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A traditional English tea set has a few simple pieces. A teapot, cups, saucers, spoons, a milk pitcher and a sugar bowl are usually the only things included. A Japanese tea set that is used in a tea ceremony has a few more pieces.
As you shop for your tea set, you should start with a kettle. The kettle is used to heat your tea water and is definitely necessary if you want to brew your tea. When you have a kettle, you'll need a few other essential pieces.