Like many a tea devotee, I am attached to my teawares. I have a fairly impressive collection (perhaps larger than necessary?) with certain pots for certain teas, and different cups, mugs, or infusers for different occasions. But while I enjoy my tea equipment, I know that it is entirely possible to get along without it and still end up with a delicious cup of tea. In fact, sometimes it can actually be fun to be without your teawares. At least, providing you are in the company of someone who also enjoys a good cup of tea. Whether staying with friends for a few weeks, or just visiting for an hour or two, it can be a lot of fun to explore the teawares of others.
A recent experience confirmed this for me. During my latest travels, and already accustomed to travelling with tea, I stayed with some good friends. They also happen to be good tea drinkers (this is true in both senses of the phrase: they drink quality tea, and they drink it well). I was delighted to spend time with them, but was perhaps equally delighted to get to use their teawares every morning. One of the teawares in question was a Bee House teapot. While I have several teapots, I have never owned a Bee House, and the novelty of getting to use a new pot lasted through the week. I never realized quite how fun it is to have a lid that flips open!
Of course, there may be some disadvantages to the experience of borrowed teawares: if you misjudge the size of the teapot, or forget to increase/decrease the amount of tea leaves accordingly, you could end up with a cup of tea that is too strong or too weak. Or, if you are particularly picky, you might find that a smaller infuser basket doesn’t allow certain full-leafed teas to steep as thoroughly, or that unfamiliar teawares just don’t do your tea justice.
However, I think that the downsides of borrowed teawares (missing your favourite teapot or having your tea come out a little differently than you are used to) are outweighed by their novelty. It can be fun to switch up your tea routine and it is a great way to try out different methods of tea preparation—who knows, you might discover a new favourite way to make tea!
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