Teapots are Used to Brew
the Second Most Consumed Beverage After Water

That beverage is loose leaf tea and it requires special attention.
We’ll discuss that below.

Cast iron tea potTea was not at first prepared in a tea pot

In China and Japan tea leaves were rolled by hand, dried and then ground into a powder. The powder was mixed with salt and formed into cakes. These cakes would be dropped into bowls of hot water and form a thick mixture.

Next the ground powder was left as a powder and mixed in bowls with boiling water and whipped as in Matcha.

Infusing whole loose tea leaves in water started with the Ming Dynasty in China. This is when the earliest tea pots were created.

TeaPots, a definition

A covered pot with a spout in which tea is steeped and from which it is served. Today caffeinated as well as herbal tea and tisane can be infused in a teapot.

These vessels were originally made of “purple” clay from the YiXing region of China. They have a fine texture and thin walls. YiXing tea pots were, and still are, used to brew tea today.

The YiXing tea pot also acts as the drinking vessel. When the tea is brewed one sips directly from the spout of a single-serving pot.

This unglazed clay pot absorbs the flavor of brewed tea, making them a favorite choice for tea lovers.

YiXing teapots greatly influenced not only the forms of tea pots found throughout the world, but also prompted the invention of hard-paste porcelain in the European world.

teapotsWhen bringing tea vessels to Europe, Johann Bottger of Poland discovered the method for producing European "hard-paste" porcelain, a substance strong enough to withstand cutting with steel.

Beautifully hand painted porcelain tea services have been made. I personally love drinking tea from something so delicate.

Tea pots were also made in silver during the 1700s, in the Queen Anne and Georgian styles of England. Silver teapots were also popular in Scandinavia.

Eventually whole tea services were required to properly serve the beverage, including tray, tea spoons, creamers, sugar bowls and storage canisters.

Some tea rooms that I have visited place the tea leaves in the heated tea vessel and allow it to brew. The leaves are left in the pot when it is served at the table. I find this allows the tea leaves to be in contact with the water too long, producing a bitter tea. There are different varieties of tea which contain different levels of caffeine. Knowing the proper way to brew tea will produce a delicious cup.

Other articles in our tea series

Teapots Today
Tea Accessories
Tea Guide

From Teapots to Your Cup of Tea Home
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