Thursday Salute to Originals: Tea Cup Creatures

Ever wanted to sip afternoon tea with a Panda? This Japanese company turns your teacup into a zoo!

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For nearly four years, Japanese tea company Ocean Tea Bag has been designing intricate, animal-shaped tea bags that range from pandas to squids to kittens. Starting this Summer, the carefully crafted critters can now be shipped globally.

Each animal is made of artfully folded filter paper with a pouch of tea leaves forming the creatures’ bodies. When placed in water, the tiny animals seem to spring to life as their forms expand in hot water.

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Japanese native Takahashi Shota started Ocean Tea bags as a crowdfunding campaign in 2015. Their first design – a small dolphin – was a huge success, and the company now offers a wide assortment of creatures, including ocean-dwelling and land-bound swimmers.

Hot tea is the single most popular beverage in Japan — a country with centuries of tradition around the enjoyment of artful tea preparation and aesthetically pleasing rituals. It’s no surprise that these tiny teatime companions have found success on the nation’s islands, and now tea enthusiasts from cultures around the world can sip along.

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This Thursday, we’re saluting Takashi Shota’s tea-bag animals and tea drinkers around the globe. Whether part of a timeless tradition or a goto coffee alternative, these intricate figures add a touch of fun and joy to each sip.

Sources: Ocean Tea Bag, This is Colossal