Tea Infusiast News, No. 16

Welcome to the April 2024 edition of Tea Infusiast News–a newsletter for tea lovers to connect with and through tea. This is the 16th edition of the newsletter.

In this April 2024 Edition


Spring Rest Kit for Tea Lovers is Live!

Tea Infusiast's Spring Rest Kit for Tea Lovers: Everything (except the tea) tha tyou need to have convenient, mindful, and restorative tea breaks.

It’s always exciting to work on something for months and then see it out in the world! My online Spring Rest Kit for Tea Lovers is now live.

Instead of waiting for your pre-order, now you can simply purchase the kit and receive it right away. So, if you are looking for practices and inspiration for convenient and mindful tea time, the Spring kit is here to help! It’s also possible to give the kit as a gift.

Teaware Talk: Rosenthal Duchess

April’s highlighted teaware from my collection was passed down through the family.

Backstory of This Teacup

My mother-in-law, Anneli, had boxes with many, many pieces of a Rosenthal Duchess china set. She brought the set in Germany before she married my husband’s father.

She admired them in a specialty store one day. Some time later, she was still thinking about the beautiful china set but not planning to purchase them. She told her fiancé, my future father-in-law, and even took him to see them.

Rosenthal Duchess Ivory teacup and saucer with gold and platinum trim on rocks.

Seeing how she admired it, he encouraged her to get the set. Anneli reminisced about bringing the Rosenthal set to her apartment, writing:

I remember that Friday evening after work, with the whole weekend free before me; I remember the feeling of wellbeing and happiness and satisfaction that I felt.

Her response really touched me. How wonderful that our conversation about this teacup led her to recall the encouragement from her future-husband and the warm feelings of bringing this china set home.

The Set Moves to Our Home

Fast forward decades later in the United States. This set was no longer in use. My husband was helping his mom go through things some years ago. They opened the boxes that contained this china. Generously, Anneli gave us the set.

We use the dinnerware piece from this Rosenthal set often, usually on Shabbat or when we have guests over. Still, we all know we’re here to talk about the TEA cups! Teacups and saucers from this set are in regular rotation for tea time.

The teacups are ivory with a gold and platinum band and a gold loop handle. They have a coordinating saucer. The cups are short and wide, holding 6 ounces (about 200ml) when filled to the very top.

Reasons I Love These Teacups

There are many reasons I often reach for one of these teacups.

Rosenthal Duchess teacup and saucer detail

I love this pattern! It goes with everything.

The wide opening allows my tea to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature without much delay.

The size is great! I can pour about 4 ounces or about 150ml of tea into this cup, making it perfect for western-style tea or for drinking tea I prepare more toward gongfu style.

Although this Rosenthal Duchess teacup isn’t the traditional teaware for East Frisian tea, I particularly love to drink that tea from it. It’s perfect to drink in three sips.

I’ll stop here to underscore the most important thing.

Pouring cream into East Frisian tea

When I drink tea from a piece from this set, it makes me feel closer to my mother-in-law despite the distance that separates us.

Amazing how tea and teaware can connect us across time and space, isn’t it? That’s the story of this Rosenthal Duchess teacup.

Recent Teahouse Visits in NYC

“Tea Journey” at T Shop

I trekked into Manhattan to visit T Shop again.

Exterior entrance to T Shop in Manhattan, New York. There are pink flowers with green leaves on the left side of the glass entrance door with a green sign that says "T Shop."

Although I’ve enjoying having gongfu tea there several times before, this was the first time I sat at their counter and enjoyed a “tea journey.”

Hyun Lee, one of the owners, took me through several infusions of two teas and a tisane. (It could have been more infusions and three teas if I weren’t caffeine-sensitive.)

She helped me choose by discussing what kind of teas I like, what I was interested in trying, the weather that day, and so on. I also got to choose which of their teacups to use, which I found fun!

With guidance and her company, Hyun steeped Li Shan Reserve, Hadong Hwang Cha, and (when I couldn’t have more caffeine) Persimmon Leaves from Boseong. The Li Shan is from Taiwan and the Hwang Cha and Persimmon Leaves are from Korea. I really enjoyed all three!

It was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot from tasting and the discussion with Hyun.

Also, did you see the way some of the steeped Hwang Cha leaves, in the photo above, looked like a beautiful, old-fashioned calligraphy “T?” I was very charmed.

For details about T Shop, photos of the interior, etc., see my earlier post Review of T Shop in NYC.

Tea Pet Sibling Reunion at Té Company

Tiny clay tea pet turtle, Bonsai, waiting on a metal railing outside a tea shop in Manhattan.

I also carried one of my tea pets, Bonsai #TheMightyMicroTurtle, into NYC to meet up with a European tea friend who was visiting New York AND happens to be the human companion of one of Bonsai’s siblings–Rosemarin.

Both turtles are related to Herb the Traveling Tea Turtle and made by Michell Hovey, a generous member of the communiTEA.

We met up at the always delightful Té Company. You can read my review of Té Company here.

I had a lovely time with everyone, including the very kind and delightful human being who is Rosemarin’s human companion. I just how tea brings people together!

Two turtle tea pets--a tiny smiling clay turtle with a greenish brown face and feet and a larger smiling clay turtle with a bright green face and feet. Both have clay shells that have been darkened by pouring tea on them over time.

ICYMI: Recent on the Blog

Cup of tea--masala chai--in a white and yellow tecup.

This is a story of how I grew up paying attention to the mouthfeel of tea, lost it, and am getting it back.

This post also explains mouthfeel.

Also on the blog recently, I shared how I led my first in-person tea event: Tea as a Gateway to Mindfulness.

I’ve offered dozens of online events over the past few years–many solo, some collaborations.

These online offerings have included my Virtual Tea Table series, Build Your Own Rest Practice workshop, Story of a Teacup, and so on. A few weeks ago, I was excited to finally lead an in-person tea event!

Traci Levy of Tea Infusiast--a white woman in her 50s with silver shoulder-length hair wearing glasses, a denim shirt and multicolor vest and holding a microphone will leading a tea event.

New to Loose-Leaf Tea or Looking for Infuser Ideas?

This is an older post, but still relevant for anyone interested in moving from tea bags to loose-leaf tea or looking for advice about steeping loose-leaf teas.

Various tea infusers and measures spoons to consider when getting started with loose leaf tea

What are the practical considerations to start using loose leaf tea? It’s relatively easy to use once you know a few basics! This post provide advice on how get started with loose leaf tea.

It explores: what to use to steep loose leaf tea, how much tea to use per serving, and how long to steep.

Photo of Traci Levy of Tea Infusiast --a white woman in her 50s wearing lavender glasses, a gray shirt, and a blue and white scarf around her neck holding a tea infuser.

I’ve also taken a reel that I originally shared on Instagram and added it to YouTube for convenient accessibility.

If you are interested in an under-30-second video that shows my favorite loose-leaf tea infuser baskets, including their pros and cons, this video is for you!

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