We all know that what you make your tea in, is just as important as what you put in it. Since teapots are vital to the exquisite process of tea making, I decided to mention my top picks when it comes to making a perfect infusion.
The first use of a teapot originated during the Yuan Dynasty, in China. By the Ming Dynasty, a teapot was a common tea vessel mostly made out of ‘zisha’ – purple clay (later popularized under the name ‘yixing teapot’). These clay pots are hand-made, designed to absorb the flavour of the tea over time, making each cup lustrous in color and taste. A yixing pot is one of my favourites because it has a very unique, smooth and light nature – perfect for greens and oolongs.
Interesting fact: tea exported from China in the 17th century was often shipped with porcelain teapots in the traditional colors of blue and white. The first porcelain teapot in Europe was produced in the early 18th century in Germany, mimicking Chinese pottery design. Porcelain teapots are elegant and festive, used mostly on special occasions. The delicacy of these pots is what makes them so appealing. I am a sucker for an occasional chance to drink out of a porcelain cup or make tea in a porcelain teapot, mostly attributed to infusing black tea. Now who doesn’t love a rich, full bodied infusion topped off with milk? It’s absolutely irresistible.
Teapots in Japanese culture on the other hand, are much more robust. Tea vessels in Japan became the centers of various ceremonies, most popular being ‘Sadō’ – a traditional Japanese tea Ceremony, which uses ‘chagama’ iron pot. Since such ceremonies are viewed as art, so are the objects used during each ceremony, often detailed with themes of nature. A pot that is used in everyday life however is called ‘kyusu’, has one handle and is small in size. I prefer to use a kyusu teapot because it is compact and does not require complex care. It is great for infusing green, oolong and white tea.
Some others that I think are worth mentioning are glass teapots and those made of stainless steel. If you are a fan of flowering teas, you will most likely opt for a glass teapot with a large infuser. If however you prefer a modern, slick look of kitchen ware, you would find stainless steel to do the job while remaining stylish.
Although collecting teapots may be a very enjoyable process, keep in mind that some decorative pots will not provide you with an authentic experience you’re looking for. I suggest getting to know your tea preferences and match them with a right fit of teapot for a best desired outcome. With that said, I wish you all happy teapot hunting!