As a historical artifact, the teapot is as important to the enjoyment of tea as the leaf itself. Choosing the right teapot could be as challenging as choosing the right tea for a special occasion. Most tea lovers like having a collection of different teapots, waiting for the right moment to be used. We discuss the most famous teapots and their historical significance.
Teapots were invented and first used in China and the design is said to be based on the Chinese wine ewer. The first mention of China teapot is seen in a book?which says that the British East India Company officials in 1694 directed to be sent?teapots made in China. They specifically asked these pots to have a grate before the spout. They actually wanted a barrier in place before the beverage was poured in mugs to hold tea leaves behind. This was the first time that teapots with infusers were made.
Tea was introduced to Japan from China by travelling Buddhist monks. Japanese teapot is traditionally known as Kusu while the teapot that was obtained from Yixing was referred to as cha-hu. There have been many shapes and designs of Kyusu in vogue in Japan. It can have a side handle or a handle at the rear.
In rural India, tea is still consumed in earthen pots or cups made of red clay. During formal occasions such as festivals and functions, teapots made of bone china or porcelain are used in different parts of the country. White teapots are standard across the country. A glass teapot set is used at special ceremonies to make a good impression on?guests, served in glass cups and the best table clothes.
The British imported not only tea but also teapots from China and India. English teapots were mostly pear-shaped whereas now nearly any shape and the colour is possible. Who would have thought we would see black, red or even multicoloured?teapots! Or a teapot that sits on top of a matching mug to serve tea for one.
The East India Company introduced not only tea to England but also Chinese teapots to Europe. It was in Germany that first attempt to make earthen teapots similar to those from?Asia was made. They tried to make soft paste porcelain, but they were fragile and often broke when hot tea was poured into them. Eventually, the breakthrough in making teapots was achieved in France where they also decorated these first?teapots with Rococo and elaborate baroque designs.
Turkey is one of the biggest consumers of tea today and also have a rich history of drinking tea and different ways to make tea. Turkish tea drinkers use a double teapot called a ‘caydanlik’, to prepare strong black tea. Water is boiled in the lower pot while dry leaves are placed in the top-pot.