You’ll see me reference this story in many areas, but it is always the shorter version. I want to tell you about my first teapot and how it changed my life. It was such an essential piece of my journey into tea.
My first teapot, the best one I will ever have, the one I have made countless amounts of tea in for myself, friends, and family. Perhaps the most warming aspect of this teapot is that it was passed down to me from dear friends. I know that there are a lot of things that can be passed down which sit on shelves for years but this teapot is different for me. It was the catalyst for my journey into tea, the opener of the gate, if you will.
The Anxiety Of Coffee
For many years, coffee was drink of choice. I never had an appreciation for the creation process or a yearning to learn everything I could about it, like I do for tea. I loved the taste and still do today even though I only take sips now and then. Coffee had become a way for me to get my jolt in the morning and afternoon. Tea was for the occasional gathering or a chai latte at a StarBucks. I never practiced the art of tea myself.
About five years ago, the coffee started to turn on me. It wasn’t just giving me the energy; it was also bringing with it a lot of jitters and the feeling of flight or fright. I am naturally an anxiety-riddled individual. I have learned how to cope with it over the years and keep it at bay. However, it still pops up here and there, sometimes very intensely.
I couldn’t keep up with coffee and its effects on me anymore. It was a weird thing because coffee had not caused me much trouble in the past, but again, there is nothing timely about anxiety, when it shows up and what it can ruin. Many know all too well about having to make sacrifices in your life to keep it arrested. I knew I had to do something to get some energy but try to stop the constant jitters. That’s when I decided to give up drinking coffee and drink tea instead!
I knew that tea had caffeine but had heard that it didn’t have AS MUCH. I figured it would be the right solution. For about a year or so, I did bagged teas, mostly black, the occasional loose at a friend’s house. Having less caffeine in my life was an adjustment because I was drinking large volumes of coffee daily. It was working, though. I was having less anxiety and not having those jitters you often have with coffee.
A Teapot From My Friends
About two years in, I was at a gathering put on by friends of mine. We used to have them every other week during the year to build community. I always looked forward to them. There was something warm and inviting about these evenings — the food, friends, discussions, and for me, the tea.
One gathering, during dessert time, my friend and her husband asked if I had a teapot. I drank many cups of tea with them over the years! They knew tea was starting to have a significant impact on my life. I told them I did not have real teaware, mostly infusers. So, they offered me what became my first real teapot. This metal, about 16oz teapot, became the actual start of what has turned into a beautiful and powerful relationship. This teapot had all the character one would have after many years of service. It has a metal filter that can come out if needed, a loose handle, and aroma hints from what feels like thousands of steeps in the past. It was the perfect way for me to start walking the path of tea.
I started small with black tea only. I would make mostly English Breakfast loose leaf or maybe some masala chai blend. After some time, I couldn’t get away from the feeling of wanting to branch out more, and what became a starting point has blossomed into an unwavering passion and appreciation. It has brought many great joys to my life. There is rarely a conversation with me these days that does not circle back to tea in some way. I have learned a lot about community, attention to detail, and patience, which all embody the aesthetic and almost mysterious characteristics of tea.
I love how tea has a story. When I drink it, I dive into that story and feel a connection to all of those who worked so hard to bring that particular cup to me. I think about all of the steps it took to create, contemplate all the aromas and unique tastes the tea offers, and what I can take and pass on to another.
It has been a little over a year now since then. I have a much more extensive collection of teaware, which you can see on my Instagram, but at the heart of all of it is my first metal teapot. It is always waiting for the next service, the next gathering, the next opportunity to bring the story of tea to our cups.