by Adam Yusko
The spout of the kettle might just be the most important part, or else we might as well be using sauce pans. The spout focuses the pouring water and directs it where we wish. But are all spouts created equally? In my experience, no; a narrow spout usually achieves optimal results.
Why does a narrow focused stream produce the best results? Well, from my trials and errors with tea, I’ve found that even the heartiest and strong-willed teas will react poorly to boiling water. So a more focused stream allows you to pour from six plus inches above the pot, which in the process helps add air back into the water, along with cooling it slightly. This has made quite a bit of a difference. Plus the extra control allows for a more practiced circular pouring motion to agitate, separate, and stir the leaves while pouring.
Try and do that with a large, non-focused spout. Not only is it not aesthetically pleasing, but to be accurate with the pour you have to pour from a really close distance, or risk making a mess.
I used to use a kettle which had a very bad pour and I often had problems pouring it neatly. In order to get the water into my little pots, I’d have to be so close that the kettle would bump the table. So I started using a different kettle and the tea started tasting better, but I could not explain why until I thought about the differences in the pours. Suddenly bits of wisdom of tea masters that have reached my ears suddenly made sense to me.
To me, tea is just an art form focused on expressing your mood and current temperament in the cup you’re crafting at that particular time, whereas for others it’s a science, measured out and made as precise as possible. I hope this satisfied a bit or everyone’s personal interest in tea.
Check out Adam’s blog, The Sip Tip, for more interesting articles!