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The Evolution of the Tea Scoop

People without any interest in tea culture may think that the tea scoop is just a spatula made of bamboo.
Looking at textbooks on tea culture written in the Song dynasty (960–1276) in China, people seem to have scooped and stirred tea with metal spoons.

In the early days of Japanese tea culture, Japanese people used tea scoops made of ivory, which were imported from China. Even now Japanese tea practitioners still use antique ivory scoops on very formal occasions.

Japanese people came to make tea scoops of bamboo, which grows widely in Japan, in imitation of expensive ivory ones. The present style of tea scoop, which has one of the bamboo joints in the middle of the handle, was perfected in the era of Sen Rikyû in the 16th century.

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