Decorative or functional?

Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Decorative or functional?

Postby Pas » Apr 5th, '14, 01:46

Hi folks,

In browsing around for teapots, I came across the Chinese zodiac themed ones from Ten Ren: www.tenren.com/chinzodteapb.html

Anyone know if these are actually good teapots, or are they better suited to sitting around being decorative? My assumption is the latter, but I'd love to be wrong. Though I have my eye on plenty of other beautiful and functional teaware (getting a kyusu from Artistic Nippon is on the to-do list)...I still kinda want a snake teapot simply because I collect snake-related things. If it's actually a decent teapot I could better justify spending the money!

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Misou » Apr 5th, '14, 10:08

Very cool. The descriptions mention an inner convex sieve - that sounds as though they were made with function in mind. The only thing I might worry about is how well they pour. Some of the designs have slightly turned spouts. This might take some getting used to as the tea will poir slightly off set of center.

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby kyarazen » Apr 5th, '14, 13:47

both decorative and functional.

i think the beauty of teaware is not only to have it benefit the brew but also to offer an aesthetic appreciation in the workmanship or in the tea brewing process..


(which is why i'm getting a little bored of shui-pings..) :P

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Pas » Apr 5th, '14, 15:07

Thank you both!

That's a good point about the turned spouts. Since the snake one seems to be pretty straight, I decided to go ahead with the purchase. If it turns out I'm not fond of brewing in it, it can join my other collectibles.

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby bagua7 » Apr 5th, '14, 23:16

IMHO, more decorative than functional.

Clay looks a bit meh. :mrgreen: Sorry. :)

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby kyarazen » Apr 6th, '14, 07:55

bagua7 wrote:IMHO, more decorative than functional.

Clay looks a bit meh. :mrgreen: Sorry. :)


looks like the golden snake is the only snake in stock. what clay do you think it is made from?

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Teaism » Apr 6th, '14, 10:26

kyarazen wrote:both decorative and functional.
(which is why i'm getting a little bored of shui-pings..) :P


Hmmmm...the other way round for me. I found shui ping boring when I started collecting teapot but now beginning to like it more and more.... :lol: ... We can meet halfway and do some exchange :D

....but I still like the rest of other teapots, just only additional liking for shui ping...so we still have to meet halfway with the exchange :D

...in the meantime, came over and I will brew you some insane tea...THE 2007 LBZ :lol:

Cheers! :D

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Misou » Apr 6th, '14, 10:46

Just my opinion of course but I think one can get too caught up in the chase for the perfect tea ware based on clay, firing etc.

Dont get me wrong, I dont mean to suggest that knowing, caring or wanting specific ware is wrong. Only that for the vast majority of people, myself included, we just want good tasting tea.


To that point paying attention to leaf, water, temp and steep time will yeild far more benefit than the tea pot used.

When I look for tea ware I want to know the material is food safe, will it hold heat reasonably well and poor well? Is the pot the right size, how easy is it to clean and does it look good enough I actually want to use it?

Of course everyone has their own criteria and clay type might be one that is important for some. But I wouldn't automatically discredit a pot based on clay...unless it wasn't food safe.

Frankly the average tea drinker, even if they are knowledgable about tea and wares, would be hard pressed to note any difference between clay/firing types without a side by side test of tea and wares. Its just not that important in the whole scheme of a tasty cup of tea.

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby kyarazen » Apr 6th, '14, 11:31

and in the very end... taste is subjective so.... :lol: it goes in a circle


Misou wrote:Only that for the vast majority of people, myself included, we just want good tasting tea.

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby kyarazen » Apr 6th, '14, 11:53

Teaism wrote:
kyarazen wrote:both decorative and functional.
(which is why i'm getting a little bored of shui-pings..) :P


Hmmmm...the other way round for me. I found shui ping boring when I started collecting teapot but now beginning to like it more and more.... :lol: ... We can meet halfway and do some exchange :D

....but I still like the rest of other teapots, just only additional liking for shui ping...so we still have to meet halfway with the exchange :D

...in the meantime, came over and I will brew you some insane tea...THE 2007 LBZ :lol:

Cheers! :D


haha! i've probably only 60-70 pots right now.. whilst you are up to 600-700 pieces at least.. i think you'll find my stuff boring :)

no worries.. i'll help you drink up your 2007 LBZ anytime.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: whew!! $5000/cake puts it in the range of $15/gram...

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby wert » Apr 6th, '14, 12:26

kyarazen wrote:no worries.. i'll help you drink up your 2007 LBZ anytime.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: whew!! $5000/cake puts it in the range of $15/gram...

I want to self invite. :D

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Pas » Apr 10th, '14, 00:59

The teapot arrived today, so I took some photos in case they're helpful to anyone else. Can't comment on the clay quality since I know nothing about clay.

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Pas » Apr 10th, '14, 01:01

A few more:

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Misou » Apr 10th, '14, 14:20

Very cool. Have you used it yet?

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Re: Decorative or functional?

Postby Pas » Apr 11th, '14, 22:12

Haven't had a chance to use it yet--hopefully this weekend!

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