Green Tea & Design (3)

 

091004_1This time we’d like to introduce a few items that play a supporting role in the presentation of green tea. The first is a sandglass. According to the variety of tea leaf, the appropriate temperature of water and the length of time for brewing differ. Brewing time is especially important for green tea – in fact, a mistake here can result in a very poor taste. The sandglass displayed was made at a Tokyo glass studio and boasts a seamless delicacy. Although the piece shown in the photograph uses white sand and measures 3 minutes, the colour and amount of sand (which determines the length of time measured) vary in response to the type of tea being brewed.

091004_2The tea strainer is indispensible when using a heat-resistant glass pot. Most ceramic pots are fitted with a strainer on the inside, but cleaning can be a problem and the strainer can become clogged up over time, so some prefer to choose a pot without a pre-fitted strainer. This one is a copper tea strainer bound thread by thread by a Kyoto craftsman. Through use, and over time, the colour, a deep and settled one that is particular to copper, gradually changes. It’s fun to use a little lidded pot when displaying tea leaves or when discreetly offering some sweets to go with the green tea. It might even be said that the excited feeling of lifting the lid and producing a little surprise is a special facet of Japanese food culture. This pot can also, of course, be used for storing sugar for tea or coffee service.

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