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Let’s make this short: No, you can never have enough teapots. Okay, on to the next topic.

Just kidding.

Seriously, there are some of us out there who seem to have an insatiable desire for collecting. It could be anything: baseball cards, coins, stamps, wind-up toys, nutcracker dolls, old parts to a 1964 Chevy Corvette Stingray, albums by Justin Bieber, Christmas ornaments, antique screwdrivers, and whatever else you can think of. Teapots are no exception. One difference, though, is that the teapot collectors often use those teapots, not just let them sit around.

A peach-design Yixing teapot with brocade covered storage box

A peach-design Yixing teapot with brocade covered storage box

I wouldn’t say that I’ve become a teapot collector, and Janis Badarau certainly has more on display in the special tea room in her house than I own, but the fever has definitely caught hold. So much so that when offered a fourth Yixing teapot, I jumped at the chance to add it to my “Tea Gang” (a group of teapots dedicated to the leaf). The design on this teapot incorporates peaches, so I called it “Peachy” (only my most special teapots get names — naming teapots is a sign of something, possibly dementia?). The design is tied in with Chinese legends, especially the one about the Empress who had a treasured peach tree and the Monkey King who ate the best peaches, making the Empress angry; he created blooming tea balls to look like peaches and thus appeased her. As is the case with all fine Yixing, the chop marks were clear under the lid and on the bottom of the teapot.

Speaking of blooming teas, no teapot collection is complete without a glass teapot so you can steep the tea and enjoy the show as it unfolds. This brings to mind the general motivation behind buying more teapots: having the right teapot to steep each particular tea. (This is certainly true of Yixing teapots that are unsealed and absorb the flavor and aroma of the teas steeped in them, and thus should be used for only one type of tea per pot.) Brown Betty style teapots are great for a hearty black tea like English Breakfast Blend No. 1, but that delicate Sencha is better off being steeped in a nice little porcelain pot or a Japanese style teapot called a kyusu.

When it comes to tea, one size does not fit all! What a great reason to unleash the shopaholic in you and add a teapot or two or fifty to your bevy!

Chop mark close-ups:

Chop mark one the under side of the lid

Chop mark one the under side of the lid

and:

Chop mark on the bottom of the teapot

Chop mark on the bottom of the teapot

Chop marks are a sign of authenticity!

See also:
Diving Into the World of Yixing Teapots Pt 1
Diving Into the World of Yixing Teapots Pt 2
Diving Into the World of Yixing Teapots Pt 3
My Yixing Teapots
Teapots, Teapots and More Teapots
Bevy of Teapots
Trying New Teawares — Glass Teapots
Collectible Sadler Teapots
Metal vs. Porcelain and Bone China Teapots
Those Wonderful Amsterdam Teapots
Hemisphere Teapots — Out of This World
The Pros and Cons of Bodum Teapots

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

TeapotI was surprised to find that there are differing views on cleaning the insides of a tea pot. Largely the differing views stem from the various types of tea pots, more than from the people’s personal proclivities when it comes to cleanliness or hygiene.

I find that by and large keeping your teapots and serving ware sparkling clean goes without saying, except in one instance, which I will touch on in moment.

If you have a glass tea pot, it should be washed carefully after every use. If they aren’t washed you will be able to see the residue that builds on the glass, which not only looks less than attractive, but also will affect the taste of other fine teas (for example: lighter green or white teas). For this reason, it may be wise to dedicate your glass tea pot only to lighter teas.

If you have a china or porcelain tea pot: While many tea lovers will give their tea pots a quick rinse and perhaps a weekly washing, others insist on washing it after every use. My only suggestion is to use a non-toxic soap, as tea pots collect residues which ultimately affect the taste of your tea – be it from the tea or from the dish soap. Also, never towel dry your teaware as that may leave lint. Just as I like to use my glass pot for lighter teas, I prefer to use my china tea pot for darker teas.

As there is an exception to any rule, sure enough this applies to washing tea pots too.

If you own a Yixing teapots (or Chinese clay pot), it is important NOT to wash the tea pot (though allowing it to air-dry thoroughly between uses is recommended). The tea will gradually leave a layer of residue on the inside of the pot and actually add to the flavor experience. This being said, it is highly recommended that you use the teapot for only one type of tea. You may have a Yixing for oolong, and another for black teas and a third for green teas. The variety of and delicate beauty of the Yixing pots make a beautiful addition to any tea lover’s collection.

Madam Potts’ blog, Mad Blog of Tea!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Trying new teawares can enliven your tea experience. For example, you can add a visual element to your tea steeping with a glass teapot. These delicate vessels are perfect for the unusual and entertaining experience of watching a flowering tea unfold. They are also great for steeping some of your finer teas where the color of the tea “liquor” can tell you when its time to remove the tea leaves.

The Buddha

Being made of glass is special in itself. There is something about glass that gives things a regal air that bone china and porcelain do not. My theory is that it started long ago in a kingdom far away when a fairy godmother gave a poor girl a pair of glass slippers so she could join her wicked stepmother and stepsisters at the prince’s ball. But then again, it might just be the nature of glass itself. Here is a substance solid enough to hold liquid yet light rays pass through it. It must be some kind of magic. Right? Nope, just chemistry. Still, glass is pretty amazing, although fragile.

The number and variety of glass teapots on the market is growing by leaps and bounds, in large part, I think, because of the growing popularity of the finer teas, especially flowering teas — truly exotic and to be experienced at least once by anyone who is really into tea (or even people just looking for something different to try).

So, how do you decide which glass teapot to buy? A few things to consider:

  • The capacity — How many cups of water does it hold?
  • The size of the opening — 2” is a good minimum if you are going to steep a flowering tea, since you may want to rearrange the tea “flower” once it has started to open (this will give you the best visual effect), plus the “flower” will be quite a bit larger after steeping than it was in its original ball or mushroom form.
  • An infuser basket — I don’t use one, but you may choose to for the fannings or broken-leaf teas you steep. (I encourage you to try at least one steeping of your full-leaf teas loose in the pot and watch the leaves expand in the water, something they can’t fully do in an infuser basket.)
  • The spout — Fancy designs are one thing, but trust me that you want a spout from which you can pour without a few drops splashing on your table or counter each time.
  • The handle — If you’re like me (a bit on the “Oops!” side), a sturdy handle that you can grip firmly while carrying and pouring is a must.
  • The lid — It should sit firmly on the opening, keeping most of the water vapor inside (a little will find its way out through the spout).
  • The overall shapeShort and squat can be best for flowering and full-leaf teas where they get the most interaction with the water, but taller teapots can be fine for using an infuser basket for your other teas.
  • Style — Do you like teapots that look like they were inspired by the tales of Aladdin? Or is Victorian more to your taste? What about Asian-inspired designs? There are also art deco and ultra modern ones. There is a style to suit just about any taste, and new ones being designed almost daily.

Adding other glass teawares can make your glass teapot experience complete. Items like these:

  • a glass electric tea kettle so you’ll be able to tell when the water is about to boil, boiling, or going totally crazy just by seeing the bubbles
  • a glass sugar bowl and cream pitcher for those teas you like to drink with these items added
  • a set of glass teacups and saucers that will let you see more clearly the clumps of biscotti, cookies, or McVitie’s digestives that fall off and sink to the bottom

One caution: Since these teapots are glass, they are more delicate than ceramic or porcelain teapots; plus, they are not intended to be used in a microwave oven or to withstand the terrors of a dishwasher (actually, they could end up getting a scratched, “cloudy” appearance which would ruin your visual experience).

Okay, so now you know. Go ahead, add a glass teapot to your bevy. Keep it ready for when you want to enjoy a truly special tea. Happy steeping!

Learn more about enhancing your tea experiences by visiting A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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