Teapot rituals: tea for Tao

 Porcelain Teapot -Melanie Brown



English Clarice Cliff Teapot in the BLue Chintz pattern
 Clarice Cliff Teapot in the Blue Chintz pattern
 Kangxi reign (1662-1722) Teapot
Boy sitting on dragon teapot –   Kangxi reign (1662-1722)



The evolution of tea drinking


The ancient Chinese Emporer, Shen Nung, is credited with discovering tea as a recreational beverage, around 2737 BC . Known as the “ Father of Chinese Medicine”,  he tested hundreds of herbs in the pursuit of natural remedies and was sometimes exposed to poisons in the process. He found that tea, in some instances, acted as a natural antidote. He also observed its mild stimulative qualities, along with its refreshing nature .
The tradition of drinking tea as a social occupation has existed in countless cultures for centuries. From the ritual of drinking mint tea in Morocco for cooling oneself, to the drinking of Masala Chai ( spice tea ) in India to the elaborate tea ceremonies in Japan.
A Geisha girl performing a tea ceremony
It wasn’t until the 16th century that this tea elixir was introduced into Europe, and was originally only affordable to the wealthy.
The ritual of “afternoon tea “ only became a widespread pastime after one of Queen Victoria’s  ladies in waiting, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, promoted the habit of having tea and cakes in the late afternoon. It became a daily event where formal attire was de rigueur. The Victorians called a tea service a tête-à-tête. This consisted of a cups and saucers, teapot, sugar bowl, cream pitcher and the finest silverware. What began as a leisurely ritual for the wealthy quickly caught on as an essential afternoon pastime with the working class, especially because supper time was around 9pm.
Being a lifelong tea drinker, I’ve always enjoyed the appearance of a teapot, possibly because of the promise of a fine brew. Sadly the teabag now dominates habits, but the noble ritual is not forgotten. My teas of choice are of the Japanese varieties. Genmai … this is a green tea combined with roasted brown rice and is an excellent tea if you have to maintain long spells of mental concentration. My other favourite is Kukicha  … a roasted twig tea  –  this yang tea is rich in calcium and grounding in nature. An occasional Earl  Gray also doesn’t go astray.



Yixing ware teapot – ca. 1900, China
Indian tea set
Indian style Tea Set – Nini Violette  – ( Flickriver )
Cream Colour Teapot Belleek Pottery, glazed porcelain, slip-cast Ireland, Co. Fermanagh 1869-82 Belleek Pottery, glazed porcelain, slip-cast
Ireland, Co. Fermanagh
( V & A Museum )
Photo Peter Jackson



 “The tea awakens the good spirit and wise thoughts. Tea refreshes my soul. If you are overwhelmed and feel despondent, tea will pacify. ” – Emperor Shen Nung (2700 god.pr.Hr.).



Teapot  ( Qianlong_Reign_Period )
Tea caddy-(circa-1698)
Chinese porcelain teapotChinese porcelain teapot
Whimsical creamer and sugar bowl Nancy Adams
 Nancy Adams
Teapot and sup Two Koi Tea - Nancy Adams
 Two Koi Tea – Nancy Adams





Japanese Tea Ceremony



Traditional Raku ware was favored for this refined ritual. Due to the fragile nature of some of the Raku ceramics they were only used once. All ingredients used were as organic or natural as possible. The water was preferably heated on a charcoal fire, as this had the purest Yang energy, as opposed to a gas fire or in these times electric or microwave which have the lowest quality Yang energy.





British Big Ben teapot” Big Ben” teapot



teapot by John Pollex
John Pollex
Trisha Coates Green Asparagus Teapot
” Asparagus Teapot ” by Trisha Coates

Black "porcelaine noire" teapot, designed by Tapio Wirkkala for Rosenthal.

Black ” porcelain noire ” teapot with silver and wooden handle, designed by Taipo Wirkkala for Rosenthal

Natalya Sots teapot and cup
Natalya Sots teapot with cup and saucer
Green Tea Teapot by Jaques Vesery, 2008
” My Growing Passion For Green Tea “
by Jaques Vesery, 2008
Lucia Pottery green teapot
” Stripey Teapot ” Lucia Pottery



Elegant Russian Teapot made of rock crystal, trimmed with gilt filigree with emeralds and ruby
Iced teapot  made of rock crystal, trimmed with gilt filigree with emeralds and ruby – Nachalo
Samantha Henneke spotty teapotTeapot by Samantha Henneke
English Staffordshire red teapot with botanical green leaf decoration
Staffordshire – 1740-1760
African teapot from Algeria
 Algerian Teapot ( The Met Museum )


 Julie Atelier teapot
Wood Fired Scorpion King Ceramic Teapot by Julie Atelier ( etsy )



Camel teapot Moore Bros.
Moore Bros. –  1876
( V & A Museum )
French Sevres teapot
 Sevres Teapot ( French 1740 to present )



Lynn Casenerio teapot
 Dusk till Dawn 2008
Ceramic Glass,Czech Gems,Metal
by Lynn Casenerio



Shojji Hamada japanese teapot

Shojji Hamada




Jaroslav Ježek contemporary teaset

 Jaroslav Ježek – Modernist Czech Pottery tea set



Chinese enameled porcelain puzzle pot, late Qing/early Republic period, in the form of the character ‘fu’



Jeffrey Klechner abstract teapot
Jeffrey Klechner
Burgess & Leigh teapot
Burgess & Leigh – 1896
Terra Ki Teaware

Large Green Pumpkin Teapot by Laura Kolinski Schultz

( Terra Ki Teaware )



Chinese-Teapot Qing Famille Rose

 Qing Famille Rose teapot






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