MzPriss said

Improvisational Teaware

This thread is a result of an Instagram discussion about things we use that aren’t “proper” teaware.

My very first “gaiwan” was a pyrex custard cup with a little pottery flower-shaped teabag holder for a lid. Mr Mo steered me to an easy gaiwan and now my house has no more room for teaware (or tea).

What have y’all used that isn’t normally considered proper teaware?

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During my recent cruise, the last day I wanted tea with my breakfast. I had to pack all my tea ware the night before, and my luggage was already taken and headed to the airport.

Doing gongfu consisted of 1 mug with TGY leaves. I would pour the cup into another mug, using a fork to keep the leaf in the cup. I also had 2 more mugs full of water so I didn’t have to walk to the water dispenser that many times. Another mug on the side for my rinse. I had a cloth napkin down as there was water all over the table.

Ahh vacation, I didn’t have to wash all those mugs or clean anything!

MzPriss said

LOL! I’ve used a fork to hold leaves back too

Skills!!! I will have to remember the fork trick for future reference ;)

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boychik said

I used 2 cup Pyrex cup and food strainer for few months doing gongfu. if i go to my vacation house for the weekend i still do it this way. No need to get all the toys for 1.5 days

MzPriss said

I used a Fiestaware cream pitcher and a small strainer at my sister’s house. Worked great.

I am officially jealous of your Fiestaware

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LuckyMe said

I’ve long used a Pyrex measuring cup as a pitcher for gongfu and still use it as a yuzamashi (cooling vessel).

These days I repurpose a lot of teaware, especially orphaned tea parts. Like using the surviving metal basket from a broken kyusu to brew tea in a coffee mug and then covering it with a lid of a broken teacup.

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Dexter said

One of my favorite “cups” is actually a sugar bowl – or at least that’s how it was labeled when I bought it. I’ve used measuring cups or creamers as a Cha Hai.
It took me a long time to get into “proper” gongfu teaware – I used a brew basket and a coffee mug for quite awhile – maybe not true gongfu but more in that direction than western steeping. It’s a bad addiction (fun, interesting – but bad) once you get started. I too now have more teaware than I want to admit to….. :)

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I have a couple of Cha Hai that are just other things, my favorite is my ‘tea alchemy device’ that is just the top of a vintage glass double boiler set. I got it at a junk store because it looked like a chemistry tool :P

I also have a glass measuring cup, a Japanese vintage Kutani creamer, and a tiny white porcelain spouted spice dish that I use for that purpose as well. At least I think it is a spice dish…

I also use soup bowls for Chawan, sauce dishes for cups, sake cups for gongfu cups an abalone shell as a Cha He…and a horsehair calligraphy brush to clean my yixing pots with.

I actually don’t like a lot of the chahai out there, and there’s a lot of alternatives for them that work just as well but are, to me, a lot prettier.

I often use shiboridashi as chahai.

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Cwyn said

Coffee maker with green tea bags. For ten years. No internet tea buying in those days. I didn’t have a hoarding problem then.

MzPriss said

Things have changed :)

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nycoma said

im using a plastic measuring cup as my fairness container. my tea table is just a table with a cloth on top to soak up water.

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Equusfell said

I have some mega 3 cup mugs that I got from Superstore that I use as chawan, a container for multiple steeps, or a bathtub for my tea pet (since I don’t have a tea table).
I use a creamer that I got out of a ‘free’ box at a garage sale for my chahai. Honestly you can hardly tell it’s not a real chahai other than it has a more English style than eastern.
Before I had a dedicated tea strainer I used my smallest sifter if I really needed to strain something!
My tea table is a dish cloth or paper towel on my coffee table, because I spill everywhere!

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That’s a fun thread!

My first gongfu session was with an old china cup…I used the saucer as a lid and it worked just fine :-)

I also convert several objects into tea tables….plates, cutting boards, trays, it all works and it’s fun!

Also, most of my teapets are not “real” teapets…I just look for cute objects and make them my tea companions :-)

I am so a fan of turning random cute things and turning them into tea pets!

Right? It’s so much fun! And cheaper most of the time

MzPriss said

I’m in this camp too – lots of things become teapets around here.

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For a very long time I used a small kitchen whisk in place of an actual matcha whisk.

I totally used a plastic fork because my whisk was too big :P

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