When teaware gets expensive, the temptation is to be more careful with it, but sometimes, the more careful you are with things, the more likely you’re going to break them, because you are naturally nervous handling it.
No, I didn’t melt down the silver kettle or anything, fun though that may be. It does, however, remind me that when using expensive teaware, sometimes one’s enjoyment is slightly less than if it were replaced with something cheap, something that is cheap enough so that whether it breaks or not, it doesn’t matter much. In many ways, it does not detract from the joys of tea making — perhaps even enhances it. Generally speaking, my teaware are not very expensive, and I have learned through a few painful lessons that it is often not a good idea to be too invested in any particular piece of teaware — those are the ones you tend to break.
Using the silver kettle does get me a little nervous. Of course, it is partly because the item’s not mine — I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to it, whether it be a ding or dent or whatever. Silver not being particularly hard, I didn’t want to risk anything, so I was extra careful.
And I think it showed in the tea making I was doing — I was too concerned with not getting the kettle into anything bad that I wasn’t concentrating as much on the tea itself or the tea making process. I’m sure once I get used to the kettle, I will be more comfortable wth it, but until then, it’s like driving a new car — you have to be more careful because you don’t know how it reacts to the things you do.
But anyway, the kettle is going to go on its merry way to its rightful owner. It was fun playing with the thing, and to try my hand at using one for making tea. I can say it certainly does something to the water, and the resulting tea tastes different. Whether or not it’s worth the amount of money, or whether or not it is a desirable change in taste, that, I think, will always depend on the individual.