Modern Japanese Gifts

Japanese Loose Leaf Tea Caddy

Handcarved wooden Japanese tea caddies holding Japanese green tea leavesSpecialized containers have been used to keep Japanese tea leaves fresh and dry for centuries. These tea caddies bring that traditional function into our lives in a modern way. Serving as much more than mere kitchen conveniences, these exquisite works of art were shaped and lacquered individually with hand-held tools. These statement piece tea caddies are the perfect gift for any tea aficionado or lover of Japanese design.

Handcarved wooden tea caddies in three colors and three traditional Japanese shapes

Crafting the Caddies

The same type of wood once used to craft samurai bows brings us these gorgeous tea caddies. Using specialized hand-held tools and a rotating lathe, the caddies and their ring-like designs are carved to perfection by talented woodworkers. Their distinct shapes were inspired by the traditional Japanese kitchen: the tokkuri bottle for serving sake, the tawara bales of harvested rice, and the nabe pot for making stews. The caddies are coated with several layers of Japanese urushi lacquer and finished with a urethane-based protective layer.

Carefully crafted tea caddies give the perfect snug fit to store Japanese tea leaves

Using Your Tea Caddy

Because tea leaves are quite vulnerable to light, air, heat, odors, and moisture, it is essential to keep loose tea leaves in a closed container to avoid altering the leaves’ natural flavors. The lid snuggly fits to protect your beloved leaves from the surrounding elements so that you can enjoy Japanese teas and other teas from all around the world.

Japanese woman harvesting tea leaves perfect for making Japanese green tea

Pairing with Japanese Tea Leaves

Depending on the harvest time, location, and preferred steeping method, various varieties and grades of tea exist in Japan. Earlier harvests are generally the most highly prized. Leaves picked within the first month of the season are known as shincha, or “new tea,” and are valued for their aroma, mild sweetness, and vitamin content. Even with later harvests, the phenomenal quality of the Japanese tea leaves is retained in every flavorful cup. Use your tea caddy to experiment with different tea varieties, harvest times, and enjoy your tea to its full potential.