I don't know exactly when I started drinking tea, but I remember the comforting flavors of various aromatized black teas from the time I was a teenager. In college, I made a ritual out of serving tea and chatting with my friends on the foor of my poorly furnished dorm room, repurposing Japanese furoshiki (a wrapping cloth) as a makeshift tablecloth, and I was always seeking out teapots and stoneware for preparing and drinking tea.
As I got exposed to better quality teas, I learned to appreciate the simple, clean flavors of Japanese sencha and kukicha, and occasionally finding a truly memorable oolong or darjeeling tea. On a business trip in Hong Kong, I spent a few days constantly sipping earthy Pu-Erh tea in the office through days of meetings, taking comfort in its humble flavor.
But I also started collecting very nice Japanese teaware... from my first meoto-jawan set (husband-wife teacup pair... I bought them because I thought they were pretty, not because I was getting married) to a gift of a teapot and 5 cups I received made with a classic Hagi glaze... to a cast-iron teapot particularly suited to green teas... to a true Black Raku tea bowl and chasen, which unfortunately didn't survive my trip home without developing a small hairline crack.
I'm always searching for memorable teaware. You can find some of my favorites right here, from ceramic kyuusu to cast-iron enameled tetsubin, to the occasional teabowl suitable for Japanese tea ceremony. These are all items suitable for every-day tea drinking and special occasions. You can use some of the items for purely decorative purposes, if you so choose, but I think one of the pleasures of even the best hand-made Japanese ceramics is that they are eminently functional.