First, it is important to say that one can make good tea by simply using hot water, tea leaves, and a cup or mug. This is very easy to do and is efficient. That said, high quality teaware can add a great deal to the experience of drinking tea. One of the main things teaware adds is purely aesthetic; some teaware is truly breathtaking and like any fine piece of art can add a great deal to our lives even if it just sits on the shelf. The fact that teaware can also be used in our daily lives makes it a great investment for the tea lover. Teaware can actually enhance the quality of tea that we drink beyond the apparent aesthetic affect. Poor quality teaware, or improperly used teaware can actually be detrimental to the tea, and this is a complicated topic that requires more in depth investigation. One clear example of this that is prevalant in the tea market is poor quality/ fake Yi Xing pottery that has chemicals mixed into the clay. This will not only negatively impact the taste/smell of the tea, but of course the toxic chemicals can be hazardous to our health. This situation is easy to avoid if we are careful and educated.
One way to completely avoid worrying about the quality of material in our teaware is to simply buy inert teaware (i.e. glass or porcelain). Regardless of quality considerations, we recommend glassware or porcelain for people just getting into tea. There are a few main reasons. First, glass/porcelain is relatively cheap compared to handmade stoneware or Yi Xing pottery. Thus, making our first teaware purchase will be more affordable. Another very important reason to start with glass/porcelain is that the material is virtually inert and will not add or take away much from the tea we brew. When we are learning the basics of tea it helps to simplify the process, and using simple, inert teaware is a great way to remove an extra variable.
As we progress on the path of making and drinking tea, the next major step is investing in stoneware, Yi Xing teapots and other kinda of teaware made with material that will directly impact the tea the teaware interacts with. Handmade teaware is a work of art in itself, and can be one reason why people first become intrigued by the tea lifestyle. For more information on our top of the line teaware, please go to the individual categories for more information. Each category is unique, and even within the category of "Yi Xing pottery" there is a wide range of materials that complement some kinds of tea very well, while actually having the potential to detract from other types of tea.