Tea Pots From Around the World
Have you ever wondered why teapots from different cultures look different? Teapots come in all different sizes, different shapes, and even different materials. But why? Let's find out!
With the convenience of teabags, why does anyone want to use a teapot? Much like the different ways of brewing coffee and the beverage it produces, there are different ways of steeping tea which gives you a different experience.
Using a teapot with loose leaf tea gives the tea leaves ample opportunity to fully open and release their flavors. Teabags are generally made with small bits of tea leaves, nearly the size of dust. You can get some good flavor from fresh teabags, but you can get even more flavor, along with nuance, from tea leaves.
As mentioned above, teapots can be made from all sorts of materials.
- cast iron
For the most part, the materials used to make teapots don't make much of a difference in the steeping or flavor of the tea. The only difference is clay pots and whether or not they have been glazed. Unglazed teapots can hold the flavor of the tea that it holds. The more tea steeped in these pots, the more flavor in the earthenware. If you choose one of these pots, just be aware of this fact.
The shapes of teapots come from their origins. Teapot designs originally came from China, then Japan, and India. The shapes were based on previous vessels and their uses. For example, the design for Chinese teapots originally came from wine pitchers. As tea drinking became more widespread, the East India Trade Company asked for teapots with integrated infusers. The shape of the teapot had to change to accommodate the infusers, and the round teapot was designed.
The Japanese reached out to the Chinese to learn how to make teapots. As the culture started to show itself in the art of design, more nature-themed elements were used on these Japanese pots. Finally, as more British came to India, the teapot followed from China. They began with clay pots for everyday use and then designed more elaborate bone china and porcelain teapots for special occasions. Glass teapots were developed for ceremonial teas.
Other cultures have developed various designs of the teapot for their own use. In Turkey, the most widely used teapot is a stacked teapot called a caydanlik. This has a kettle on the bottom for boiling water, and a teapot on top for steeping tea. The method for using one of these allows for a strong black tea that can be adjusted to taste with hot water from the kettle.
As tea moved to Europe, the Europeans began making their own teapots. They attempted to copy the Asian teapots made from porcelain which would break when filled with hot water. They learned to make them without breaking and began to decorate them with beautiful designs.
The shapes of teapots may be unique, but they don't really make a difference in how the tea is steeped. Choosing a teapot is a uniquely personal choice based on what aesthetic one is looking for. Choose what you like and what aspects you're interested in.
Which teapots do you prefer? Do you have a teapot or do you strictly use teabags? Let us know!