Saturday, August 8, 2009

For Tough Times, Good Values in Chinese Teaware

Yesterday we pointed out some excellent values in fine Chinese tea for anyone who's feeling the pinch of a tough economy. Today our value series continues with a focus on good teaware bargains. There's no need to compromise when it comes to teaware. We have some great values in fine traditional Chinese teapots, gaiwans, and other accessories.

Connoisseurs agree that yi xing teapots can substantially improve the experience of drinking oolong or puerh tea. If you've been waiting to buy your first yi xing pot or are looking to expand your collection you'll be glad to know that our Contemporary Classic Yi Xing Teapot is back in stock! This small pot is made of high-quality yi xing clay and was personally designed by Imperial Tea Court Teamaster Roy Fong. The perfect size for one or two tea drinkers, it features elegant, classic styling, a well rounded body that gives leaves plenty of room to expand, and a wide mouth that makes it easy to saturate the leaves when you pour in hot water. A terrific value at only $39!

If you're really on a budget we still have an yi xing pot for you! Our Small Yi Xing Teapot, sized for the individual tea drinker, is a great starter pot that you can use to gain skill and confidence in your gong fu brewing technique. Now offered at a special price of just $20, this pot truly makes it possible for every tea drinker to explore the benefits of yi xing teaware.

If you're looking for value in a classic gaiwan, have a look at our Teahouse Gaiwan. It's the same sturdy, functional model we use in our teahouses, with a bright white glaze that makes it easy to check the color of your brewing tea and a wide mouth that facilitates temperature management with delicate tea. Generously sized for either one or two, the Teahouse Gaiwan is currently offered at a 10% discount off the $20 list price, making it a special bargain.

Another gaiwan option is one of our most popular, the Heart Sutra Gaiwan. The small, porcelain cup is the right size for personal teamaking and easily cradles in the palm of your hand. The hard, thin body quickly loses heat, making this a great choice for heat-sensitive green tea. And the beautiful design featuring the Chinese characters in the Heart Sutra prayer will give you something to meditate on while you enjoy your tea. Our most affordable porcelain gaiwan, priced at just $20.

You won't find a better value in modern, portable teaware than our Imperial Tea Bottle. This item has quickly become a favorite of all of us in the teahouse. The double-walled glass design insulates your tea, while the screw-on lid sealed with an o-ring prevents leaks even when you're on the go. An added bonus, it's beautifully gift packaged in a well-padded brocade presentation box. Holds a generous 10 ounces. Competitors sell similar tea bottles for twice the price; ours is a terrific bargain at just $12.

No gong fu tea service is complete without a nice set of wooden tea tools to measure, manipulate, and manage the tea and teaware. And now our handsome, durable Hardwood Tea Implements are a special value at 10% off the regular retail price! If you've been waiting to buy a nice set of tea tools don't miss this chance to bring both beauty and functionality to your tea table for a price that can't be beat, only $18.

While you're equipping your tea table don't forget our charming Gourd Tea Strainer, a high-quality strainer made from a real hulu gourd! For those who like to strain their tea as they pour it from the pot our gourd is a great solution: natural, traditional, and attractive. Hand-crafted to our specifications in Taiwan, with a fine nylon mesh screen, it's sized to nestle into the mouth of a serving pitcher. Priced at only $6.50, it's so inexpensive you'll want to give one to all your tea-loving friends!

Finally, if you've been looking for a solution that provides the taste and quality of fine loose-leaf tea with the convenience of a teabag, our imported Hand-Fill Teabags will meet your needs nicely, allowing you to include just the right amount of tea to fit your own taste. Available either with or without the familiar paper tag, our bags are imported from Taiwan, packaged in lots of 50, and value-priced at just $3.50.

2 comments:

Jason Witt said...

I like that many of these tea accessories are natural, like the hardwood tea implements and the gourd strainer. It's a good look to any tea set that's meant for appreciating fine teas. There's just something about these natural products that says, "enduring," as well as "classic." --Jason

Virginia said...

Jason, we agree, and I think there's an additional reason these accessories seem "just right": the wooden implements harmonize with tea's "wood element" in the Chinese five-element schema. In China tea lovers are very serious about not using anything metal at the tea table, as metal is believed to "destroy" wood (think of an ax chopping down a tree). So, for example, no metal spoons, tongs, or strainers. Some are so strict that they don't even boil tea water in metal kettles (we're not that stringent).

Beliefs about the five elements are complex; I don't understand all of the supposed interactions and there's no use trying to translate it into Western scientific terms, but in any case these beautiful, hand-crafted accessories are a great way to adhere to the custom of no metal at the tea table.