Tea sets are nice additions to your home’s kitchen and dining sets, especially for tea aficionados. There is simplicity and indescribable art in tea making. If you’re looking for a new set as a gift or your own collection, here’s an overview of essential teaware.
Teapots – there are different types of teapots based on the material it’s made of – ceramic, porcelain, glass, cast iron and Yixing. Ceramic and porcelain have long been used in Asian history for tea. High heat retention and glaze properties that protect it from absorbing flavors make it ideal for all types of teas. However there are the traditional Yixing teapots that are made of clay without any glaze. They’re often used to brew strong flavoured-tea like oolong and black tea, and meant to retain flavour and color.
Clear glass teapots are great for those who enjoy brewing herbal flowering teas. There’s sheer beauty in watching the magic of colors and tea infusion. You can use the color intensity as an indicator of flavour and steeping time. The only disadvantage to this is that you can’t put it directly to a stove or freezer. On the other hand, cast iron teapots can double as tea kettles and can hold heat longer than the other types.
Infusers – To fully enjoy the flavors, brew loose leaf tea with a good infuser. Among the popular ones are the mesh tea and stainless infuser ball. This allows full steeping and prevents the leaves from mixing with water. Some versions also come with handles or tongs instead of chains. Some teapots come with fitting tea baskets that are also made of metal mesh.
Tea Measuring Spoon – One scoop is perfect for loose tea brewing for single cup of tea. In traditional Japanese teaware, this is called chashaku which is made of bamboo stick with curved end.
Tea Whisk – Made of bamboo and specifically designed for Matcha tea, this is used to mix the powder in a small bowl with hot water.
Tea cups – Most often made from matching material with that of the teapot, tea cups can come with or without handles. Traditional Chinese Gaiwan and Japanese tea cups are made of porcelain or clay, does not have handles but can come with matching saucer and cover. In Morocco, tea is often served on glasses with engraved brass, and gold patterns. Modern tea cups with handles were introduced by Europeans, and classic ones were designed with intricate hand painted art and with rims glazed with gold or silver. There are also exquisite tea cups made of silver and gold.
Automatic Tea Maker – These are similar to your programmable electric coffee makers. Most models have glass tea pots with integrated tea basket or infuser. You can set the temperature and steeping time.