As a tea drinker, and I am sure this is true for you, I adore teaware, from the chasen to the yixing teapot. Everyone has their favorites! This series showcases the favorite teaware of folks in the tea blogging community. Today's faves are from tea blogger Amanda Wilson of My Thoughts Are Like Butterflies. Amanda is also known as soggyenderman on Instagram.
I am a total teaware hoarder, and trying to pick favorites out of my ridiculous stash is difficult, but after much contemplation I was able to select a few! I love my teaware to have stories, that is a big thing for me, either its history, appearance, or a special way it is crafted needs to tell a story to qualify it as a favorite and not just a tool.
The first of my favorites came from one of my thrift store trips (this is where a lot of my teaware comes from!) I saw it on the shelf and recognized it immediately as an antique (I study and dabble in collecting antiques) and had to have it. What I was not aware of is exactly how old it was, and after a bit of study discovered it was from the Tongzhi era making it between 1862-74, and the second oldest piece in my teaware collection. It is decorated with symbols evoking the Chinese Immortals and is quite vibrant. It is, however, not in the best of condition, with a pair of now very tea stained cracks, I know one day it will be placed on the shelf being no longer suitable, but for now I am still enjoying my little piece of history.
Next is a fairly new addition to my collection, a set of Ru Yao celadon pieces, including a gaiwan, cha hai, and hat shaped cup. These pieces start pristine and the longer they are used crackles develop on their surface, like a fine spiderweb. This combines my love of the color teal and crackles perfectly! I absolutely love how they will change with time, telling their own story about the teas I drink.
I have several pieces of rice pattern porcelain in my collection, from the new transparent windows to the old translucent classic blue pieces, but my favorite piece is this single cup I found at a thrift store. It is one of the more ornate pieces in this style, combining the classic blue with gold and red, and inside is a delicate flower arrangement. This is an older piece, from the 80s, so most likely as old as me!
The final piece is a source of great amusement to me. While rummaging in a junk store in the town where my mom lives I found this neat little glass pitcher. Looking at it, the thing reminded me of something you would find in an old chemistry lab, but in truth it is just the top part of a glass double boiler...but cooking is chemistry, so it counts! I use it to brew tea western style so I can watch the leaves unfurl and the color change, the piece itself is simple, but the effect of watching the tea is quite enjoyable.
Thank you for sharing some favorite pieces from the your teaware stash, Amanda. The Tongzhi-era cup is a great find! Your boiler piece reminds me a milk pot. All photos and stories courtesy of Amanda Wilson.