When brewing a pot of premium loose tea, every step counts including using the right tea accessory for a particular type of tea.
To choice the right tea accessory, a basic knowledge about the tea is required. It then come to personal taste and preference. An experience Chinese tea drinker will know which is the exact teapot for his/her favourite tea and it comes with many years of tea drinking and experimenting.
Some basic principles:
- We (Chinese) always use small teapots as this ensures the teas are freshly brewed and severed. A traditional big teapot has the tendency to soak the tea to produce a bitter taste and rough texture.
- A glass teapot is an excellent vessel for premium green teas as the young tender tip leaves unfold when hot water is added, ascent and decent, creating an underwater forest phenomena. It is a visual enjoyment as well as a perfect opportunity to inspect the tea leaves – a strong indicator of the quality of the tea. (See more green tea quality indicators.)
- A Zi Sha teapot (purple sand teapot) is considered by the Chinese as the premium teapot for brewing premium teas. The micro-cavities in its unique clay allows teas to breathe through the teapot wall during the brewing process. All experienced Chinese tea drinkers will agree that the premium tea brewing is a dynamic and vivid process: different teas require different water temperature, tea leaf volume, sequence of adding the water and the leaves, and each infusion of the same leaves has its own character and taste. The unique micro-cavities in Zi Sha clay facilitate this process better than any other material on earth. It is especially recommended for teas that require a ‘good brew’, teas made of mature tea leaves such as Oolong tea, black tea and pu-erh tea, although I personally still prefer Zi Sha teapot over others when brewing teas made of young leaves such as green tea and white tea.
- We also use small tea cups in glass or with white inner lining for drinking. This is for the convenience of inspect the tea brew. A premium tea’s brew should be brightly clear, in whatever colour the tea is supposed to be in. This is the very reason that many Zi Sha tea set have unglazed teapots, but cups lined with white ceramic. The teapot is to ensure the quality of the tea brew and the tea cup is more for tasting and inspection.
- The tea infuser all-in-one is designed to be used in the office with limited space so that people do not need a tea set to brew premium loose leaf teas.
As you can see tea accessories serve more purposes than just functionalities. By selecting the right tea accessories, your tea consuming experience will be largely enhanced.
It then comes to collection. For example, many tea lovers have a collection of Zi Sha teapots based on the theory that the micro-cavities in the clay actually trap certain tea flavours and therefore use one teapot for one tea type only. This is the exciting part of tea consumption, the depth is unlimited. It is a love, passion, journey and life style.
Remember, there are not many life time habits on earth that offer not only enjoyment, but health at the same time and tea dinking is one of them.