Steep Thoughts from The Aviary Teahouse

By Astra Kim

Welcome to Steep Thoughts! The Aviary is the imaginary teahouse of Astra, CA’s Head of Logistics. When she’s not building conventions with her amazing team, she’s a life-long tea enthusiast who reads too many books on the subject and will talk your ear off if given half a chance.

Astra brews in all kinds of styles, traditional and non and loves pairing food and tea. You can expect her to write random reviews of all the different teas she tries, wax a little philosophical about tea history, and include interviews or updates from the lovely people of The Alchemist Tea Parlour. You can also find her on Instagram: tempestedbird@

A Love Letter to Simplicity

This is a love letter to the plainest, most functional, and most enduring piece of teaware in my collection.

This very humble Bee House teapot has been with me for over 15 years, a piece I bought during my broke college student days when spending $25 for a teapot was a BIG investment.

Mid-century design and white ceramic are not my usual aesthetic, but this tea pot’s spout pours so smoothly, its capacity is ideal for a single person, and the handle is just the right size for maximum comfort and weight distribution that I don’t care. It’s an exceptional workhorse teapot that is neither pretentious nor fussy. It is one of the most simple expressions of a ritual that is so central to my life and my every day well being.

It’s not ornate in the way some of my other pieces are, but it’s interesting to look at for being slightly oval in shape, and the white color is a nice neutral to pair with just about any teacup I own. The opening is large enough that I can actually reach inside it to give it a proper clean, which is a level of practicality I require. This teapot is the reason I’m a snob about teapot -particularly spout- design.

This unassuming teapot has endured through many years, many tears, and many joys. It has traveled with me through many road trips, many conventions, and has survived many hotel rooms and convention weekends. Even today, on this lovely quiet evening, it quietly sits full of soothing liquid, waiting for me to just take a minute. Thank you, old friend.

What about you? Tell me about some of your cherished pieces of teaware.