Tea Customs & Culture

Japanese Tea Ceremony

"Tea is nought but this; First you heat the water, Then you make the tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know". - Sen Rikyu (1552 - 1591) The Japanese tea ceremony known as chanoyu (hot water for tea) evolved from tea drinking rituals practiced by Zen... Continue Reading

The Japanese Cast Iron Tetsubin

The tetsubin has its origins in Japan. The traditional casting skills to create ironware date to the 17th century. Iron teapots were originally used in the home to boil water. These teapots generally were not ornately decorated as they were placed over the hearth to provide hea... Continue Reading

Chinese Yixing Teapots

Yixing Teapot Origins The town of Yixing (pronounced E-shing) is located in Jiangsu Province, about 100 miles west of Shanghai. Fine pottery has been made at Yixing since 2,500 B.C. The first Yixing clay teapot was made in the early 1500s by a monk from the nearby Ji... Continue Reading

Chinese Tea Culture & Gongfu Tea

The term "gongfu" denotes any skill that is developed through great practice such as chinese painting, martial arts or chinese tea making. Gongfu tea generally refers to the more formal preparation of chinese tea using small, unglazed teapots made of purple sand from Yixing, Ch... Continue Reading

Gaiwan Tea Preparation

The Chinese gaiwan or covered cup is considered the preferred method for brewing teas with delicate flavors, such as green and white teas, but is suitable for any type of tea. This method has been used in China since about 1350. The gaiwan consists of a saucer, bowl and lid. It... Continue Reading