenutea so i could see flowering teas bloom
-i got the dragon teapot because it was so pretty
-i got the breville one-touch so i could be lazy
-I got the Kati from TeaForte and it works great for loose leaf at work
-i got the initech mug as a gift, and use it because it’s funny

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I have a favorite tea cup. It’s actually a mug. I like it for several reasons. First, it holds 16 ounces of tea. More tea in mug = fewer trips to kitchen to fill teacup. I also love it because it has a print of Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh which is my favorite painting by my favorite artist. It makes me happy.

I love my latest acquisition – a chawan. I have a few chawans, but I think that this new one may be my favorite. I love the shape, and I love the feel of it. It has a pleasant weight to it, it is simple in design but I think that the simplicity of it is beautiful. I bought it on Etsy.

Cofftea said

If we’re considering teaware accessories, I have to say my 2 Starbucks mugs I got from my best friend Irina- one is 16oz that I use for my chai since I haven’t gotten yixing mug yet, and the other is regular size w/ the Seattle skyline one it.

TeaParT said

Sounds like you had a tea-rrific time on your trip. Nice how you worked tea into it. Glad you had such a good time.

Cofftea said

Thanks. There wasn’t all that much tea involved though. Iced at the airport, one cup when I got in, matcha one morning, dirty chai (not loose leaf unfortunately) one morning, matcha at Jamba Juice once, some sweetend iced after buffalo chicken, and matcha in a mocha once. But then again this was by far a relaxing trip. I was in Seattle for only 80 hours and practically every min was packed. So it wasn’t a “let’s go hunt down some tea” relaxing vacation.

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MegWesley said

So far my favorite accessory is my great big clear mug that I have. I can see the color of the tea through it which is something I don’t get to do often with hot tea. We mostly have decorated mugs at the house.

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I agree with AmazonV, I have the teaware I have because….
Chatsford-My first teapot, I wanted the filter
Beehouse teapot-loved the red color, hated the stainless filter basket
IngeniTea-wrote a review of this and got it for free…love it to make iced tea
stone (probably not stone, but it reminds me of stone) teacup-got it at a thift shop, use it daily
Houhin-my end of year gift to myself. I really like to use it for oolongs and when I just want one cup of black tea in the mornings.
gaiwan-just arrived today! for my green tea tastings

Looking back over this list, I would say the Houhin is my most favorite, so versatile and easy to clean. It has small holes built into the teapot. It fits perfectly in my hand. I love the earthy look of it, after all, I am an Earth Science teacher!

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KaTEA said

I think these are the most interesting and heartfelt replies. I am so impressed with this community and the variety of people. I see people attack the question very practically, while other people attack it with their heart, I think this difference in personalities in just the way you all drink or look at your tea is very interesting and all of you in all the differences come together over one fantastic beverage. I love tea but I find the awesome dynamics of this group even better!!! Smile you all have made me very happy with your responses and I hope to hear more.

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TeaParT said

This was a difficult choice since I feel there is a story behind all of my teaware. Naturally I enjoy all of the pottery that my son creates although his Martian teapot was a challenge. It speaks volumes to where he is at this point in his life.

http://teapart.weebly.com/martian-tea-pot.html

He has made me several bowls for matcha and I use one of his short highball size cups to hold the wet tea bag or the infuser between brews.

I try to rotate my teapots, teacups and mugs but I have one item that gets used daily. It is a small blue spongeware creamer that I use constantly. I like it on so many levels.

1. Emotional – It was my mother’s and blue was her favorite color. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of how much she enjoyed this special piece of pottery.

2. Function – It is about the size of a large mug. All of my tea infusers fit in this little jug. It is great for making small amounts of tea and pours easily. I use it like a small personal size teapot. I fix one pot, pour and start the next brew.

I feel very very lucky that this was a difficult choice. My grandmother’s tea cups started a wonderful collection which taught me the value of slowing down for a cup of tea. So here’s to a lifetime of tea experiences.

that is adorable and nice, even if a little sneaky :)

SoccerMom said

Awww how sweet. It’s quite cute too!

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TeaParT said

The Martian teapot? Like I said, it says a lot about where he is right now. At 16 with a new driver’s license, I’m just glad that he still wants to hang out with the family!

SoccerMom said

LOL I completely understand I have a 14 yr. old no D.L. yes (thank God) and yes it is nice when they want to hang out/do stuff with us.

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I don’t have many tea accessories at the moment, but do plan on getting a few items in the future.
Right now I have:
A Chatsford Teapot that I use daily. I love that it makes 12 oz of tea at a time because I tend to drink a lot of tea.
Teelamass spoon from TeaGshwendner – perfect size scoop and means I don’t have to find a measuring spoon each time I make tea.
Single cup infuser that my husband uses to make herbals since he doesn’t usually drink caffeine and my teapot usually has black tea in it.
Fiesta water kettle – Love it! I use it every day and it also matches my dishes.
Different size mugs – I started collecting interesting mugs when I used to drink coffee, but now are used for tea. My favorite mug is either my huge Starbucks mug or my little 6 oz.
My espresso machine – Primarily I just add plain milk to my tea, but when I’m feeling fancy I froth some up.

As for items I’m really considering:
Houhin – because I love oolongs but currently don’t drink them often. I don’t always want to commit to multiple infusions in a 12 oz pot.
Chawan – I like matcha but have yet to purchase any because I really want to make it correctly. I also think it would be fun to drink out of a bowl.

Cofftea said

Oooh you should buy some matcha. Like today:) We have a latte machine as well, but it’s such a P.I.T.B. to clean. That’s why I want the Keurig One Touch Milk Frother.

Most likely anyone else would think my espresso machine is hard to clean but since I used it almost daily making coffee for several years it doesn’t bother me anymore. I also don’t use it that often. I’m much more of a lazy tea drinker, I just add some milk from the fridge to my cup, possibly stir it, and call it a day.

Cofftea said

Yeah, I only add milk to chai and I don’t like adding cold milk to my tea. Right now the microwave is my only option for heating milk and that’s almost as much of a pain as cleaning the espresso machine lol. And I’m too much of a klutz to use a hand held frother lol! I figure I gotta wait for my chai to steep anyway so might as well just get the milk going at the same time- it only takes 90 sec. Due to my height/being in a wheelchair I find lots of accessories gadgets VERY practical- more so than the average tea drinking population I’d assume.

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I use different accessories for different tea-drinking occasions.:) Sometimes it’s nothing more than a cup, a spoon and a strainer (and a tea kettle, of course).

The standard accessories for my morning double dose of tea:
2-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup for brewing the tea
2-cup thermos for straining the tea into so it stays warm
Tea/coffee measuring spoon
My Weigh pocket scale
Chef’s Choice digital timer

On weekend mornings, when I brew a larger quantity, I use my Bodum Chambord French press and pour the brew into my Crate & Barrel thermal carafe.

For a relaxed afternoon tea break, I usually use my 2-cup Chatsford infuser pot and pour the tea into my favorite “special” cup, an oversized, footed one from Fishs Eddy that’s painted with a charming “Bird in a Tree” motif.

Cofftea said

LOVE my scale! I need a new one though- mom broke mine.

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