The tea ceremony is the ultimate sacred occasion. Across many different cultures, it reminds us: Be here. Be present. In the formal Japanese tea ceremony, every gesture is ritualized, and every object and vessel is appreciated and admired. In Taiwan, where I grew up, serving tea began with pouring hot water onto the tea leaves to open them up, and then pouring that same water, scented with tea, over the small cups to warm and wash them. In western societies, whether tea is a celebrated meal with carefully trimmed sandwiches or an afternoon relaxation with friends, beautiful teaware reminds us to give this moment our full attention.