The Exotic Teapot Blog

Amazing Tea and Teaware to wow your senses.

Tea and chocolate makes you smarter

 

tea and chocolateOxford researchers reported that flavonoids can prevent dementia.  The most popular foods and beverages containing flavonoids are chocolate, tea, coffee and wine.  A study of 2,031 individuals, ages 70 to 74, that regularly partake in a diet of moderate flavonoids scored better in a series of cognitive tests than those of the same age that did not eat chocolate, drink tea, coffee and wine.  This is just one more reason to encourage your friends, no matter their age, to have a cup of tea with you.

Royal Rabbits

Throughout her secluded childhood on a small island, Pat Kazi relied on fairy tales and nature for entertainment.  She has never forgotten these dreamy characters.  The creatures she imagined are now visible to others on her porcelain and stoneware teapots.  Her fantasy sculptures are adorned with royal robes, beads, shells, fur and other embellishments found in antique shops. Her figurative pieces of dragons, fish warriors and royal rabbits are currently sought by a niche group of ‘mystical' collectors from around the world.  

royal rabbit1 royal rabbit2  

Dragon ware

dragonware teacup

This style of tea cup is referred to as dragon or moriage ware.  Moriage originated in Japan in the 19th century but is still made today.  The decoration can be created separately then attached and painted after it has been fired.  The alternate process, one requiring more time, is to pipe on to the piece in layers, until the desired dimension and design is achieved then fire.  Either way, the newer pieces have less slipwork and detail.  Unfortunately some of the authentic vintage pieces were never marked.  The cup shown here is from the 1930's.

 

Tea in Tuscany

tuscany teapot
Silversmith Randy Long created this teapot made of sterling silver, wood, marble and 18 karat gold leaf. The marble is carved and laminated, the forms fabricated with textures. Mr. Long entitled his piece Tuscany Tea Service" because he combined the visuals of the full moon, the striped cathedral walls made of marble and a large cypress tree that he noticed when entering the village square at Orvietto, Italy.

Green Tea Gongfu Way

gonfu teaMaking tea using the 1,000 year old Gongfu tradition requires a series of steps to brew. This process is particularly favourable with high quality green (as shown)  and scented teas. Two Yixing teapots are preferred. 

  1. Heat water to near boiling
  2. Rinse teapot with hot water and drain
  3. Not touching the leaves, fill pot 1/3 full of loose tea
  4. Fill pot ½ full with the heated water
  5. Keeping the leaves in the pot, drain water immediately
  6. Warm tea bowls or cups using more hot water then empty
  7. Fill the teapot again with fresh hot water, allowing it to steep for 30 seconds
  8. Pour the tea into another teapot
  9. Fill tea bowls or cups for drinking

Using the bouquet of green tea and Yixing teapots in this manner is similar to savouring a fine wine.

Tisane Tea 101

tisane tea Tisane tea is synonymous with herbal tea.  The word is a derivate of ptisanē, Greek meaning a crushed barley drink.  The onus being that this type of tea does not contain extracts from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis.  It is best to be aware of what you are purchasing as tisanescan be flowers, roots, fruits, stems and seeds; if using tea bags the paper can even be scented for aromatherapy.  If making your own concoction do not pick just any berry or mushroom as some can have psychedelic effects.  However, many homeopathic tisane teas have been used for centuries which have proven to have long-term healthful and healing benefits such as Ayurveda, chamomile and peppermint.

Tea Party Invitations

Do you love one or more of your teapots enough to make it a tea party theme?  There is an art to making invitations, just as there is to making teapots.  tea party1  And the ultimate host or hostess intentionally attempts to make his or her party the most memorable for guests and a theme is one way to do so.  tea party2 One teapot collector and stamp artist, Mothermark, invites online participants to download their home-made invitation which match a teapot.  tea party3 It is referred to as "Teapot Tuesday."  Below are just a few of the submissions.  I am sure there are many more out there yet to be created. tea party4

         

Naturally slimming tea

On the market are many teas claiming to reduce weight.  The underlying problem with some of these is that they contain herbal laxatives such as castor oil, rhubarb root and buckthorn.  If used in large quantities this can cause harm to the gastrointestinal tract and weaken bones.  The best alternative, one in which has been used for centuries is green tea. 

slimming tea  

This tea increases the metabolism rate to help consistently and moderately burn fat hence keeping the weight off.  Additionally, it is full of anti-oxidants, even more so than Vitamin E.  Another bonus from drinking green tea is that it curbs cravings of some greasy foods and sugary treats.  Add some cinnamon to your green tea for sweetness or if just merely bored brew a cup of green tea instead of reaching for those chips.

 

Broken tea cups

broken teacups A chip here, a crack there...it happens to the best of our tea cups.  But there are so many uses a cup can serve.  Cracked cups can be broken into pieces to make a mosaic jewelry box or planter, even using the handles for decoration.   Cups are perfect for small flower vases especially for dinner parties since it is so easy to tie a ribbon and place card to the handle.  Or, if you have the proper instruction and tools, your spent cups can be used for lighting fixtures!

Artesian water for artisan tea

artesian water

Just as important as the quality of tea is the water used to make it.  Artesian water is the purest.  It is sealed underground by a layer of ice, sand or volcanic rock.  The water does not come into contact with pollution.  This type of water can have no additives but each brand may have a different taste depending upon the aquifer it came from. 

Free Jasmine Fairies Bloom

 
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