Bodum teapots can be a real problem-solver for some tea drinkers and a big turnoff to others. Like many things in life, they have their pros and cons, in part because they are mostly glass and in part because of their overall design. Sleek, modern, European styling typifies these Bodum teapots, yet they are practical since the body is made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass.
Glass teapots are quite stylish and can also be fascinating to those of us who lean a bit to the chemistry-student side of the intellectual set. We get to watch the chemical interaction of tea leaves and hot water. Yet, when it comes to steeping loose leaf teas, glass teapots can be a bit on the awkward side, with those tea leaves needing to be strained so they do not end up in your cup or remain in the teapot after you’ve poured out your “cuppa” and continue steeping. Here’s where Bodum teapots can be an advantage. They give you the pleasure of glass and watching those tea leaves infuse, but they have an infuser basket and plunger to hold the tea leaves and keep them in the teapot when you pour.
Of course, that feature is also a disadvantage. The dark cloud that the silver lining is lining!
The cylindrical infuser basket is made of sturdy resin or plastic and tends to stain. The holes are too small to let the leaves and water fully interact. In fact, for this Tea Princess, confining leaves into something like this seems like cruelty to those precious bits of flora that have undergone so much already between bush and teapot (plucking, sorting, drying, oxidizing, pan frying, and so on). In addition, the teapot holds more than my teacup holds, and as Lainie Petersen recently pointed out, liquid remains in the teapot with the tea leaves and continues steeping. For many delicate teas, especially whites and more high-end greens, this is definitely bad.
Still, these Bodum teapots are cute and have a handle that stays cool for safe handling.
Summary of Pros:
- Steep loose leaf teas with minimum of fuss and mess.
- Plunger keeps tea leaves in place while pouring.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Heat-resistant glass body in a wide shape that is great for steeping.
- Handle stays cool for safely pouring the tea.
- Dishwasher safe.
Summary of Cons:
- Confines leaves in a cylindrical infuser basket so they don’t get to unfurl and infuse fully.
- Infuser basket stains and has holes that are too small for good steeping.
- Infuser basket and plunger need to be removed to prevent oversteeping of fine teas.
Some food for thought here.
The bottom line:
Decide what is most important to you: ease of steeping and pouring without needing to use a strainer, or getting the best infusion from your fine teas. In all fairness, I need to add that when I steep in my Bodum, I don’t use the infuser basket and plunger. The glass teapot by itself is a nice size for steeping some oolong or a bit of 2nd flush Darjeeling. I have to use a “substitute” lid from another teapot, which is fine with me. Ah, the joys of personal choice!
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