In my opinion, the best tea pots come with strainers, or infusers, that fit down
inside the pot. I never buy teapots that don’t come with strainers. Zero of Japan
makes excellent pots with strainers, but any cup-shaped filter can be used down in
A cup-shaped tea strainer that fits down in a cup or pot is the easiest way to steep
loose leaves. Tea balls should be avoided, as the leaves need space to open completely
to best release their flavor. Finum makes some of my favorite strainers.
Tea has four enemies: light, heat, air and moisture. To store tea properly, it
should be kept in an opaque, airtight container or bag. It should stay fresh for
up to two years when properly stored.
Any kitchen timer can be used as a tea timer, although digital is the simplest to
use. Or one can purchase a specific digital tea timer that comes with setting buttons
for each type of tea.
These are small teapots made of unglazed stoneware from purple clay that originates
fromYixing, China. They are best used to steep oolong teas and are used as part
of the Gongfu tea ceremony.
Teapots made in China or Japan of a heavy iron that is enamel-coated on the inside
and keeps tea hot for a longer period of time than any other material.
Mandarin for “covered cup.” A porcelain tea cup with a saucer and lid used traditionally
for steeping Chinese black and oolong teas. Great for steeping any unstrained tea.
This is the tray and utensils used for steeping tea in the Chinese gongfu cha (or
kungfu cha) tea ceremony, which means “making tea with efforts.”
The proper accoutrement (accessories) for tea, or what my friend Kevin Johnson dubbed
“teacoutrement,” is indispensable to steeping tea correctly and to creating an enjoyable
tea time. One can collect a variety of teacoutrement from traditions around the
world and use different tools depending on the type of tea you are steeping. Below
is a list of my favourite teacoutrement that every tea lover might want to own: