Drinking tea involves all our senses. It's not just about smelling and tasting the tea. It's also touching the cup with the lips, hearing the water flow and watching our tea set. The way we arrange the display of our tea set will already have an impact on our mind and how we appretiate our tea. Here is an exemple from a friend of mine as we were rehearsing for our Summer tea party.
After:The second set up 'feels' much better. It occupies the space with much more harmony. In the first set up, the accessories almost look placed randomly. In the second, they each look placed with great care. The effect on our mind is dramatic: we feel so much more peaceful and ready to appretiate tea with the second setting.
To set up our tea accessories, we can get inspiration from Chinese calligraphy. We can try to give balance, life and harmony to our set. In Chinese calligraphy, there is like a point of gravity in the middle of each character. Each line is drawn with energy and is beautiful to look at. And the whole has style and harmony.
Another point to consider is that the teapot is the focal point of the brewing. Try to reflect that somehow in your setup. One way to do so is to have it placed on something (plate, tray) to give it more importance.
Taking just a minute or two each time to set up your tea set is a fun opportunity to express your artistic self. And as you try which is the right distance between each accessory, your mind calms down and gets ready to brew a wonderful cup of tea.