Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Ware's the Tea Ware? - by Anna V. Smith

People often come into J-TEA in search of tea ware to accompany their high quality teas from our teashop. These people are usually in two different categories. There are the tea drinkers who want volume, and there are the tea drinkers that want the experience. Of course there is general crossover, but let me explain further:

The tea drinkers who want volume are usually the ones that like the 16 ounce mugs of tea and big teapots akin to the kinds in restaurants, and are generally English style like our Forlife Teapot. Focusing on the volume of tea seems to be how most American tea drinkers work, it seems. I guess Americans in general like volume, whether its french fries or tea. These are sometimes the customers who come in and giggle at the portly 2 ounce teapots and call them cute or too small. They prefer tea in large amounts that they can take with them on the go, for which we recommend the Forlife Tea Infuser. I love it because it's so versatile; you can steep whole Camilla sinensis leaves or little chamomile flowers and it catches all the particulates. Plus, it fits a lot of different sized cups, which is convenient.
Traditional Yixing Teapot

The other tea drinkers want the experience. By "the experience," I mean the ritual of drinking tea. These folks are the ones who go for the 2 ounce tea pots and the porcelain cups. Sure, it's a small amount, but if you're planning on sitting there with friends for a few hours to drink tea, then it's no problem to keep filling up the tea pot to share it in your little cups. These are the ones who go for guy-wans and the Yixing traditional clay teapots, as well as the petite cups.

Of course, it doesn't matter which category you fall into. Many start with the first, and then as they gradually fall into tea, start to identify with the second category more. Both categories have the pros and cons depending on your preference, and I myself feel like I'm more of the volume person - I have both the Forlife teapot and infuser at home that I brew my tea in. Of course, I get to be in "the experience" category all day at work for other people.

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