The “tea caddy”, is the Japanese name for one of the basic tools used in the traditional Japanese Tea Cerimony, the famous Cha no yu, There are two types of tea caddy, natsume and chaire, according to the different types of tea used. In natsume usually is conserved the thin powder of green tea used during the Cha no yu cerimony; natsume caddy is generally made by lacquered wood, often decorated with floreal motives or symbolic ones.
Chaire is the best to conserve thick tea leaves and it is made usually of earthenware, sometimes glazed, and kept in a silk small bag (ko-fukusa). Both can be incredibly fine and extremely fascinating. Not only tools but also instruments of beauty, works of art showed to the guests during the ceremony.
Natsume can be of different sizes, but the medium one is commonly used. Red and black urushi, the Japanese lacquer, are commonly used for their decoration, but there are many combination using different urushi, according to the traditional style of the places in which natsume are made.