Appreciating tea is not only a process of preparing tea to extinguish thirst, it is also the pleasurable fulfillment found within the ceremonious aspects of tea. Organizing a tea pet on a tray, alongside the accouterments of tea, and then offering your life-giving elixir to this well-nurtured companion greatly adds to your overall satisfaction and experience.
History of Tea Pets
Dating back to the Yuan tradition of Ancient China, teapot artisans began shaping extra pieces of clay into animal shape. These molded animals were then fired alongside teapots and cups and kept as a matching mascot for the finished tea set.
Tea Pets of Today
Tea pets also known as tea lovers pets are usually made of Yixing clay, a material praised by potters for its absorbent properties. Another beloved element of Yixing clay is that it gradually changes its shading. The more it is “presented” to hot tea, the more colorful the shading of the clay. As time passes by, tea pets develop a delicate gloss and tea fragrance.
Like in ancient times, the tea pets of today are typically molded into Chinese legendary animals, characters, or zodiac creatures to symbolize good luck, fortune and bliss. Contrary to tradition, the most popular figure of today’s tea pet cosmos is the “pee-pee kid“, which is utilized to judge whether the water is sufficiently hot to make tea.
How to “Raise” a Tea Pet
Much the same as real pets, tea pets need much attention. Tea lovers regularly pour leftover tea over their tea pets and utilize a tea brush to clean the exterior of the tea pet to spread the tea equitably. To ensure dynamic scent and color, tea pets are then rinsed with pure water, without utilizing cleanser or any dishwashing fluid. With regular maintenance, over months or years, the tea pet will absorb elements of the tea, and its appearance will become increasingly glossier and more fragrant.
Do you have a favorite tea pet?