Thursday, December 29, 2011

The First Casualty

After four years of studying, writing about and drinking tea, the unthinkable happened… for the first time I broke a piece of my teaware.


I feel ashamed and remorseful. It was eight o’clock on Christmas morning and I wanted to make some tea before family arrived at my place to feast and open gifts. In a rush, I grabbed my tea tray with my Tsuki teapot and Holiday mug and headed to the sink to clean them before preparing the tea. After thoroughly rinsing the teapot and giving it one last shake to remove the excess water… it happened. The teapot slipped out of my wet hands and fell into the sink. That is when I heard the ominous sound. I cursed and looked down to confirm my suspicions… yes, what was once an elegant piece of teaware was now two incomplete pieces. My heart broke equally as much.

Ok, so, the break isn’t THAT bad. It is just the handle of the teapot in which a trip to the craft store for the right epoxy will hopefully remedy my clumsiness. At the moment, I am still using the teapot by wrapping a tea towel around it to pick it up and pour.

I would hate to stop using this teapot just because the handle is missing. First of all, I use gaiwans all the time and they don’t even have handles. Second, this teapot is the perfect one cup size, especially for my small Holiday mug. Finally, I just simply like this teapot too much to give up on it even with it now having a minor inconvenience.

So why am I making such a big deal about this injured teapot? The reason is that I look at this as a reminder to slow down. I haven’t even had the time to write about tea in the last few months. Why? Oh, where is my list of excuses? I know it is around here somewhere. I have changed my list of priorities and in doing so I have become rushed, clumsy, lazy, and stressed in other aspects of my life, not just with tea.

This episode is a reminder to get myself back on track with what I do best; developing plans, lists, and structures to organize and prioritize my time so that I am not rushed/stressed and that I do not overlook the details.

I want to get back to thinking and writing about tea on a regular basis. I also have a wedding to plan and implement by the end of September (tea themed, of course!). These are the two major goals on the list for 2012. I just hope that there are no more casualties.


Steph said...

Ah, sympathies on the casualty, but I like your approach to its continued use!

ScottTeaMan (Steepster) said...

I agree to a point about continued use. I've seen the teapot at Rishi before and other places and it is nice. Here's my opinion on buying a new teapot instead.

If you shop at Rishi again, buy a new Tsuki teapot on their site. Seventeen dollars is really cheap for a teapot. Also the heat from boiling, or very hot water, may not allow the glue to hold. Excessive heat can weaken the ceramic at the break points, causing it to re-break at the stress points. Superglue may do the trick though.

My first teapot I used for tea was a gift and it chipped inside where the lid fits on, so with the lid in place you can't tell it is broken at all. A break at the handle is bad, because it takes most of the weight and-if repaired-will likely break again.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but IMHO, I'd buy a new one because in the end you'll have a stronger teapot, up for the task of brewing tea for many years to come! :))

You could reglue the broken one & use it for display, and buy a different teapot. A few years ago, I bought a high handled Yixing teapot and the handle broke. Well, I reglued it and now it has been on display for years! Hope this helps. :))

Alex Zorach said...

I think this is good that you've taken something constructive from this, like a life lesson.

I've noticed that often, there can be a lot of pressure to continually speed up, but there gets to be a point where the cost of speeding up becomes greater than the benefit...sometimes in tangible things like this breakage, or worse, a car accident if someone is speeding or stressed, but more often, in other things, such as mistakes we make that may have deep ramifications later on.

I try to keep things within a certain zone of slowness...if things get too fast beyond a certain point, I tell myself that any gains are actually an illusion.