Tea Photos

I don’t feel like the pain of writing today. That, and to add further incoherence to the theme of this blog, decided me to take some photos of my tea stuff & attempt a photo essay.

The tea closet, a good 3 feet away from the oven

Don’t be like me, peeps. One isn’t supposed to store one’s teas in the closet — too much humidity, moisture condensation — and the closet better not be in the kitchen — too much heat, too many aromas. Teas are Madonnas like that.

The tea wares that I hardly ever use. This obviously didn’t keep me from coveting them, drooling over them, and spending my retirement money buying them. Come see me in the poor house one day, won’t you?

The coveted but little used tea wares

It’s hard to stand out in a crowd, so here are individual shots of some of the pieces

The kyusu

The easy-pour gaiwan

Soviet-era craftsmanship

The Korean tea canister

Each member of the motley crew has its story, however uninteresting (like people, I suppose). The flashy orange tea canister, for instance, was actually manufactured as a sugar bowl. Made sometime in the 1970s in commie East Europe. It’s part of a set, so in buying it from somebody in Ukraine, I’ve separated it from its family of cups, saucers, and milk pitcher. In transplanting it here, I’ve also torn its from its country of origin, uprooted it, so to speak. It’s really a forced migrant to this new land where its purpose has been subverted. (Should I think of it as a “in my country, I was doctor. Here, I custodian” kind of story?) It has scars to show for its stormy life — a big chip on the side of the bowl that I’ve carefully faced away from the camera.

The Ru kiln cups

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4 Responses to Tea Photos

  1. I had no idea there was a wrong and right way to store tea! My tea is currently stashed away in a tiny pantry in my stuffy and hot little kitchen. Egads!
    Your blue tea set is lovely, by the way. And who said a blog needs a rational theme? Chaos makes things interesting 🙂

    • teasandbooks says:

      For everything related to tea — storage, handling, water, fuel for the fire to heat the water, vessel, angle of pouring, steeping time, the clothes that you wear (if you subscribe the the Japanese tea ceremony) — there are a thousand things to do wrong. But, I say, let’s revel in our clueless-ness, our devil-may-care attitude (even if I don’t know what I don’t care), our rejection of the orthodox, however wise it may be. Let’s be rebels!

    • teasandbooks says:

      Maybe that’s the trade off? Chaos breeds excitement, but a structured, tightly thematic series of writing allows the writer to ease into the task much more easily. Take the writing for TV shows, for instance; every episode of I Love Lucy, you know Lucy is going to get into some kind of trouble, every season of Law and Order is going to revolve around murder cases, every 90201, you got lust, angst, and brooding dark looks from Dylan. Even if the ideas in each episode is fresh and new, the framework alleviates some of the burden on the writer, e.g. the need for constant, new stimuli. Furthermore, because the expectation is clearer, the shape of the final product more obvious,the writing is easier to produce. As a concrete example, I have a pet topic to which I keep returning called “Books I’m reading“, and I find it relatively easier to write these entries than others. Every time I finish a book, I can blog an entry (given that I got something quasi-interesting to say). The reflexivity of the process means I’m less likely to slack off . It may also mean I have a lower bar for writing, and so the entries are of a lower quality. From a reader’s point-of-view, insofar as he values predictability or has a narrow interest in that he’s looking to read, a strong theme is also a plus.

      • Ah, so true. Having a basic framework makes it easier to write and also easier to read/follow. I just started this blogging thing though and have no idea what sort of ‘theme’ I would give myself! Maybe with more blogging it would reveal itself to me.

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