Drinking great tea should be enjoyed in just the right teapot. After pouring fresh hot water over your tea leaves, they will unfurl and steep for a wonderful flavor . There are different types of teapots and each one is meant for a specific tea, whether the tea is black, green, or flavored. If you are a tea connoisseur or a new tea drinker, choosing the right teapot will make your tea experience that much more fulfilling. You can have three types of teapots for each tea, one for strong, one for mild and one for flavored and scented teas.
A silver plated teapot and a terracotta or clay teapot are suitable for strong teas such as an Assam and a Ceylon tea. Clay and silver plated teapots retains the taste or “seasoning” of the tea. The terracotta pot has a large clay filter inside in which the leaves will unfurl gracefully for a strong cup of morning tea. There are many designs in terracotta; some are more traditional and usually made by hand. Cast iron teapots and pewter can also be used for strong teas.
Lovely Japanese cast iron teapots are also used for green and semi fermented teas. These teapots come in rich earth colors such as browns, greens and purples. Green teas taste superb, such as Lung Ching Dragon’s Well, when steeped in these teapots. There is enamel inside the teapot, which retains the heat well. A built in metal filter inside the teapot helps control the infusion time. Pretty glass and opaline teacups are traditionally used, which have the same light color of enamel as is inside the teapot.
Earthenware and porcelain teapots are used for an afternoon tea. There are many traditional designs to choose from with beautiful patterns, shapes and colors. The porcelain teapots are used mostly for an English afternoon tea; taken from the early tea parties lavishly given in Britain in the 19th century. These teapots do not have a built in filter so one can use a paper filter or a textile filter. When preparing the tea, one can also let the loose leaves unfurl loosely inside the teapot without a filter, and than settle to the bottom. Muslim sachets made of pure cotton or regular teabags may also be used for convenience and to the taste of the tea drinker. Muslim sachets do not alter the taste of the tea, as there are no wires or staples attached to the sachet. Mesh wire tea balls should not be used as they do alter the taste of the tea. They also do not allow the tea leaves to expand nicely for that perfect cup of tea.
Glass teapots work well for flavored and scented teas, in which fruits and flowers are added to the tea leaves. These teapots are beautiful and crisp, and the color of the tea is seen through the glass, as the leaves unfurl delicately within the glass filter. The teapots are very classic and pure looking, and are soothing to the eye. Glass does not retain the flavor of the teas, making them the ideal teapot for all special blends or flavors. Glass tea warmers with candles can be used to place the glass teapot on to keep the tea hot.
copyright Deidre R. Bissonette
Dattner, Christine. 2003. The Book of Green Tea, Universe Publishing