Tea Ware and Tea Making Gadgets for Newbies

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A beginners guide to tea ware and tea making gadgets.

My Favorite New Tea Toy!

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I can never seem to escape Williams-Sonoma without a bag full of something. At $11 I came out of there relatively unscathed.

Here's my new toy:

New Williams-Sonoma Toy

I own a standard mesh tea ball steeper. It gets the job done.

But this...She is a thing of beauty!

Memory Lane: Tea with Grandma

Posted by     SpiritualiTea      0 Comments  views (2213)
grandma's tea kettle

Tastes and smells have the power to transport us to other times and places. Maybe the smell of the ocean brings you back to childhood vacations, the scent of pine trees conjures up Christmas, or one bite of a melted s'more has you looking for the nearest sleeping bag to snuggle up in. Of course, tea can do this for us too, and your trip down memory lane is as easy as boiling a pot of water.

Porcelain (a primer in pretty)

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porcelain teacup

One of the charms of tea drinking is the accessories, most common of which is the teacup. When we think of tea service we usually think of china or silver. Generally, when we use the term "china" in modern terms, we are referring to any type of ceramic dinnerware. As the name suggests, china was originally used to reference ceramics from China. The term has since broadened over the centuries.

High Tea

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High TeaWhat is High Tea exactly? Low Tea and High Tea are like small meals, almost like snacks, served with tea. Low tea, which gets its name from being served on a low table, like a garden table or coffee table, would be served somewhere between noon and 5 PM and hence sometimes goes by the name Afternoon Tea. High Tea is typically served around 5 - 6 PM and is a heartier snack, with meats, breads and of course tea. High Tea got it's name from being served on the dining table which was typically the tallest table in the house.

The perfect tea mug

Posted by     Mad Hatter Tea Party      1 Comments  views (1683)
I've tried different tea cups, but they all seem too delicate for me. I like tea that I can breathe in as I drink it. I want to feel the steam rising off the hot liquid and accost my senses even before I take my first sip. I want to look over the rim of my cup and watch the world stop and wait while I have my tea.
That's a lot to ask for in a cup.
At a Cracker Barrel somewhere off I-95, I discovered it. My perfect cup. An extra-large, fat-handled mug emblazoned with a classic Corn Flakes box image. A mug I can happily stick my nose into and breathe in all the aromas and steam as I drink.

Stay Hydrated This Winter!

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If you are like many people, myself included, it's hard to remember to drink enough fluids when you're not hot. Most of us remember that if we're exerting our bodies physically, we need to replenish them with water, tea, or other beverages; but when temperatures drop and we find ourselves shivering our way into work, hydration is not quite so intuitive. The fact is, however, that the white mist you breathe out is actually water vapor: you lose just as much water in the winter as you do during the summer!

Tea Helps Hydrate

A New Teaware Culture?

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green cup and teapot teawareHave you gone to a tea room lately? Of the many that I've been to or researched, they are all either English or Asian style. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that... but is this how you enjoy your tea? Do you always have your tea in a china cup and saucer... or from an Asian pot in a tea bowl? Or... do you have a favorite mug? I have many pots and many cups, mostly without saucers and many mugs (I use a mug in the mornings)... I tend to marry pots I like with cups and creamer/sugar sets that don't match the pot perfectly, to make my own tea sets.

Where to find unique and inexpensive teaware

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It's safe to say that almost everyone is trying to save as much money as possible in this economy. But being frugal doesn't mean anyone should go without entirely!

discount teaware

There are plenty of nontraditional places you may not expect to find teaware that are actually full of inexpensive, unique pieces.

1. eBay. And you thought it was just for textbooks and electronics! But there are always a couple of dozen high-quality sets listed there.

Sleek Steep Teapot Review

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Sleek Steep Tea Infuser

Thanks to my good fortune in landing my first magazine job, I received an opportunity to review a truly unique and wonderful piece of tea equipment last week: California Tea House's Sleek Steep Teapot.

Sleek certainly is the word for it: It's a beautiful, elegant piece that matches any dining room or kitchen set. And how about ease of use, you wonder? It's incredibly simple: Add your loose leaf tea, add your water, let it steep for the recommended amount of time, and then the magic happens. Lift the two-cup teapot, place it over your mug or cup, and just lightly press a spot on the underside of the teapot: the tea strains itself right into your mug!


Posted by     SpiritualiTea      1 Comments  views (2000)

tea memories

For my "maiden post" I thought I would tell you a bit about how I got here. I got my love for tea and all things tea from my mom. She, of course, gave me my first tea set... It was a child's set made of China, with beautiful yellow roses and gold trim. Tea parties were among the few girlie things I did as a child. I have two older brothers and was a bit (understatement) of a tom boy. I still have some of the pieces from my childhood sets, but most were broken... I retain the pieces like fragments of those memories.

Tea with scones or biscuits, a cup of tea at night or in the morning? These are all the typical ways we think of enjoying our tea. I have to admit that a cup of tea is something I didn't really think of enjoying outside of my daily routine. That was until I started reading the great articles on here, written by Ani. The recipes of delicious cuisines made with the finest California Tea House Teas were delicious to read about. Then it hit me! Everyone has heard of the everyday ways to enjoy tea. How about something a little adventurous? So I started researching. How can I incorporate tea into other times? We often pair wine with food, why not tea?

How to select the perfect teapot

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All steps of the tea drinking process should be enjoyed as much as possible. To truly appreciate the process and experience of brewing and pouring tea, a tea aficionado must have an excellent teapot.

But with so many different types of teapots and stores to browse, how is one to choose? Let me be your guide!

First and foremost, realize that in your quest for the perfect teapot, looks are important. Pick a design, style, and color that you will want to look at for the next twenty years.

Tea Photo Competition Winners!

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Tea Cup Photo Competition

Our wonderful panel of judges have picked their favorite tea photos from our Spill It Tea Forum and the $100 tea gift certificate winners are:

1) $100 Most Original Tea Cup winner:

tea bag tea cup Cup O' Tea Bags by ElfRenee

Before leaving China, I knew I had to get one; a proper tea set, complete with a teapot, cups to share and a beautiful glaze. After all, that’s what’s important, right? I wanted a teapot as brilliant as the tea inside.

And that’s what I thought was most important, or rather, the only element important when purchasing a tea set—the look, design and feel it resonates. Important, true, but to be the only detail, well, that was my novice mistake, no doubt

Introducing the California Tea House Tea Cup Photo Competition

It's time to get creative!

It's fun, it's simple and there's $300 in free tea gift certificates at stake. The rules are simple; visit our Spill It Forum and post your tea cup photo in the Tea Cup Photo Competition forum. The photos will be judged by an amazing panel of guest judges (see below) on a basis of 3 categories. A $100 gift certificate to California Tea House will be given away for the photo with the most votes in each of three categories.

Here are the 3 tea cup photo categories:

Don't throw away your used green tea leaves! You can make your own green tea incense creating a wonderul aroma and eliminating bad odors.

Follow these steps to make your own green tea incense:tea incense

1) Roll your used green tea leaves into a small tight ball. The tighter the ball, the slower the burn.


Teapots of Tomorrow

Posted by     Mad Hatter Tea Party      5 Comments  views (4242)

The story of the teapots creation is nothing more than a convoluted mystery. Author Chou Kao-ch’I said that potters from outside of Shanghai became famous for teapots in the early sixteenth century. These were described as boccarro from the small, individual, yet large mouthed Portuguese pots....