• Teaware and Gadgets

    Confessions of a Teaware Hoarder

    When starting any hobby I find that we all tend to indiscriminately collect anything and everything related to our new passion. I’ve been through this phase in the past with other hobbies (such as collecting Breyer model horses when I was young) but nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming miasma of stuff that the tea world has to offer. Teapots, teacups, gaiwans, books, and gadgets; if it was related to tea I just had to have it. After a while, I actually ran out of room to store and display everything. A normal person might have said, “Enough is enough.”. I, on the other hand, went to Target and simply bought…

  • Teaware and Gadgets

    An Introduction to the Kyusu

    It’s a little known fact that kyusu is simply the Japanese word for teapot. We usually think of them as side handled tea pots but they can also have handles on the rear or even on the top. Porcelain and clay are the most common mediums but kyusu can be made from a number of materials. The handles are usually hollow in order to prevent them from becoming too hot to hold. Kyusu have wider bodies that allow heat to dissipate, making them perfect for sensitive teas like sencha. Kyusu are different from other teapots because they are designed specifically for making green tea and they usually feature some sort of built in…

  • Teaware and Gadgets

    An Introduction to Hagi

    Japan is famous for several pottery styles but one of my favorites is known as Hagi Yaki. It is a glazed, high-fired stoneware that is the specialty of the city of Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The glaze can be made in a variety of colors but milky white is the among the most recognizable. This style of pottery originated in Korea and was brought to Japan in the 17th century. No two pieces are ever exactly alike due to their handmade nature. Their perfectly imperfect appearance exemplifies the wabi sabi aesthetic of the Japanese tea culture. The clay has a rough, almost rocky texture and the glazes are typically lumpy or drippy. Most pieces…

  • Teaware and Gadgets

    Repairing Yixing with Kintsugi

    I’m a very accident prone person but thankfully that fault has rarely extended to my teaware. I was a bit hearbroken when the lid of one my yixing teapots became the latest victim. I’ve dropped this lid on numerous occasions but my new apartment has ceramic tile floors that are very hard. The pot isn’t a particularly nice one but it is the second yixing that I ever purchased. It’s also dedicated to Taiwanese oolongs like Dong Ding, one of my favorite types of tea. While trying to figure out what to do, I remembered a repair kit that I had seen on Pinterest a while back. A company in the Netherlands called…

  • Teaware and Gadgets

    5 Reasons Your Gaiwan Should Be Your Best Friend

    Gaiwans are the superheros of teaware, a perfect meeting of form and function. The Ming Dynasty gave us some really amazing inventions like paper, wood block printing and toothbrushes. I still think that this handy little device is one of their best contributions. 1. It’s a teapot and teacup all in one. Most of us don’t use them this way anymore but in China it is still quite common to drink directly from the gaiwan. I don’t think tea drinking can get any more simple than that. 2. You can use them to make any type of tea. I love my yixing teapots and various other brewing devices but the wonderful thing about…