Beginning in the 1690’s, preparing, serving, and drinking tea was a ceremonial act that was woven into the daily life of the more wealthy colonists. For those who could afford the luxurious tea, much pride was found in performing a dignified tea service on each occasion. The host or hostess who prepared and served the tea followed a process that included specific manners and equipment. As accompaniment, the colonists brewed tea with equipment that added to the appraisal of their social status. A tea canister was used to store the dry tea leaves; these canisters could be bought in sets to match the likes of the other tea equipment and equipage. Some tea canisters had a lid shaped like a sphere to conveniently measure the correct amount of tea to then be poured directly into the teapot. However, caddie spoons and caddie ladles, spoons with short handles and wide bowls, were also used to transfer tea leaves from the canister to the teapot. Each piece, purchased individually or in sets, was needed by a well-mannered hostess to properly serve tea to guests. Read more here.