Gaiwan at work.

To round out our rather spontaneous series about how we enjoy tea at work, I’m casting my vote for the porcelain gaiwan. gaiwanatwork.jpg I decant the tea into a small stoneware cup to drink, and use the leaves in the gaiwan multiple times.

I usually have a tea towel in my desk for quick cleanup of drips and spills, but it’s currently at home in the laundry basket.

I’m still a sucker for a good lavender Earl Grey, so I also keep an English-style cup and saucer at my desk for black tea days. My full-size teapot has an insulated hood to keep tea warm until lunchtime. englishatwork.jpg It has a tall mesh basket included, so I don’t have to fuss with strainers and teaballs, and it gives the leaves room to expand.

For hot water, I have a white plastic Rival water kettle that sells for around $15. It has a range of temperature from barely simmering to a rolling boil. A few minutes with a thermometer would allow you to mark the settings that give you the temperatures you use most.

What do you use?


  1. Your stoneware cup is beautiful! Wonderful for a small cuppa, I’m sure.

    Here at work, I use a GE Electric Kettle for heating water at my desk (I’m sure it was less than $20), and a 12oz. ingenuiTEA pot from Adagio teas ( I have my favorite stoneware pedestal mug that I drain the tea into when it’s ready, because it’s big (12 oz.), and heavy, so it keeps my tea warm longer (I’m a sipper, not a gulper). Occasionally I’ll use unbleached paper filters for rooibos, since those pieces are so tiny and a pain to clean off of the mesh filter.

    I do wish the ingenuiTEA was glass, as I feel I can’t clean the plastic properly here at work (just a sink in the bathroom) and I feel like the plastic doesn’t hold the heat as well as it should (I drink mostly black tea, with the occasional cup of white or rooibus thrown in). So I waffle about getting a glass infuser to just use with my mug…I may try it sometime, just to see if there’s actually a taste difference, or if it’s all in my head. 🙂

    In any case, the name of the game here is “simple” – I save the more relaxed brewing methods for home.

  2. Thank you! That cup is very precious to me – a gift from a friend.

    The IngenuiTEA pot looks a lot like the Teavana one I had on that snow day a couple weeks ago. Yeah, plastic… I wonder if you could sew or knit a tea cozy for it!

  3. I think it probably is the same one…I’ve seen it at Dragonwater Tea Company as well. Nifty little thing, really, as far as convenience goes.

    I have a glass teapot at home, around 12 oz., with a glass infuser. A thing of beauty, really, and english in style. At home, I use it mostly for jasmine & white teas, or flowering teas (without the infusor), so I can watch the beautiful leaves unfurl while it’s brewing. Perhaps one of these days when I’m feeling rich, I’ll splurge for another, and bring it to work.

    I’ve often thought it would be fun to make a “tea kit” to carry with me back and forth, with room for a teapot, cup or two, and a couple different kinds of tea. Perhaps I’ll have to work on something like that instead…could be a fun project, and very useful for more than just tea at work!