Teaware

I will try to be consistent when I mention the teaware used in my reviews, so I am including my current lineup of teapots, cups, mugs, infusers, etc.

Kettles - the old and the new! The cute lime stove-top kettle was a Ross find, but the other one is shiny in so many ways! It's a Breville variable temperature electric kettle (pardon the HappyHappyJoyJoy dance about that!) model BKE820XL that we ordered through BestBuy and received in early September 2013. I need to play with it a little longer, then a full review will follow. And FYI - it's only that close to the stove for the picture, and has a much safer home!

Our black Hobnail tetsubin has a 16-ounce capacity. Both the pot and its 1-1/4" filter are shallow, so we tend to use this one for smaller leaf black teas, which need less room to expand.

We've had this one since December 2010, and I would not recommend it - at least not from the maker/seller on Amazon. One of the cups arrived chipped, the infuser has developed black spots, and it did not come with a very necessary trivet.

Cast iron teapots simply get too hot not to have a trivet, and I wouldn't use my cast iron teacups without saucers for the same reason. If you like the style, EnjoyingTea has a similar set which includes a trivet. Also in that picture are a cuptrivet, and leaf coaster which were purchased separately from EnjoyingTea.

The green Shogun tetsubin has a 24-ounce capacity and as you can see the filter is considerably larger, about 2-1/4" deep. We tend to use this both when we want a larger pot of tea and when we're making larger herbal teas, which tend to have big chunks.

I've had this set since July 2008 and have added coasters and more cups to it over time. Please see the full review for more information.


Yixing Gaiwan: We've had this set since August 2013. I've been curious about Yixing pottery for a while, but most of the sets I've found have tiny teapots instead of a gaiwan.

Finding this little gem from Dragon Tea House on Ebay sparked  a lot of internal debate, and I finally caved. I was worried about ordering it from China, but it was surprisingly prompt to arrive.

After that experience, I ordered the company's matching pitcher, but it turned out to be their terra-cotta colored Yixing pitcher with dark brown painted on top of it. Luckily the company has a good policy about customer satisfaction, but I'm stuck with it until I find a better quality one to match the set.

The teeny-tiny matching Yixing cups came from EnjoyingTea. I considered going to the same place I got the gaiwan, but ultimately I wanted to stick with a known and reliable US seller - who also shipped a lot more quickly! They match perfectly, and while I knew they'd be small, I wasn't quite expecting how tiny these 1-3/4" by 1" cups would be! I've been looking for a gaiwan set for a while, and last time I went to the local Asian market I found what I thought was a child's set. It's funny to think that it was the real thing!

Handthrown Mugs: Our set of 16-ounce capacity hand-thrown mugs, which come from Grose Pottery at the Portland Saturday Market.
Depression Glass Cup: This cup has an 8-ounce capacity, and is a representative from the Depression Glass set that I collect. I adore cobalt glass, so I've been slowly adding to this collection for (eek!) over a decade now. The pattern is called Newport/"Hairpin" and was manufactured by Hazel Atlas from 1936-1940.

I'm keeping my eye out for a creamer, saucers for the cups which are missing them, a salt & sugar, and the oval platter.
This is my full collection:
14 cups and 7 saucers
2 sherbets and 6 sherbet plates
2 berry bowls
4 luncheon plates
1 sugar


Infusers: Our collection of tea balls and pinch infusers. The tea ball that has the teacup on it has actually survived since my semester in London in 2003 - it was a going away gift from my host mother.

Individual Cream and Sugar Set: This is part of my second Depression glass set, which I use primarily for tea parties. This is part of the Canterbury pattern, which was produced by Duncan Miller in 1937. This pattern was originally collected by my great-grandmother, but I have added to it significantly.

Collecting this set has been a lot more random than my main set, mostly because it's easier to find pieces of Canterbury in antique stores, while my entire cobalt set has been obtained through Ebay.

For this set, I am keeping my eye out for cups to match my 10 saucers, a large creamer to match my large sugar, and a small individual sugar and matching tray for my individual creamer.

Infuser Mugs: This is a pair of ForLife NewLeaf 16oz infuser mugs which feature borosilicate glass (think Pyrex) we got in July 2013. I will be posting a full review after I've had a chance to play with them, but I chose them both for side-by-side tea comparisons in the Battle of the Earl Greys and for use at home and school. I've become less enthusiastic about our tea ball infusers the more often I use them and wanted something larger and easier to clean.
Cups: The two flared white bowls I use for showing tea liquor color and sometimes the dry tea. They came from the white dish section of Bed, Bath, and Beyond and were $1.99 each.
Morac Cocktail Flatware: This set came from World Market, but has since been discontinued. I use the spoons much more often than the forks and knives, but they're nice to have for tea parties. I absolutely adore spirals, so it was a natural fit for me and goes nicely with my Depression Glass.
Cocktail Spoons: This set, which I've had for several years now, originally came from World Market. The handle finish, which they call "charcoal" is not sealed and the connecting areas have rusted over time. I love the look, but I avoid them now because I don't know how to deal with the rust issue without removing the finish.

China Cup: I found this little cup and saucer set at the local antique mall, but it doesn't contain any maker's marks so I don't know who made it or when. Based on what I've found online, it looks like the mold was used and decorated by different companies in Asia and might date back to roughly the 1970s. I think this particular design may be violets. I have a similar cup with pink roses that's from the Rosemarie series and simply marked "Japan".

White Porcelain Teapot: A cute little pot that I picked up for $6.99 at Ross. Actually, it's not that little... it has a 40-ounce capacity and is now my largest teapot by far.

 Royal Albert Cup and Saucer: My first English bone china cup and saucer set! The shape is Montrose and the pattern is called Centennial Rose, which ran from 1966-1980.
Japanese Cup and Saucer: The only markings on both these pieces is a simple JAPAN. The marks don't match in style or color, but the designs do - they both feature the same building and identical facing birds - the left with a closed beak, the right with an open beak. I picked these up at Goodwill for under a dollar each, and later saw another set at our local antique mall for $15.



Gongfu Tray and Gaiwan Set: Jake decided to completely spoil me for my birthday, and treated me to this lovely set in September 2013. The bamboo tray came from EnjoyingTea.com and the lovely blue and white porcelain set was an Ebay purchase. It came with six cups, but we're only using two right now.

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