Teaware History: Teapots And Mote Spoons
Drinking tea is an out of the world experience for tea lovers. But what enhances the experience more are exquisite and antique teawares that reflect royalty in your teacup. Kings and royal families used great teaware during tea preparation; it was said to have elevated the tea-drinking experience. While collecting antique teawares may not be our cup of tea, in this article, we will be discussing two famous teawares: round teapots and graceful mote spoons that are must-have kitchenware if you're a tea lover.
Teapots were invented and used for the first time in China, and the style is claimed to be based on the Chinese wine Ewer. During the 1500s of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) the substantial use of clay teapots came into production. At this period, Stoneware teapots were being discovered and produced in Yixing pottery.
By Western standards, early teapots are small since they are typically meant for a single drinker, and the Chinese traditionally drank the tea straight from the spout. The size represents the significance of serving single portions so that, then replicated, the flavors can be properly concentrated and managed.
Porcelain teapots were especially attractive since at that time porcelain could not be produced in Europe. It wasn't until 1708 that Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus invented a way to produce porcelain in Dresden, Germany, and established the Meissen factory in 1710, when European pottery began to be produced.
Boston became the epicenter of silver production and artistry in colonial America. Their piece of art featured silver teapots. And, thus silver and porcelain teapots were part of a luxurious lineage as we know them today. The globular shaped teapot to which we are familiar today was a European innovation. The inspiration for the style may have been twofold, the Islamic coffee pots were identical, and so were the Chinese wine vessels.
Mote spoons :
Originally known as the 'tea strainer spoon,' mote spoons were used in the early 17th and 18th centuries. A 'mote' is a speck or a fragment of an object, and in this case, a small tea leaf. A mote spoon refers to a spoon with a pierced bowl to remove tea leaves. Mote spoons were in wide use before the tea-caddy spoons were invented and produced. They were used to take the tea leaves out of the canister and into the pot. This process sifts the tea dust out from the stems, leaving the smallest pieces out of the teapot.
Another significant characteristic of the mote spoon was the tapered, pointed handle used to dislodge leaves from the teapot's beak.
Traditionally, tea was made by applying loose tea leaves to a hot water teapot. When the brewed tea was pouring out of the teapot, it wouldn't be rare for any stray tea leaves to join the teacup. The usual procedure was to keep a mote spoon handy on the table in preparation for this unruly case. The slots in the mote spoon will make a quick scoop to extract the tea leaves.
The ancient teaware symbolises how tea lovers put their creativity in making the tea-drinking experience worth the indulgence. The teapots and mote spoons may not be in use now, but they talk of the royalty and prestige associated with the beverage. Even today, these two teawares are seen as a symbol of antique and tea-drinking legacy.