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Red Blossom Blog

Types of Teaware: What is Stoneware Clay?

Types of Teaware: What is Stoneware Clay?

As if choosing a tea wasn’t hard enough, teaware options are almost equally endless, and can have a surprisingly large impact on the flavor of brewed tea. While many teaware options are made of modern materials like plastic, metal, or glass, the greatest variety of tea tools are made from ceramic, or fired clay. From traditional teapots to utilitarian infusers and decorative display pieces, the clay used to form each piece helps define how it functions.

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The Ultimate Guide to Tea Infusers

The Ultimate Guide to Tea Infusers

Tea infusers, made to contain tea leaves while brewing, are an extremely popular tool for brewing loose leaf tea. A precursor to bagged teas, reusable infusers hold leaves captive while allowing water to flow freely through a filter of mesh or punched holes. They are particularly useful for brewing small leaf pieces, like those used for many Western-style black teas, because they prevent small bits from ending up in the brew. However, they’re also commonly used for other tea types, since they are easy to find, simple to use, and allow for leaves to be extracted to prevent over-brewing.

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What is a Kyusu Teapot?

What is a Kyusu Teapot?

Shopping for teapots can be daunting, with seemingly endless styles to choose from and few physical differences among them. Materials, finishings, and craftsmanship can all influence the flavor of tea in subtle ways, but most teaware is sold without mention of these practical details. Instead, exotic-sounding descriptors like kyusu are used to indicate features - but the application of this term, in particular, can be inconsistent. So what does the term kyusu mean, exactly?

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What is the Best Way to Boil Water for Tea?

What is the Best Way to Boil Water for Tea?

Released to public domain by Matthew McBrayer via Unsplash.

If high quality tea leaves are the star of a show in a good cup of tea, then the right water is the entire supporting cast. We’ve written before about the importance of water quality, but the flavor of this all-important ingredient can also be influenced by the method and vessel used to heat it. Today we’ll break down all the different ways to boil water, and how each one can affect your cup of tea.

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How to Brew Tea Without An Infuser

How to Brew Tea Without An Infuser

Tea infusers come in many shapes and sizes, from filtering bags pre-filled with tea, to infuser baskets that fit in the top of a pot or cup, to teapots with filter holes pierced directly at the base of the spout. All of these specialized tools can simplify the brewing process by helping to remove the leaves from the water when the tea is ready to drink.

Check out our list of ALL the ways to brew loose leaf tea >>

It is absolutely possible, however, to brew loose tea leaves without any specialized equipment! Here are two different methods, using the simplest tools, to brew any type of loose leaf tea.

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How to Make Tea: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Loose Leaves

How to Make Tea: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Loose Leaves

Brewing tea is easy - combine tea leaves and water, and then separate them. But in the long history of tea leaves, this process has been adapted into countless methods, using anything from basic rice bowls to specialized tools like teapots or infuser baskets.

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What is Dry Brewing?

What is Dry Brewing?

Despite a reputation as a formalized ‘tea ceremony’, there are many variations of the traditional gong fu cha brewing method. Most demonstrations utilize showy displays of rinsing and pouring to create drama, using a large tray to capture excess water during the brewing process. The elaborate setup, however, necessitating several pieces of teaware and a specialized tray, can be a barrier for beginners hoping to brew this way at home.

Find step-by-step instructions for brewing gong fu cha >>

The current trend, however, is a modern interpretation called ‘dry brewing’, which minimizes the amount of spillage as much as possible, and usually replaces the draining tray with a large bowl to collect excess rinse water. At first sight, this method may seem more approachable, but brewing with such precision actually requires more skill and specialized equipment.

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Why Does Celadon Crackle?

Why Does Celadon Crackle?

Celadon is a type of pottery, broadly defined by the type of glaze used. Traditional celadon colors can vary from jade green to cerulean blue, or can even be pure white. Modern celadon glazes include an even wider range, generally including any color that is translucent once fired. But one thing that is consistent across many styles of celadon glaze are a fine web of crackling in the glaze.

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Picking the Perfect Teapot: Functional vs. Decorative

Picking the Perfect Teapot: Functional vs. Decorative

Since teapots were first invented (probably during the Ming Dynasty), the classic form has been adapted and reimagined in every corner of the world. From the Brown Betty in England to the ornate metal pots used in Morocco, cultures around the world have created their own teapots to suit their own unique tea habits. Over time, teapots have become more than just a functional vessel for brewing tea, and have taken on a new role as collectible pieces of art.

Learn more about the history and use of teapots >>

While decorative details don’t negate a pot’s usefulness, it can be helpful to distinguish between those that are meant for everyday use and those that are designed for display. Regardless of aesthetic value, there are a few functional details that are important to pay attention to when buying a pot to brew tea in.

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3 Simple Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

3 Simple Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

For those new to tea, the brewing process can be intimidating, especially if your first exposure to loose leaf brewing involved a showy sampling in traditional gong fu cha style. The specialized teaware, high tech gadgets, and precise methods of tea connoisseurs can all serve a purpose in the enjoyment and appreciation of tea, but brewing the perfect cup doesn’t have to be complicated. With the three adaptable steps in this article, you will be able to brew great tea in any context, with whatever equipment you have on hand.

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