We all know that what you make your tea in, is just as important as what you put in it. Since teapots are vital to the exquisite process of tea making, I decided to mention my top picks when it comes to making a perfect infusion.

The first use of a teapot originated during the Yuan Dynasty, in China. By the Ming Dynasty, a teapot was a common tea vessel mostly made out of ‘zisha’ – purple clay (later popularized under the name ‘yixing teapot’). These clay pots are hand-made, designed to absorb the flavour of the tea over time, making each cup lustrous in color and taste.  A yixing pot is one of my favourites because it has a very unique, smooth and light nature – perfect for greens and oolongs.

Interesting fact: tea exported from China in the 17th century was often shipped with porcelain teapots in the traditional colors of blue and white. The first porcelain teapot in Europe was produced in the early 18th century in Germany, mimicking Chinese pottery design. Porcelain teapots are elegant and festive, used mostly on special occasions. The delicacy of these pots is what makes them so appealing. I am a sucker for an occasional chance to drink out of a porcelain cup or make tea in a porcelain teapot, mostly attributed to infusing black tea. Now who doesn’t love a rich, full bodied infusion topped off with milk? It’s absolutely irresistible.

Teapots in Japanese culture on the other hand, are much more robust. Tea vessels in Japan became the centers of various ceremonies, most popular being ‘Sadō’ – a traditional Japanese tea Ceremony, which uses ‘chagama’ iron pot. Since such ceremonies are viewed as art, so are the objects used during each ceremony, often detailed with themes of nature. A pot that is used in everyday life however is called ‘kyusu’, has one handle and is small in size. I prefer to use a kyusu teapot because it is compact and does not require complex care. It is great for infusing green, oolong and white tea.

Some others that I think are worth mentioning are glass teapots and those made of stainless steel. If you are a fan of flowering teas, you will most likely opt for a glass teapot with a large infuser. If however you prefer a modern, slick look of kitchen ware, you would find stainless steel to do the job while remaining stylish.

Although collecting teapots may be a very enjoyable process, keep in mind that some decorative pots will not provide you with an authentic experience you’re looking for. I suggest getting to know your tea preferences and match them with a right fit of teapot for a best desired outcome. With that said, I wish you all happy teapot hunting!

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In honor of the spring season, I wanted to share my excitement about the new spring harvest teas! It is such a wonderful time of the year because the early spring picked teas are exceptional, light in liquor with delicate flavors and aromas, making them quite a unique bunch. Although the first flush teas are scarce, they are an absolute delight.

I strongly believe that just like a tea plant gets reborn every spring, so do we as individuals. Spring is the time for new beginnings. Just as the new buds of a tea plant are gently picked, we shed away our old habits and discover new, exciting, pure joys of life. Spring signifies rebirth. To each of us, rebirth is a unique experience, an intimate affair between our soul and mind. The picking of the newly born buds is an affair between the picker and the plant…each transaction is full of care, devotion and patience.

Now is the perfect time to think about your bodies, your minds, your souls. Now is the time to take care – renovate, strengthen, rejuvenate, revive these vital parts that make you who you are. And if you wish to choose a companion, there are plenty to help you on your journey, try any of the First Flush Darjeelings (e.g. Dooteriah, Makaibari), they are bound to awaken your senses!

 

I have been recently asked about the proper method of preparing a Moroccan Tea, and since I wanted to write about the Moroccan Tea culture for quite some time now, I decided to share my knowledge of this wonderful custom with you. Personally, I adore any tea with mint, I find that it goes well with many types of dishes and of course is great for your overall well being. Yet the Moroccan Tea is something different entirely. It is not simply just green tea mixed together with mint, it is a mixture of flavor, culture, and art – signifying hospitality and tradition.

The tea itself is a full bodied green tea called ‘gunpowder’, named for its resemblance to the grains of black powder – the leaves are individually rolled into small round pellets. Gunpowder tea was first  introduced to the Maghreb region in the 19th century, brought in by the European merchants all the way from China. Soon enough it became a favorite national drink.

The method of preparation varies from region to region, thus some methods include adding other ingredients such as pine nuts or adding lemon verbena for a lemony flavor. Even though the traditional method may be rather complex, there is an easy way to enjoy it at home. Here is a simple recipe, using the Moroccan Mint tea, premixed with mint:

  • Combine two teaspoons of Moroccan Mint with half a liter of hot (not boiling) water.
  • Infuse for 3-7 minutes.
  • Without stirring, filter the mixture into a different stainless steel pot, removing the tea leaves.
  • Add sugar (about one teaspoon per 6 oz cup).
  • Bring to boil over a medium heat. This important step in the preparation process allows the sugar to undergo hydrolysis, giving the tea its distinctive taste.
  • If desired, add Lemon Verbena leaves to the teapot or directly to the cup.
  • As part of the tradition, pour the tea from a distance allowing a light froth to build up at the top.

Now that you are all set to prepare this wonderful tea, I wanted to leave you with a brief quotation by Catherine Douzel,

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage” 

So what are you still waiting for, go on and imagine your perfect voyage!

 

I have decided that there is no better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than by having a tea social! Here is my simple mini guide to hosting a perfect tea soiree.

Tea socials take many forms, from the traditional afternoon tea to tea clubs, but what makes a tea social a perfect occasion is its versatile nature. Tea socials can be applied to smaller events such as a book club meeting but just as effectively to bigger ones, such as baby showers and even wedding processions. One of the key ingredients is of course tea, but just as importantly so are those who enjoy its aromatic nature and delicious flavour.

Once you have figured out what the special occasion is and who will be a part of your company, you would be able to get to the fun part – tea and tea accessories! I suggest getting a variety of tea to satisfy the tea needs of all those attending. For example, try one or two teas out of the following categories:

1.      Black (try our English Breakfast or Royal Earl Grey)

2.      Green (Madame Butterfly or a full bodied Organic Mao Jian)

3.      Herbal/Fruit (Rooibos Vanilla or Cranberry Apple fruit blend)

Now that you have chosen your tea, it is time to pick your tea accessories! Unless you have a teapot that has an infuser, I would suggest one of our Large Mesh Ball Infusers, or the Large Paper Filters in order to brew the tea. I would also like to recommend additional yummy treats, my personal favourite being the Agave sticks, a healthy and delicious way to give your tea a sweeter flavour. Make sure to follow the brewing instructions on each of our tea packages in order to achieve the perfect flavour!

Yet the most important part of hosting any tea social is to have fun, so don’t worry if the saucers don’t match the cups, it is all about surrounding yourself with the people you care about and enjoying the warmth of not only their company, but the tea that is made with love.