Artful Garden Teapots

antique teapot

 

Artful Garden Teapots

Tea and Gardens Seem To Go Together

Something about the idea of tea in a garden whispers of zephyr breezes, blue skies, white fluffy clouds on a summers eve. With the soft waft of a rose’s fragrance, it is a perfect time to sit with a garden patterned teapot brimming with hot, amber colored tea and take a quiet break from the busyness of daily life.

Perhaps it is that connection in the mind between the pleasant quiet of a garden and the calming influence that comes with the warmth of the tea, but any day can seem like one that , however briefly, transforms into this early summer scenario.

One of my favorite ways to decompress and relieve stress is to sit down with a pot of hot tea made in a pretty pot, then pour the tea into one of my favorite teacups. Tea things don’t have to match , but I like the pots to handle and pour well, and for the cups to harmonize in style with the teapots.

This post is dedicated to taking a short time of repast with a pot of freshly brewed tea, perhaps a green or an Earl Gray; to step out into the garden and listen to softly buzzing bees, think creative thoughts, and experience the an oasis of time away from demands of tasks and obligations.

A welcome solitude, or an interlude with friends, but a time of refreshment and renewed perspective.

Chinese Garden Teapot

Chinese Garden Teapot

Teapot Thought

Strange how a teapot

Can represent at the same time

The comforts of solitude

And the pleasures of company

From Famous Franz Porcelain

This brand of porcelain work is noteworthy for its beauty of color and artistry. The teapots immediately draw attention because they look like works of art, and not for daily use. But for those who love to bring beauty into their homes, this is one of those kitchen items which serves as both art and use.
Franz Porcelain Lily of the Nile Teapot, FZ02616

Franz Porcelain Lily of the Nile Teapot, FZ02616

  The company was founded by Francis Chen in Taiwan. There are accomplished artists who design and create many of the special collections.

Franz Porcelain Van Gogh Almond flower teapot Franz Fine Porcelain
Franz Porcelain Van Gogh Almond flower teapot Franz Fine Porcelain

  Many of the designs are inspired by nature, so garden themed ware is frequently found in their collections.

Franz Porcelain Bamboo Song Bird Design Teapot
Franz Porcelain Bamboo Song Bird Design Teapot

 

Franz Porcelain Long Tail Hummingbird Design Teapot
Franz Porcelain Long Tail Hummingbird Design Teapot

 Birds on Franz porcelain may not be the ones found in your garden, but they are in a paradise type of garden somewhere in the world. The long tailed sylph hummingbird is a denizen of South America, in countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Their unusual feathers in such jeweled color makes the design a real standout.


 

Polish Garden Teapot – Polish Pottery

Colorful and decorative, this will bring a warm, bright spot to your decor. Made from Boleslawiec white clay. There are a number of different flower and colors in this line. They have the bright and cheery look of a grandmother’s garden. The decoration reminds me of spongeware for some reason; thought the painting is clearly done by brushwork..

Sunshine Yellow For Morning Teatime – Whimsical Hand Drawn Flowers

Yellow, kitchens, bright daisies – these are so cheering, which is what a breakfast cup of tea ought to be. The flowers look like they were hand drawn on a whim.

Porcelain Whimsical Flower Teapot for One Adorable Gift
Porcelain Whimsical Flower Teapot for One Adorable Gift Golden yellow and whimsical – a bright spot of garden sunshine for a summer morning spot of tea.

The Teapot for One

For many of us, our teatime consists of sitting down on our own with a good cup of tea. A tea for one sized pot is just what we need for the way most of us order our days.

These pots, many made with their own matching teacup perched handily on board, hold just the right amount of tea for one sitting.

Do you collect teapots, too? I’m a little surprised how many do. Maybe you have a number of different types of pots all in one theme like the collection on this page.

I personally just like teapots, and use all mine in one way or another. There aren’t any special themes other than appealing to me because of the design or the special way they are made. I have some Japanese Tetsubin pots that are among my favorite.

I hope you enjoy this online “museum” of sorts as much as I do. Really, the art and variation of teapots even in one theme is astounding.

“All well-regulated families set apart an hour every morning for tea and bread and butter.”-Joseph Addison, 1711

Yixing Tea Pots – Chinese Garden Style

Yixing is pronounced “Yee-Shing”, and signals a very special kind of teapot. They are composed of zisha clay, a rare type of purplish clay found only in Yixing, China.

Yixing teapots are individually sized, so a person may have their own pot. the different colors of the designs are created through the addition of mineral pigments.

These are considered to be one of the finest tea brewing pots in the world. I had no idea about that when I bought one for my son and daughter-in-law. The subtle colors and the artful lizard as a lid handle are what intrigued me. The proportions and ornamental touches make one of the most aesthetically pleasing teapots of the many types found worldwide. At least in my estimation.

Over time, use will it impart a “tea brewed within tea”. This is due to the fact that Zisha clay is extremely porous and will absorb the flavor of tea and the insides of the teapots are left unglazed. Other qualities of this clay are an ability to retain heat, a freedom from toxic materials like lead, arsenic and cadmium ( sometimes found in other clays), and its ability to form the tight fit of the lid. The composition of this clay is mainly of quartz, kaolin, mica, with a high volume of iron oxide.

Made in a myriad of designs , many have a garden theme, some with charming little garden creatures like frogs, and lizards.

The Japanese Tea Garden – A Brief Overview of the Tea Garden Culture

Tea in the Japanese Garden by moonlightbulb, on Flickr
Tea in the Japanese Garden by moonlightbulb, on Flickr

 

The Japanese developed a brilliant art form that unites a refinement of serving tea, the repose of a serene garden, and the calming effect of following ritual that creates a beautiful culture custom and an intriguing garden style.

The tea room (chashitsu) and the tea garden (roji) are a space for holding a tea gatherings. [1] In the tea garden, guests pass through the kuguri entrance, a small and narrow space. From there they follow a stone path which has a measured sequence to encourage thought and mindfulness of their progress. Continuing through a carefully landscaped space they come to a tsukubai, which is a stone wash basin. After washing their hands, the guests enter a low roofed teahouse. It is designed to replicate a traditional home, here the guests sit on tatami mats.The host pours ceremonially made tea for them in this calm and serene place.

The tea garden is called a roji, and it is a very important part of the tea ceremony. The Japanese name for this ceremony is chanoyu.

Tetsubin teapot – Japanese beauty, subtlety, and utility

I have two Tetsubin teapots. One is a black hobnail and one is a pink cherry blossom design which my son gave me for Christmas. I didn’t know that the designs had symbolic meaning, but Teavana has listed the meanings. My cherry blossom pot is the National flower of Japan, and it is a symbol for beauty; the hobnail design stands for strength. Strength and beauty! Those make a fine combination in my estimation.

The Tetsubin teapots are made of cast iron, and they should only be rinsed clean and wiped dry with a clean cloth. Like the Chinese clay pots they can retain tea flavors over time which add to the cachet of the teapot.

I find them to be an eye pleasing and well designed teapot, a joy to use and they pour beautifully. The cast iron retains heat and mine came with their own basket infusers for the loose tea which is brewed to perfection within them.

More history of the Tetsubin teapot from Teavana

Square Cast Iron Tea Set Dragonfly Black #ts6-06bk
Square Cast Iron Tea Set Dragonfly Black #ts6-06bk

 

Take Care of Your Teapot

Instructions For Cast Iron

 

Directions For Chinese ‘Purple clay’:

Tips For Ceramic Teapots

Vintage teapots

 

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” -Henry James

As long as the teapot is there on your shelf, learn to brew tea that goes into it properly. It isn’t difficult, it just takes some attention to the details, especially measuring amounts and getting the timing right.

How to brew a proper cup of tea:

Use fresh water each time you prepare tea.

Choose good tea.

Use 1-2 teaspoons per 8 ounce cup.

Heat water until it reaches a boil, let it cool just slightly then make your tea.

Tea leaves are steeped in the water for 1-3 minutes when making green or white teas. Five minutes for black teas.

Another set of instructions, here.

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For those who like P.O.D products like Zazzle:

If you design your own teapot, remember there are several products that can be matched to produce a set. There are mugs, plates, and a candy jar that could just as well be used to store tea or sugar.

In my home, there is a loose collection of teapots, not because I try to actively collect them, but there is just something I love about a teapot. Maybe it is the marriage of aesthetic form and usefulness. Or maybe I just think they are cute, and I enjoy pouring myself a hot cup of tea from a decorative pot.

Do you collect teapots?

The Moroccan Tea Glass, Symbol Of Arabic Hospitality

tea service

Tea Time, Arabic Style

Tea and Cakes
Berber Hospitality in the Form of Tea, Coffee and Cakes on a Tray
The delicate glasses are beautiful without the tea, but try this staple of Moroccan hospitality for a refreshing taste of mint.

Serve At Your Next Event

Whether you host a Hafla or want to serve a refreshing drink to your friends in an informal get together – the ubiquitous tea served throughout Morocco for all occasions is the perfect way to delight your guests.

In Morocco

It is served to guests, and it is impolite to refuse the offering of this refreshing tea.

 

“Mint tea isn’t just a drink in Morocco. It is a sign of hospitality and friendship and tradition. Because this drink is so popular, it is served all day long, after every meal and with every conversation. Moroccans take great pride in their tea and will often ask a visitor who among their group of friends makes the best cup of mint tea.”
-from recipe contributor ‘Sackville’

This Moroccan tea is served in a small, often decorated, tea glass. People unfamiliar with the Moroccan for of the tea glass are surprised by its small size.

By browsing through some examples of the Moroccan tea glass, let’s find out more of Moroccan tea culture, and the importance of hospitality in the Near East.

Moroccan Hospitality – Sweet Tea, Flavor, and Flair

photo by Nick Saltmarsh
photo by Nick Saltmarsh

The Moroccan Tea Glass – A small glass serving generous hospitality

The Moroccan tea glass is small compared to the American version.American tea glasses are tall and used for iced tea with lots of ice.

The ritual of this North African country is quite different from the casual sweet iced tea of our culture, and has a tea service all its own. Moroccan tea is served hot in quite small, beautifully decorated, tea glasses. Very collectible.

TO BEGIN YOUR OWN RITUAL

Or perhaps you just want to explore the Arabic culture, in any case you will need:

  • A teapot to brew the tea
  • Glasses to serve the beverage
  • A tray for the drinks and their accompanying sweets

For the tea, itself:

  • Light flavored tea such as green or white
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Boiling water
  • Sugar

“Tea is almost always made in front of the guests so that the tea set and service can be admired. Moroccan teapots have long, curved pouring spouts that allow the tea to be poured into even the tiniest of glasses from a height of 2 or more feet. Moroccans like their tea lightly flavored with herbs. The most popular herbs added to tea are mint, lemon grass, and sometimes orange blossom.

Moroccan Mint Tea is generally made by brewing a gunpowder tea mixed with mint (1 teaspoon tea per cup). Gunpowder tea is Chinese green tea rolled into small pellets, which look like old-fashioned gunpowder. The Chinese call it zucha or pearl tea for the same reason. Rolling the tea leaves into balls helps to preserve the flavor. The offering of a glass of green tea with mint is a symbol of friendship, welcome and hospitality.” -from Emeril Lagasse

Make The Right Tea

Silver Yin Zhen White Tea
Silver Yin Zhen Pearls White Tea by Teavana

Alternatively, try white tea pearls

One of the finest teas, enjoyed on its own or prepared as an ingredient in Moroccan Mint. This is the type that Chef Emeril describes. This is a fine quality tea that will be worthy of your guests, and a comforting cup to enjoy any time of day.

Moroccan Tea is Served

Moroccan mint tea photo by againstthebrilliance
Tea glasses and small metal tea pot
Moroccan Tea is Served Proper tea service consists of the special teapot, the tea glasses, and a footed tray for the tea set. A small clean white towel is used for the handle of the teapot. Perfect pearl tea brewed inside a gracefully shaped Moroccan teapot, and served in colorful tea glasses makes enjoying a refreshing glass of tea into an event.

How to Prepare Moroccan Tea

“Fresh mint leaves and some tea leaves and a LOT of sugar are put in the bottom of the pot, hot water poured on top. After a few minutes of steeping, your hostess will pour some of the tea into a glass, and immediately she will pour it from the glass back into the pot. This is repeated until she feels the tea is perfect. Only then will she serve each of her guests a glass of hot sweet mint tea.”-Reflections from the Fence

Moroccan Mint Tea

mint refreshment
Moroccan Mint Tea

 

Moroccan Culture

It is idyllic to share a pot of mint tea at a small table on the side of the road. It is a ceremonial bonding experience in a private home.

Use Fresh Mint Leaves

fresh spearmint leaves

Start with some fresh mentha leaves

Fresh Mint

Be sure you have fresh mint to make the tea. Although some recipes call for dried mint. Fresh mint will add a lovely green tint, and the flavor is better. Mint plants are surprisingly easy to grow. A pot on the windowsill, or a patch by the back door will provide you with leaves fresh during the growing season and easy to freeze for winter use.

Can Mint Tea Heal You? From pure herbal concoctions to mint infused green teas, there are many ways to enjoy the healthful benefits of the mint plant.

 

Antique, pretty, tea glass
Antique, pretty, tea glass photo by dukpix on Flickr
  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 10 min
  • Yields: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Green Tea leaves, or white tea
  • 1 large handful fresh washed
  • spearmint leaves
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Boil at least 2 cups of water. Rinse a small teapot with about 1/4 cup of the water.
  2. Add the tea leaves and another 1/4 cup boiling water. Swirl the pot to wash and rinse the leaves, and pour out the water.
  3. Add the mint leaves and the sugar, and fill the pot with about 2 cups boiling water. Leave the tea to steep for five minutes or longer, or set the tea pot over medium-low heat and bring the tea to a simmer. Remove from the heat, and allow to steep several minutes more.
  4. Gently stir the tea, pour into small tea glasses and serve.

Serve Your Guests

photo by rieorie
Moroccan tea service photo by rieorie on Flickr

 

Pastries play an important role in Moroccan society because they are an essential complement to mint tea when welcoming guests into your home. -The art of Moroccan cuisine.

Serve and Display – This serving tray is ideal for your tea glasses

Moroccan Tea Tray Serving Cocktail Silver Handmade Fez Large Oval High Quality

Complete your tea service with this silver tray. Lovely way to serve tea and display the decorative glasses or offer the requisite pastries.

Ideas for using your Moroccan Tea Glasses

DECORATIVE COLLECTIBLES HOLD MORE THAN TEA

“Moroccan tea glasses are tiny cups with bright POPS of color. They would look lovely as a flower display at your reception or bridal shower, as a chic dessert presentation or a unique way to light up the room with candles inside.” ` Emmeline Bride

Start Your Collection

…OF THIS DECORATIVE GLASSWARE

When you can’t make up your mind! Harmonious mix of sparkling colors give an eclectic look to your decor.
A very traditional color, Moroccan Red, makes this set of tea glasses a warm addition to any room- for tea or candles, or just to look pretty!
A cobalt blue color with metallic accents is striking. Filigree border with a stylish modern color design.

See How the Tea Is Brewed

– And poured into the tea glass – it is an art.
What panache! This would certainly impress your friends, so learn how to make real Moroccan tea and have fun serving everyone (after a little practice, of course)

Tea Egg Appetizers

A fascinatingly different taste for those who want an easy, yet exotic, appetizer. I have lots of eggs from my laying hens, and this sounds like good way to use them for either winter or summer parties and get-togethers.

Love Matcha Tea Flavor

Something about it always appeals to me, so Matcha cake, or Matcha powder sprinkled on tempura, or Matcha bread- to me, it’s all good.
Since I came across this recipe for Matcha bread, of course I had to record it.
 
It was adapted by  The Spoonful Blog from Tartelette, or inspired by- not sure which.

 Matcha tea is available on Amazon.

Matcha tea marbled tea cake

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1.5 teaspoons matcha powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Butter a loaf pan. Line with a piece of parchment paper that covers bottom and long sides (leave some poking up from the pan to facilitate lifting the loaf out later). Butter the parchment paper.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with sour cream. Add vanilla, and mix 1 minute.

4. Portion out 1/3 of the batter into a small bowl. Mix in matcha powder, stirring well to combine.

5. Spread one-third of the plain batter into prepared pan. Use a small offset spatchula to ensure an even, flat layer. Dollop with 1/3 of matcha batter and use a spatchula to gently spread the matcha layer on the top of the other. Spread another third of the plain batter on top, followed by another third of the matcha batter. Repeat one more time so that the final layer is the rest of the matcha batter. Run a thin knife through batter to marbleize. Run spatchula over top to ensure the batter is flat in the end.

6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire cooking rack for a few minutes. Lift cake out by the parchment handles and allow to cool completely on rack.

Russian Chai, and other teaspoons of cheer

Russian Chai

Russian Tea


Russian Tea Framed Art Print

Wiles, Irving R.
Buy at AllPosters.com

The Russian word for tea is Chai, and I will always remember it. When I was in St.Petersburg, I found that tea was everywhere and seemed to be more favored than coffee. I spent my week in St.Petersburg during a very cold November, and every restaurant was quick to offer tea. In Russia, they brew their tea thick and hot and pour it into small glasses. I had thought that England or India would have been the capitol of tea, but not so. The Russians thrive on it, and while viewing one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world in one of the most spectacular cities to be seen, with a cool chill moving across the sky, a drink of this Russian Chai completed everything.

-H.S. Bailey

Want to make your own Chai?

Baharat (Spices) and Cay (Tea) for Sale, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


Baharat (Spices) and Cay (Tea) for Sale, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Framed Photographic Print

Buy at AllPosters.com

Try this recipe:

Hindi Chai
Indian Spiced Tea

2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Generous dash or two ground cloves
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped (optional)
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1-1/2 Tbs. sugar
2 heaping tsp. black tea or 2 tea bags

Lightly crush the cardamom pods in a mortar, to release their fragrance. Alternately, you can crush them with a rolling pin—but do it on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, so it’s easy to collect. Do not completely powder the cardamom, however, as this can discolor the tea.

In a saucepan, combine the spices, milk, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat (watch the pot carefully —boiling milk boils over more quickly than just about anything else you can cook), then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and tea and continue to simmer for about 1 minute longer, or until the tea has clearly released its color into the liquid.

Strain into cups and serve at once. Alternatively, you can let the strained tea cool to room temperature, then pour it over ice.

Serves 2. Enjoy.
Chai recipe from the Chicago Mensa Site

Learn more about the terms used in ‘tea culture’:

Tea Glossary

…for tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their
nervous sensibilities, or are become so from wine-drinking, and are not susceptible of influence from so refined a stimulant, will always be the favored beverage of the intellectual…
-Thomas De Quincy

There you go….. smart people prefer tea;)