Properly Serving Tea
There are many ways to serve and enjoy tea. Asia, where tea was first discovered, has its own unique traditions of serving tea. In China, tea serving customs are used frequently for occasions like family gatherings, weddings, and for simply showing respect or offering apologies.
Different equipment and tools may be used in Chinese tea service. The essential tea service equipment includes a tea pot for brewing loose tea leaves, a tool for removing the tea leaves, and a cup for drinking the prepared tea. In China, Yixing teapots are very common for serving tea. Over time, this type of clay teapot absorbs the flavors and essence of the teas that are brewed inside it. This seasoning effect enhances the taste of the tea, cup after cup. In Japan, cast iron teapots are typically used for serving tea and also will acquire a seasoned coating after prolonged use. Additionally, porcelain teapots became very popular for English Afternoon tea. Tea preparation in each of these teapots is very similar and mainly differs by the type of tea brewed; read more about how to brew tea.
The tea leaves should be removed from the teapot before serving tea to prevent others from drinking the leaves. Also most teas should not be steeped longer than a few minutes to avoid a bitter taste. A hand-held strainer can be used to catch tea leaves as tea is poured from the teapot. And many teapots contain a built-in strainer for easy removal of the tea leaves.
Finally, serving tea in a tea cup or mug is one of the best ways to enjoy freshly made tea. Glass tea cups can enhance a tea service by allowing a view of the beautiful color of the tea. Cast iron teacups complement the taste of the tea from the teapot of the same material. Artistically designed ceramic teacups and porcelain tea mugs are also options for serving tea and show a unique style.
English and British traditions have certainly elaborated on the essentials used in tea service. At a typical English full tea service or tea party, you may find a fanciful tea set for serving tea. A full tea set typically includes a porcelain or bone china tea pot, tea cups with saucers, a sugar bowl, creamer, tea kettle, waste bowl, and tray.
Today there are many modern conveniences for serving tea such as electric tea makers, multi-functional tea makers, and teapots for one or two people. Electric tea makers like the Breville Tea Maker use the latest technology to serve tea by controlling temperature and time for each variety of tea. Multi-functional tea makers like the Teavana Perfect Tea Maker are great for preparing and serving single cups of tea, plus the Perfect Tea Maker is easy to clean.
Obviously serving tea can be a formal affair as prefaced by English tea parties or the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Or, modern tea service techniques can be used to enjoy a delicious cup of tea at your convenience. Whether you are looking to serve tea to guests or like to enjoy tea daily, Teavana has all the tea service equipment to help you make the perfect cup of tea every time. Shop Teavana Teapots now.