Tea has been around for centuries. It has been epitomised in classics and written about by many a poet. From the humble chai, the lovely iced tea to fancy English tea – the brew has literally taken the world by a sipping storm. Each country has established a unique tea drinking culture and it’s really fascinating to see how it continues to evolve as a beverage. It’s equally interesting to note how serving tea has become an art with its many facets, services and Sommelierie.
For those who believe in living a luxurious lifestyle and sipping tea in style, luxury Objet d’art brand ArgentOr Silver has come up with something really unique. It has recently launched a range of tea sets called Tea Service in intricately carved versions, making it a perfect gift to grace a beautiful home or teak cabinet.
As a brand, ArgentOr Silver boasts of beautifully-handcrafted products made by highly skilled craftsmen from England, using premium material. The brand offers a wide variety of soothing silver and luxurious gold tableware, barware and accessories for men, women and children to suit varied choices and pockets along with articles for impressive gifting. Apart from the latter, they also have in their repository, age-old cutlery collection by Arthur Price of England; custom-made silverware by Aston Martin; hallmarked silverware from Carrs of Sheffield and their in-house creation of arty sterling silver pieces.
Since winter is the perfect season for indulging in a sip of luxury, these tea sets are bound to make a statement with their stunning shine. Aptly designed for brewing tea, each set from the new collection is as different as it can get. A seamless marriage between traditional and modern design, the range is designed in a fashion to exhibit understated élan. The craftsmen have added a touch of colour, specific details and gorgeously balanced elements, making them even more attractive than the sets before them.
With Christmas and New Year celebrations in full-swing, this Art Deco tea set would make for an ideal centre piece – a beautiful work of lifestyle art to enhance your dining area or the more formal drawing room coffee table during festive get-togethers, cosy birthdays or splendid weddings. Here’s how tea aficionados can complement the décor of their homes, add a sense of occasion and grace anytime of the day, and make tea-time noteworthy, through these exquisite and must-have tea sets:
VICTORIAN TEA SET
Drinking tea became extremely popular during the Victorian Era in England. It was regarded as a favourite among all beverages and a fabulous excuse for organising garden tea parties by the elite. It also helped bridge the divide between different sections of the society, as conversations over tea helped people bond and interact during tea parties.
Over time, sipping tea started shaping up as an emerging culture. So much so, that tea rooms were seen everywhere and tea dances were arranged for potential match fixing, making room for interaction for young couples.
Inspired by royal Victorian designs and depicting the rich cultural history, and refinement of the bygone era, ArgentOr Silver’s Victorian tea set is an embodiment of the same ornamentation and orderliness. It depicts balance, durability and consistency, and hence is fancied by many!
The tea set is made of 92.5 Silver and Lapis stone with an anti-tarnish finish so that there is no discolouration. The handles are designed in attractive colour variants like blue, green, white and pink to suit an eclectic clientele and enhance the beauty of the set.
Rs 2, 50,000
DRAGON FLY TEA SET
Ring in the revelry with this bold set and make a cheerful addition to your table. With etched gold and silver background, this eye-catching set is inspired by nature, as the design features a dragonfly alongside a lily flower pad, making an enchanting statement.
The delicate dragon fly tea set with tarnished gloss and a gilded finish is made of 92.5 silver and Rose quartz stone. With a unique design, its handles and the top of the lids are designed in hues of green, white and pink to lend it an unconventional appeal.
Rs 1, 50,000
LOTUS LOVE TEA SET
Like the lotus flower – one of the most ancient symbols of our planet, which represents beauty and purity, and also long life, honour and good luck – the lotus love tea set is fashioned in essence around the flower that continues to bloom in a muddy pond.
Representing prosperity and unity, the Lotus Love Tea Set makes for an excellent wedding gift and can also be passed from one generation to the other as an heirloom or as a symbol of great good fortune.
The beautifully-etched flower sits pretty on the set that is made with 92.5 sterling silver and Rose Quartz. What makes this one special is that it comes with an anti-tarnish glossy finish, blending perfectly with Mother Nature. The handles are available in tints of blue, green, white and pink.
Rs 1, 60,000
IMPERIAL TEA SET
The Imperial era of any period in history has been of great interest and influence to its people. Its glory and grandeur has been an inspirational factor in defining its heritage that has always been reflected through its rich art and culture. The designs from this time have gradually re-appeared and been given a contemporary touch to suit generational choices.
The Imperial Tea Set also takes cue from the royal Victorian design, reflecting in its intricate etching. It is made of 92.5 sterling silver and lapis stone. Striking hues like blue, green, white and pink have being used on its handles to make the set alluring, for varied preferences.
Rs 1, 75,000
Tea culture and tradition go back several centuries! Celebrate the classic tea drinking ritual in a more gratifying fashion by bringing the collection home or gifting it to a special someone. For more information, visit http://www.argentorsilver.com/
SILVER TEA SET MAINTENANCE 101
If you’ve decided to invest in a luxury tea set from ArgentOr Silver or any other brand, you need to be clear about one thing – that you will have to take care of it like one takes care of a baby. Here’s how you can ensure it never loses its shine…
Instead of stashing it away for a special occasion, try and use the tea set often. Let it breathe so that it never fails to dazzle you or your guests.
In order to keep the tea set scratch free, store each piece individually, say in a compartment or a pouch. Don’t clutter it with other cutlery!
Silver must be stored in cool place. If you’re staying in a country that has a very hot and humid climate, please make sure you keep your silverware in an air-conditioned room.
It’s important to polish the set at least once a year. But don’t try and do it yourself. Call the brand you purchased the set from and send it to their spa or opt for a trusted silversmith who won’t cheat you!
Each time you use your set, use water lightly to rinse off the remnants of tea. Don’t overdo it. Ensure you don’t leave the tea set wet lest it gets spotted. Also, don’t douse the tea set in water, as that would prove to be a fatal move!
The tea set must never come in contact with acidic or corrosive elements like vinegar or citrus fruits, as they can cause damage and pitting.
Buy an anti-tarnish silver cloth for wiping silverware. You can also line up your drawer with a silver cloth for extra care.
Be careful that your stored silver never comes in contact with wool, felt, rubber bands, newspapers or velvet, as they contain harmful chemicals that may damage it. Also, avoid wrapping your silver in any kind of plastic.
When it’s time to clean the tea set, don’t use your fingertips all over it. Wear cotton gloves so that you don’t tarnish it.
Quick facts from around the world to keep you good company, as you sip some fine teas in silver…
The world’s oldest tea leaves were found in the tomb of a Chinese emperor; they have been estimated to be 2,100 years old.
Did you know that there are six basic categories of tea mainly white, yellow, green, oolong, black, and post-fermented?
Tea has never been cheap! A rare Chinese tea called Tieguanyin is the most expensive beverage around the globe.
Until the 19th century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia.
The country with the greatest number of tea drinkers is Turkey.
The scientific name of the tea bush is Camellia Sinensis
England was introduced to tea drinking by the British East India Company in the early 18th It was called “tay” in the Victorian era by the English upper class.
The famous Earl Grey Tea gets its unique flavour from the rind of the fragrant bergamot orange.