A Guide To China Tea Sets
Hope, people sometimes ask me, as we have Coca Cola nowadays, why does anybody bother with tea sets anymore?
And to them I say, if we have tea sets, we have history, and if we have history, we have gravitas, and if we have gravitas then we can inject a note of class and seriousness into taking tea with friends we don't know very well, or the mothers of a new beau, or perhaps the Parish priest if those still exist by the time your eyes fall on this page.
A china tea set is what the young people might call an 'old school' gift, it is therefore eminently suitable for all gift giving occasions where you don't really know the recipient all that well, or some degree of formality is required. Weddings, engagements, birthdays, mergers, births, baby showers, moon landings, there is no occasion on which a china tea set could possibly be construed as an inappropriate gift.
China tea sets have a value far beyond the monetary and the physical. They become memories in and of themselves, markers of lazy afternoons and special events. Even after the owner has passed on, a tea set contains their memory, and as it is brought out and enjoyed by future generations it becomes more than function, more than form, it embodies the spirit of a generation.
Drinking tea is good for the body and the soul. Tea contains all manner of wonderful anti-oxidants and other ingredients that make living less painful. A good tea set should include:
A tea pot.
Sugar and creamer set.
The size of the tea set is not overly important. A four cup tea set or a six cup tea set are both appropriate gifts for adults. A miniature china tea set is a perfect gift for a child or the sort of adult who likes tiny fiddly things and displaying them behind glass.
Very few people bother to purchase their own tea sets anymore, it's all mugs and plastic bottles and Armageddon, so the refined elegance of a tea set is often appreciated. You may find that they bring the tea set out when you go over to visit. You may find that the tea is accompanied by chocolate biscuits and cake and other goodies. You will then know that you have given a gift that will not only last a life time and potentially become a family heirloom, but that you have facilitated the consumption of chocolate calories far beyond your short life span, and if that is not somehow gratifying, then I do not know what is.