While it may be nice to collect teaware and have several teapots of varying sizes for various occasions and circumstances, often our disproportionate focus on teaware leads us astray from tea itself. Don’t get me wrong, teaware is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable aspects of the tea hobby, but admittedly it isn’t the most necessary. With many variations, colours, sizes and styles, there seems to be a piece of teaware out there for everyone to enjoy. However, putting too much emphasis on acquiring the next piece of teaware to add to the collection while neglecting the quality of the tea you drink from it results in an inferior cup of tea that in the end, takes away some of the pleasure that the tea hobby ought to otherwise provide.
In many ways, we find ourselves today in an acquisition economy. An economy whose health depends on the consumers buying as much as they possibly can whenever they can afford it, and sometimes even when they can’t. These economic habits have been instilled in pretty much all of us through the advertisements and depictions of “glamorous” lifestyles that surround us constantly. The urge we have to buy more, more, more and still more appears scientifically to be a natural one and yet, may take away much of the enjoyment that tea could otherwise provide us.
When the opportunity is taken to spend a period of time focused on the tea itself rather than the than the teaware and the acquisition of said teaware, the opportunity is taken to enjoy tea more fully. The focus that the mind pays to worrying about whether to get a pot of this size or that, or a mug in this colour or this other colour can be directed instead quite easily to enjoying the tea presently brewed in whatever teaware is at hand. When the mind is given the opportunity to do this, tea in general becomes more and more interesting as its nuances and subtleties are more readily percepted and explored.
The shift from teaware back to tea not exclusively a mental shift, but also a financial one. When funds are directed away from buying a third teapot or a sixth teacup and towards a first high quality whole leaf black tea, the greatest possible enjoyment in the tea hobby can be achieved. Really, the only teaware we ever truly need is a mug or a cup capable of containing hot liquids. Anything more than this, is I’m sure we could all admit, pleasant but not particularly necessary.
Focusing on tea rather than teaware in the hobby can result in the greatest overall enjoyment of the beverage. By focusing the mind on the tea we brew rather than the vessel in which we brew it, we allow our mental processes to pick up the finer subtleties and nuances in the tea that we may otherwise miss. Furthermore, by focusing our available budgets on purchasing better tea rather than just more teaware, we give ourselves the gift of the greatest possible enjoyment and pleasure to be found in the hobby of tea.Tea