Introduction to collecting Tea Accessories

Tea Accessories, Teaware and Collecting

Collectors of antique teacups or vintage teacups are collecting pieces that weretea_accessories originally used in a time when only loose leaf teas were available. Because of this, the original owners would have had many accessories to handle the preparation and enjoyment of these loose leaf teas.

These tea accessories, also referred to as teaware, provide an exciting and inexpensive opportunity for collectors. Teaware make up all the various equipment, devices, and tools used to process, store, scoop, steep, sweeten, and handle loose leaf teas.

The design, application, and complexity of these devices vary depending upon the cultural practices of the country in which they were created or initially used, and upon the type of tea being used. Many tea ware items are peculiar to a specific tea ceremony. Some are quite modern, and were designed to offer the convenience of tea bags while preserving the improved flavor and benefits of loose leaf teas.

Some teaware and tea accessories descriptions

There are hundreds of tea ware tools and devices, and each of these has many variations and styles. The following list is just a sampling of the nature and variety of these tools.

• A Tea Set: A tea pot and cups with saucers
• Steeping Cup: A combination of cup, lid, and infuser, designed to brew loose tea leaves as easy as teabags, but with better taste.
• Tea Strainers: A perforated or screened device that is placed over a cup and catches leaves as the steeped tea is poured through it.teaware
• Tea Ball: Sometimes called a tea egg, is an infuser in which loose tea leaves are placed for brewing.
• Tea Caddy: A box, jar, canister, or other tea container.
• Teapot Warmer: A small stand that holds a candle. It is capable of supporting and heating a small teapot.
• Teaspoon: A spoon for adding sweeteners and stirring tea.
• Tea Scoop: A scoop for measuring loose leaf teas into a pot or infuser.
• Sugar Tongs: Metal tongs used to lift sugar cubes from the sugar bowl to the teacup.
• Tea cozy: A padded cloth covering to keep a teapot warm.
• Honey Dipper: A tool for lifting honey from a honey jar to a teacup.

These tools are made from various materials. Some are strictly utilitarian. Others are miniature works of art. Infusers, teaspoons, tea balls, and strainers are found made from stainless steel, porcelain, and sterling silver. Tongs are made from stainless steel, brass, and silver. Tea caddies can be found in tin, stainless steel, pewter, wood, brass, silver, and porcelain.

Acquiring and displaying your collection

Collecting teaware can be an exciting challenge, but you must know your pieces. Do tea_accessories2 your research on tea ware on the Internet. Look for books discussing antique tea cups, vintage tea cups, tea sets from a particular era along with antique teaware.

It is not always easy to know what the function of a piece is by looking at it. At some flea markets, the vendor has no idea what he has, and will mix tea strainers and sugar tongs in with general household or automotive tools. The vendor’s lack knowledge of tea ware can give you a great advantage in price.

When you find a piece, clean it and display it. Some collectors specialize in tea accessories or teaware only. Others collect and display them in conjunction with their china tea sets or antique teacup collections. They are an excellent conversation starter when you give guests a tour of your collection.

More on collecting

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