Teapot storage

This blog is sometimes about stuff you don’t even know you need to know. Here’s one – how to store teapots.

It’s usually not a problem, until it is. When you have three or five teapots, just putting them on a table and laying them out is good enough. When you have a couple hundred, that tactic doesn’t work that well.

After a lot of experimentation with various places and storage units, I have found that IKEA’s Alex works best, seen here

The main problem with storing teapots is that you want them accessible, you want to be efficient with space (at least in Hong Kong) and you want to be able to be relatively sure that they are safe when you open it and take something out. The nice thing about these drawers is that the small drawers are almost perfect for smaller teapots in terms of height. When you open you see most of the drawer, and you can pull out the teapot vertically. If you put it on a shelf, for example, you can easily bump into another teapot and cause something to fall out the front. With an open top drawer, you don’t worry about that. If you live in an earthquake prone area, well, this might not well as well, but I don’t think any storage solution is going to work well for that.

The bottom drawers are deeper, so I can fit the bigger pots and also boxes in there for my pairs of pots and things like that. So far I have two of these filled. I could use a third, I suppose, since I have cups and stuff to store, but I’m trying to avoid another one because more space = invitation to get more stuff to fill them. Anyway, if you need a storage solution for your teapots, you’re welcomed. No, IKEA didn’t pay me.

Yixing inventory #17: Mengchen

First of all, happy year of the rooster to everyone!

This pot has a bit of a weird clay – looks great, but it has this really hollow sound which makes me think it’s got a crack, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s just a more hollow sounding clay, I suppose, but I am hesitant to use it. The line at the bottom of the pot says “When the moon is in the middle of the sky it’s especially bright” and the name Mengchen. 170ml.

Yixing inventory #15: Gongju

Yes, this is the third so far I’ve posted with the same wooden chop “gongju”. After you see enough of these you start to get a sense of the different makers’ styles. Gongju wooden stamped ones like these tend to have a thin spout relative to the body, with an angled cut at the tip of the spout, and thin handles. The lip on the lid is short. They often pour a bit slow because of the smaller spout, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your needs. 160ml.

Yixing inventory #12: Zini water dropper

Not all yixing pots were used for tea brewing, or at least that’s the way it seems sometimes. In things like senchado sometimes they were used for water cooling/pouring rather than tea making. It’s not always clear to me why one is designated as water dropper rather than teapot. When there’s a pair sometimes one gets assigned one job and the other the job of tea making. In any case, this pot is called “zini suichu” which literally means purple clay water dropper. 145ml.