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In the month celebrating iced tea, it’s time to accessorize and there’s no better place to look than our new arrivals for some of our newest teawares suitable for your iced tea needs this summer. Take our newest teawares on the go, in your backyard, or to the beach while staying in style!

 

 

The Lucent Glass Iced Tea Jug w/ Capsule Infuser is a beautiful glass jug that is lead free and heat resistant. The stainless steel infuser allows you to brew straight into the jug and then serve it right away. This jug is also easy to clean with detachable parts, so you can use this over and over again this summer.

 

The Charlie Glass Iced Tea Carafe is a 1.5 liter carafe with a filter in the lid. You will easily be able to make sun tea or just regular iced tea when you can add tea to the filter and steep straight on!

The Blair White Leaf Pattern Glass Travel Infuser Mug will liberate you from brewing your tea strictly at home! If you want to make your iced tea and have it on the go, now you can thanks to the detachable strainer and double walled glass. This mug has a lovely white leaf design but you can also choose from colorful posies or delicate white flowers.

 

-CD

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teadmgo1000035354_-00_star-wars-classic-travel-mug-16ozAfter months of waiting, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally going to be released onto DVD! Many of their fans can now own a piece of the most recent movie in the well-loved Star Wars trilogy. To celebrate the release of The Force Awakens, English Tea Store is proud to present a range of Star Wars themed tea ware!teadmgo1000035349_-00_star-wars-darth-vader-sculpted-mug-18oz

Starting off with characters we all know like Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers, these 12 ounce mugs are the perfect gift for anyone who’s a fan of the Dark Side. Perhaps you REALLY want to wow them with a sculpted mug of Darth Vader? Him and the Stormtrooper both hold 18 ounces of pure dark (or light) tea. Then there are somteadtpo1000035353_-00_star-wars-r2-d2-teapote new characters in the film like Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren.

Perhaps you are a fan of the Light Side and not afraid to show it? This travel mug features the iconic poster of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. Finally, the coolest and cutest item in the Star Wars range is the R2-D2 tea kettle. This is sure to please ANY Star Wars fan! You can’t go wrong with this beautifully made ceramic kettle with a 36 ounce capability! The brew is strong with this one!

-CD

Lainie's Yixing beauty named "Koi"

Lainie's Yixing beauty named "Koi"

I love my Yixing teapots.

Mind you, I only have a few (seven at last count). These teapots don’t come cheap, and I live on a modest budget. Yet for many types of tea, there is simply nothing better than Yixing brewing. The hot, seasoned clay can produces a rich flavor that I’ve not been able to duplicate with other brewing vessels.

These teapots are made from unglazed clay. The lack of glazing allows both the inside and the outside of the teapot to absorb the tea. The outside eventually takes on a lovely patina while the inside becomes seasoned with the tea. This is why Yixing teapots should only be used with one type of tea: The seasoning of the teapot contributes to the flavor of the tea brewed within.

Mind you, not all types of tea are suitable for Yixing brewing. According to the proprietor of my favorite Chinese teashop, green and white teas shouldn’t be brewed in Yixing because these teas require cooler water, and the thick clay of Yixing holds in heat all too well. Most black teas, on the other hand, brew up superbly in Yixing, as does pu’erh. I’ve also been known to brew up a beautiful Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) in Bizzy, my teapot dedicated to that wonderful oolong.

Lainie's teatime mascot

Lainie's teatime mascot

In case you are wondering: No, I don’t name all of my teaware, just my Yixing pots. Because I need to remember which tea goes into which pot, most of my teapot names are mnemonic. For example, Bizzy is short for Bismuth, a heavy metal that is also relatively non-toxic. I picked the name because my friends often commented that “Iron Goddess of Mercy” sounded like a heavy metal band.

(Bismuth=Heavy Metal get it?)

Not all of the teapot names are associated with their corresponding teas, however. My most costly teapot, for example, is shaped like a pig. I naturally named him bacon, though his primary job is to brew Yunnan golds, and I prefer to drink Yunnan teas with chorizo.

(Bacon goes better with Keemun.)

I hope to build my collection of Yixing teapots over time so that I can enjoy even more of my favorite teas in these marvelous little vessels. Do you own any Yixing teaware? I’d love to hear about it!

Don’t miss Lainie’s tea tastings on her blog Lainie Sips!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When people hear that I am “into” tea and teaware, they tend to also assume that I collect traditional British style teapots and teasets. The truth, however, is somewhat disappointing, as my taste in teaware is decidedly functional, so most of my brewing and drinking vessels are Chinese-style cups and teapots that I’ve collected over the years. Still, I can appreciate why someone would like to have at least one formal set of matching teaware, which can certainly add a great deal of elegance to one’s home and tea service.

A few words to the wise about buying teasets:

  • Consider your purpose in buying a teaset. The beautiful flowered sets, made from delicate porcelain are certainly nice to look at, but may not be the most serviceable or economical choice. These sets can be pricey, and if you break a component, you may have some difficulty tracking down a replacement. Plus, these sets don’t always hold the heat of the tea well. If you buy one for serious tea drinking, make sure that you also get a tea cozy for the pot. My suggestion is that, if you want a formal teaset, invest in the best teaset that you can afford, and then put the rest of your teaware budget toward less expensive but more practical pieces.
     
  • If you don’t plan to regularly serve tea to large groups of people, why not buy a “tea for two” set? These sets are much less expensive than those for larger groups, yet can also add an elegant touch to an intimate chat with a close friend.
Tea Set for Two - Argyles

Tea Set for Two - Argyles

  • Check out a ceramic teaset. These are typically reasonably priced, sturdy, and the thick ceramic construction tends to hold heat better than porcelain.
     
  • Finally, if you are all about matching teasets for dĂ©cor but don’t want to spend your money on something you may not use regularly, consider buying some miniature teasets. These adorable sets can brighten your rooms without taking up too much space or costing you a fortune.

More great tea info on Lainie’s blog, Lainie Sips!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Did you know that in ancient times white in dreams was symbolic of happiness in the home? In today’s culture we often consider white as a symbol of purity.  For the homemaker, white is an indispensable tool for creating beautiful tablescapes and I don’t think you can go wrong with a white teapot in your china collection.

White offers an infinite opportunity for tabletop creativity.  It is adaptable to so many styles and is compatible with any other color. My favorite white teapots come in a variety of styles from traditional to contemporary.  For those of us who like to collect cups and saucers in a rainbow of colors, a white teapot is perfect. It looks lovely with Grandmother’s Old Country Roses bone china and is equally pleasing with a modern pattern like Spode’s black and white polka dot  “Baking Days.”

If you already own some Blue Willow pieces, a white teapot is a simple and affordable addition to your tableware.  This blue and white classic is a popular choice for the tea-table and is used in one of my favorite tea rooms in Savannah, GA.

A white teapot can be used in so many tablescape themes. Red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day, or red, white and blue for the 4th of July.  White with silver or gold is perfect for an elegant Christmas table.  I’ve attended several teas with a snowflake or snowman theme during the holidays and have loaned my Debbie Mumm snowman teapots many times.  White teapots are handy for a bridal shower tea or even a casual children’s tea party.  You can  dress up the teapot itself with a monogram decal or a pretty silk bow that matches your linens or floral arrangement.

So, if you happen to be shopping for a new teapot, the most versatile choice is basic white.  Take a look at some white porcelain sets, such as Diana or Helios to get the most tablescape options with your purchase.

Don’t forget to visit the parTEA lady’s blog, Tea and Talk!

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Tea Taste Killers, things that can seriously affect the flavor of your tea. In the post, I named badly cleaned teaware as a possible source of scent and flavor contamination. Here are a few tips for keeping your teaware clean and scent-free so that it brews you a perfect cup each time you make your tea:

  • Watch the Dishsoap: If you are cleaning your teaware in a dishwasher or in the sink with lots of dishes, most of the dishsoap will rinse away as a matter of course. But if you are washing your teapots one at a time, beware: Dish soap is pretty concentrated, and that little drop you squirt into the pot or cup is actually intended to be used in a full sink of water. Getting that residue out can be tricky, so I advise being very scrupulous about rinsing and re-rinsing teaware washed in this manner. A good brush or clean washcloth can help remove any stubborn suds.
  • Hot Water Isn’t Enough: Sadly, just rinsing out a cup or mug with some of your boiling tea-water isn’t enough to get it clean. Over time a residue will build up (particularly if you drink flavored teas), and this will affect the quality of your tea. Give your teaware a good scrub after each use.
  • Use a Brush: Tea infusers often have tiny little openings into which tea leaves can get stuck. I’ve found that the best remedy for this is a baby brush (easy to find at a supermarket or dollar store). The soft, long, fine bristles can get into these tight spaces and get those leaf particles out in no time.
  • Air Drying Takes Time: My favorite way to dry my teaware is to just turn it over and set in a dishrack overnight. This method won’t work, though, if you need to keep your dishrack clear: If you don’t let the teaware dry completely, and put it away with a lid on, the trapped moisture inside will give it a musty smell.
  • Separate Towels: If air drying your teaware isn’t an option, make sure that the towels you use are clean and free of residue from scented laundry products. If necessary, buy a separate set of dish towels just for teaware use.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Trying new teawares can enliven your tea experience. For example, you can add a visual element to your tea steeping with a glass teapot. These delicate vessels are perfect for the unusual and entertaining experience of watching a flowering tea unfold. They are also great for steeping some of your finer teas where the color of the tea “liquor” can tell you when its time to remove the tea leaves.

The Buddha

Being made of glass is special in itself. There is something about glass that gives things a regal air that bone china and porcelain do not. My theory is that it started long ago in a kingdom far away when a fairy godmother gave a poor girl a pair of glass slippers so she could join her wicked stepmother and stepsisters at the prince’s ball. But then again, it might just be the nature of glass itself. Here is a substance solid enough to hold liquid yet light rays pass through it. It must be some kind of magic. Right? Nope, just chemistry. Still, glass is pretty amazing, although fragile.

The number and variety of glass teapots on the market is growing by leaps and bounds, in large part, I think, because of the growing popularity of the finer teas, especially flowering teas — truly exotic and to be experienced at least once by anyone who is really into tea (or even people just looking for something different to try).

So, how do you decide which glass teapot to buy? A few things to consider:

  • The capacity — How many cups of water does it hold?
  • The size of the opening — 2” is a good minimum if you are going to steep a flowering tea, since you may want to rearrange the tea “flower” once it has started to open (this will give you the best visual effect), plus the “flower” will be quite a bit larger after steeping than it was in its original ball or mushroom form.
  • An infuser basket — I don’t use one, but you may choose to for the fannings or broken-leaf teas you steep. (I encourage you to try at least one steeping of your full-leaf teas loose in the pot and watch the leaves expand in the water, something they can’t fully do in an infuser basket.)
  • The spout — Fancy designs are one thing, but trust me that you want a spout from which you can pour without a few drops splashing on your table or counter each time.
  • The handle — If you’re like me (a bit on the “Oops!” side), a sturdy handle that you can grip firmly while carrying and pouring is a must.
  • The lid — It should sit firmly on the opening, keeping most of the water vapor inside (a little will find its way out through the spout).
  • The overall shape — Short and squat can be best for flowering and full-leaf teas where they get the most interaction with the water, but taller teapots can be fine for using an infuser basket for your other teas.
  • Style — Do you like teapots that look like they were inspired by the tales of Aladdin? Or is Victorian more to your taste? What about Asian-inspired designs? There are also art deco and ultra modern ones. There is a style to suit just about any taste, and new ones being designed almost daily.

Adding other glass teawares can make your glass teapot experience complete. Items like these:

  • a glass electric tea kettle so you’ll be able to tell when the water is about to boil, boiling, or going totally crazy just by seeing the bubbles
  • a glass sugar bowl and cream pitcher for those teas you like to drink with these items added
  • a set of glass teacups and saucers that will let you see more clearly the clumps of biscotti, cookies, or McVitie’s digestives that fall off and sink to the bottom

One caution: Since these teapots are glass, they are more delicate than ceramic or porcelain teapots; plus, they are not intended to be used in a microwave oven or to withstand the terrors of a dishwasher (actually, they could end up getting a scratched, “cloudy” appearance which would ruin your visual experience).

Okay, so now you know. Go ahead, add a glass teapot to your bevy. Keep it ready for when you want to enjoy a truly special tea. Happy steeping!

Learn more about enhancing your tea experiences by visiting A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

By William I. Lengeman III

Nowadays there are any number of ways to prepare a cup of tea. But one of the most time-honored and popular methods is that old standby – hot water, tea and a teapot. Many teapots are simple devices, but many others are impressive works of art in their own right.

Teapot

If you’d like to look at teapots up close, you might be in luck, depending on how far you’re willing to travel. Here are several museums and collections that are open to the public.

The Twining Teapot Gallery
The Twining Teapot Gallery is part of the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, in Norfolk, England. The collection numbers more than 3,000 teapots in all manner of shapes and sizes, with items that date from the 1730s to the present.

Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware is a branch museum of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. It’s located in the former office and residence of the Commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong, in a building converted for museum use in 1984.

Trenton Teapot Collection
Located in that other Trenton (Tennessee), this collection of teapots modestly claims to be The World’s Largest Teapot Collection and includes pieces that date from 1750 to 1860. Teapots have become so important in this region that Trenton has hosted the annual Trenton Teapot Festival since 1981.

Time for Tea! Selections of Teaware from the Winterthur Collection
Located at the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate, in Winterthur, Delaware, this collection features “nearly 200 ceramic, metalwork, and glass teawares from America, Europe, China, and even Turkey that range in date from the 1600s through the 1860s.”

Sparta Teapot Museum of Craft & Design
The Sparta Teapot Museum is located in Sparta, North Carolina and is open every weekend from Thursday to Saturday.

Check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks, for more great info!

by Adam Yusko

So many people love teapots because they seem to add a certain character to the brewing ritual, and fit the stereotypical image of making and serving tea. But in all honesty teapots and other accessories are simply more things to clean and worry about breaking, not to mention their sheer bulk. Personally, I’ve brewed a lot of tea over the years in a variety of ways, and I’ve come to the conclusion that a minimalist approach to teaware is definitely one worth considering.

Green Tea Teabags

Some would say the teabag is nothing more than a way of ruining tea, as most teabags are filled with very small particles of tea and often produce a less than amazing brew. Yet the simplicity of the teabag is what people enjoy the most and the reason why they continue to use them. There are also teabags available that you can fill yourself. They allow you to enjoy loose leaf tea together with the comfort of an easy clean-up. They also keep the particles you sometimes get with tea-balls out of your tea. However, tea-balls and mesh infusers also count as minimalist teaware.

When you combine teabags with one of your favorite cups and some boiling water you can have tea anywhere, anytime. A minimalist approach to tea is great when traveling, as cups can be found almost anywhere and it’s simple to throw in a tea-ball or a few teabags, which take up relatively little room in luggage and shouldn’t raise eyebrows at airport security.

A minimalist approach to teaware ensures you can get consistent results anywhere you are with minimal inconvenience. I like these minimalists approaches at times, as they tend to be low fuss. I’m not suggesting, however, that you abandon teapots. Teapots are classics in the tea world for a reason, and you should keep them for when you have time to enjoy tea to its fullest.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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