Every self-respecting tea drinker knows the essentials of their tea arsenal. One of the most important is having a bevy of teapots on hand. Yes, I said “bevy.” For each one is a beauty, as any tea implements are to one living the “tea life” where tea is more than just a beverage.
You probably have your 4- or 6-cup tried and true “Brown Betty” or white ceramic pot that serves all of your tea drinking needs. Maybe this is because you have one or two different teas that you routinely drink. As your knowledge of tea grows, however, you may find that your array of tea favorites grows. You may have a favorite black tea, a favorite green tea, and a nice white tea (that you indulge in on special occasions). If you have only one pot, your black could start tasting like your green, and the white tea could look and taste like both. What a horror! Not to mention a waste of money. Even a well-cleaned pot could retain some of the taste of the previous brew.
To keep my teas tasting “pure,” I have acquired a multitude of teapots, including:
- A blue ceramic 6-cupper (my alternative to the “Brown Betty”)
- A white ceramic 4-cupper
- A white ceramic 2-cupper
- A white ceramic 1-cupper
- A yellow ceramic 2-cupper
- An English bone china 6-cupper
- A cast iron 2-cupper (with infusion basket that I don’t use)
The workhorse is the blue ceramic 6-cupper. It’s good for that daily pot of Typhoo or PG Tips I brew every morning and drink through the day. The 4-cup white ceramic is reserved for my favorite pu-erh. The white ceramic 2-cupper is for my Ceylon black tea (one cupful is never enough and sometimes I share with my hubby). The white ceramic 1-cupper is my “I’m a tea princess” pot, used for brewing a single cup of that special tea just for me (usually a good cheerer-upper after watching the evening news). While the cast-iron 2-cupper is for nothing but my Gunpowder tea (which is why I don’t use the infuser basket – those little balls of tea need room to open fully).
“What about the yellow ceramic teapot?” you ask. It’s partly just for display but gets used occasionally when I want a nice pot of something unusual, such as an infusion of Rooibos (not tea, since it is not made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant).
Last but not least is the English bone china 6-cupper, reserved for when I am serving up a potful to friends and family. There is a matching sugar bowl and creamer, plus a little gold-plated spoon just to add that “Trump touch.” (I may not be a billionaire, but I can serve tea like one!)
As you explore teas (and there are hundreds out there) and select the ones you like best, dedicate a teapot to that tea and stick with it. You can always sell, donate, or pack up all those unimportant things (like frying pans, saucepots, etc.) you will need to remove from your shelves or cupboards to make room. After all, we’re talking tea here. What’s more important? Enjoy!
© 2009-2016 A.C. Cargill photos and text