These days in the west restaurants, tea shop owners and conoisseurs are all singing the praises of loose leaf tea. There has been a mass proliferation of teashops in Canada and the U.S. selling loose leaf tea. Yet the West is lacking hte hardware required to get the most out of this 'loose leaf' tea that is so widely promoted and praised. The concept is simple: With loose leaf tea, in principle, the tea leaves are free to swish around and blossom open in the water releasing their fragrance more and providing consumers with a better cup of tea.
The problem the West is having (that has been solved here in Asia for centuries) is with hardware. Most western tepots have one hole for the spout and must use a wire mesh insert inside to hold the leaves. The problem with this is that the leaves haven't the full pot to roam around in. A more horrible solution is the tea infuser pictured at right:
Loose leaf tea, yet confined in a small ball like infuser. You might as well be using a teabag then ! Here in Korea we use teapots that don't require an infuser ~or~ a wire mesh insert ! Its what's inside that counts !
Here are two of my 3 Korean teapots I have at home. The one on the left was a gift. The larger one on the right is one I made myself.
Here in Busan Nampodong and Pyunghwa Markets have plenty of Korean tea sets. In Nampo market the Korean teasets @ Tamina go for about 20,000 - 40,000 won each.
Now I'm just wondering when the potters in the west will pick up on this idea...