Thursday, January 9, 2014

Home Coffee and Tea Bar

After seeing a picture of an adorable coffee bar set up on The Vintage Wren (which I found via Pinterest), I wanted one for my kitchen.  Our coffee maker, tea kettle, and their accessories were taking up quite a bit of space on the countertop and in the cabinets.  Having a special space for these items was the perfect solution.

Carrie, creator of The Vintage Wren, mentioned that she found the top shelf at Hobby Lobby, so, I was elated when I found the exact same shelf at our local store.  I already had the cups and saucers that are inside the metal baskets.  I bought the wooden “W” and the coffee house clock at Hobby Lobby and got the white teapot and the “I will not be seen without my caffeine” sign at Kirklands.

The actual cabinet was the hardest part to obtain.  I wasn’t satisfied with the cabinets (or the prices) at Hobby Lobby.  Alas, I came up empty handed after searching other local stores for the ideal cabinet, as well.  I finally found the perfect cabinet with the right height, color, price, and storage space on Amazon.

Three hours of assembly later, the coffee and tea bar is complete!  I have only used it for a few days now, but I love it… in both design and functionality!  Thanks, Carrie, for the inspiration.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Tea Tray Magic

My husband bought me this beautiful new tea tray for Christmas. 

I loved my old tea tray, but it had one ultimately fatal flaw: a wooden base.  I didn’t realize this would be an issue until the day I found water/tea all over the table and the floor.  After years of use, the wooden base that held excess water/tea had eroded along the cracks and finally broke completely through.  I didn’t leave water in the base for too long after each tea session, so I was rather surprised this happened.

I spent months thinking I was going to fix my beloved tea tray, but that never happened.  I couldn’t find a wood glue that would sustain boiling water temperatures without giving off a horrible aroma.  Without the use of a tea tray, making tea, especially with a gaiwan, was a bit of a hassle.  Therefore, almost without realizing it, I had stopped using gaiwans and yixing pots altogether.  My tea sessions were not as fun as they used to be and I started to lose interest.

All of these realizations came to light when I set up my new tea tray, dusted off all of my tea ware, and made a delicious cup of sencha using my favorite gaiwan and tasting cups.  Not only does this tea tray have a plastic bottom base for catching the water (which won’t erode), but it is slightly bigger that my old tea tray (which means more room for my tea ware).

I can’t wait to make more tea, take more pictures, and write more about this previously neglected hobby.