Finding the right tea kit can be a transformative moment, as HTSI editor Jo Ellison discovered when she first used La Via del Tè’s tea-infuser spoon (€12.90), ideal for one-cup tea-making with loose leaves: “It’s the kind of gadget you didn’t think you needed, and then can’t understand how you survived without.” Georg Jensen also makes a polished stainless-steel beauty, shaped like a giant acorn (£35). But if nothing but a full porcelain pot will do, Ginori 1735’s Teapot Primavera (£1,120) is the traditional teapot to end all. And for a punked-up accompaniment, Gucci uses black Ginori porcelain in its Star Eye cup and saucer set (£400). Committed loose-leaf fans will know of Japan’s classic Kaikado of Kyoto caddy (from £110), but it does have a seven-month waiting list. A high-tech alternative comes from tea-humidor specialist Lotusier – its Tin Humidor (£79) is double-walled like the Kaikado caddy, and has humidity controls tucked into the wall. Max out with a crystal-packed version (£10,500). Equally indulgent is the new crossgrain-leather-cased, 19th-century-inspired Panama tea set (£2,995) created for Smythson by Henrietta Lovell of the Rare Tea Company. Its glass bottles can be filled with milk – or a dram of whisky, according to requirements. In search of something to leaf through while kicking back with a cuppa? Ausra Burg of Soho’s My Cup of Tea has just published the exquisite Tea Stories: Japan (£35), with words by HTSI contributor Rachelle Gryn Brettler.
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