Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Teaware

It was my 22nd birthday on May 29th and I received loads of new teaware from family and friends (not to mention some stuff that I bought myself prior to my birthday). Here are the new members of the family:

Yin Yang Table

First, I want to talk about the tea table that I bought. I have wanted a tea table forever, but I could not find one that I liked or that was in my price range… until I found this yin yang table from Yunnan Sourcing and fell in love. Not only does it have a perfectly carved yin yang right in the middle, but it has a very chic, modern design that I like. It is very easy to use and clean, which is a plus as well.

Also, the size is perfect. I do not have very much room to work with in my tiny little bedroom. So, when it comes to my tea and teaware, most is tucked away on shelves, but the things I used the most are on my computer desk. Thus, when purchasing a tea table, I kept coming across ones that were much too big for the space I have to work with. This yin yang table is 34x34 centimeters, fits all my necessary teaware on it, and sits on my desk with room to spare.

Tasting Cups

The next thing that I bought for myself, I’ve actually had for a while now, but was waiting to get more teaware so I could post everything together. I bought the two fish cups from Dragon Tea House. I love these little things. I saw them in pictures from other tea enthusiasts and I liked them so much that I wanted a pair of my own.

They are great for showing off the color of the liquor when taking pictures of my latest brew. They are perfect for tasting because they hold only a couple of ounces which allows the tea to cool quickly… instead of having to wait several minutes for a big cup of tea to cool down enough so It does not give your tongue first degree burns.

Travel Set

While browsing Yunnan Sourcing I found a compact travel set. This was great for me because I like to brew tea at my friend’s house a lot, but was afraid of something getting broken during the trips back and forth. Also, I had wanted a Gaiwan for quite some time. So, when I bought this set, I acquired my very first Gaiwan.

This travel set is just adorable! It’s so tiny that it makes it cute. The Gaiwan only holds about 60ml, with each cup holding 10ml, and there are 6 cups. The pitcher holds 80ml. I loved the yellow color and the dragon design so much that I incorporated it into my banner. Ah, you knew it looked familiar didn’t you?

Blue Gaiwan

After I got my yellow Gaiwan that I mentioned above, I used it more than my regular “English style” teapot. I found that Gaiwans are so much easier to use and clean. However, the yellow Gaiwan was made for travel and the amount of tea that it made was so minute that I needed something bigger for everyday use.

That is when I found this blue dragon Gaiwan from Red Blossom Tea Company. It has a large, 6oz, capacity. While on my hunt for a bigger Gaiwan, I realized that I did not like the plain white ones, or the solid colored ones. So, when I saw the blue swirled, water-like pattern and the painted dragons on both the cup and the lid, I had to have this one. The only problem with this Gaiwan is that my girly hand is too small to use this one handedly. I can hold it fine while there is nothing inside of it. However, when water is added, it is too heavy and slippery for me to hold and pour with one hand. So, my normal procedure is holding the cup with my right hand and the lid with my left while pouring. Oh well, that is something that I don’t mind, considering the plus side of Gaiwans are extremely easy clean up.

Brown and Blue Gaiwan

This next item of teaware I obtained from a friend for my birthday. He recognized the one-handed pouring problem I was having with my blue Gaiwan and found this brown and blue Gaiwan from Tea Spring. It really does remedy my problem because there are two places on the sides of this Gaiwan that are folded up, making for a better grip. Also, it has a pouring spout to direct the flow of the extremely hot water… making it less likely for me to burn myself, which seems to be what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. Not to mention that it is of a large capacity that I like. The colors and patterns are very beautiful on this, as well.

Dragonfly Tokoname

My mother bought me my very first Tokoname teapot from O-Cha for my birthday. There is really only one thing I need to say here… I LOVE IT… but I will say some more about it, anyways. First of all, it’s sooooo pretty! I absolutely love the painted grass design and the cute little dragon flies on the lid and the body of the teapot. According to O-Cha’s website, this teapot is best for brewing Gyokuro, but I’ve been using it for Miyabi Shincha. The reason they say it’s best for Gyokuro is because the mesh filter does not go all the way to the bottom of the pot. This means that when the tea is poured out, the wet leaves are sitting on the mesh filter and off the bottom of the pot, so they are not sitting in what little water gets left behind during decanting.

Also, you can see in the very last picture, there is a glass pitcher that I bought from Yunnan Sourcing when I purchased my yin yang tea table. I think my personal Gong Fu station is finally complete!

I would still like to get my hands on a Matcha set, but for now I am pretty content with my teaware collection. I cannot wait to break in all this new teaware and starting posting some new reviews. However, my dad is on a fishing trip at the moment and he took the only digital camera that I have. So, I am going to wait until he gets back next week to start more reviews.

See you soon!

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