Do you not even give your teapot(s) a second thought – you just make a pot of tea? Or do you have a favorite pot for a particular tea? Do you use what you’ve always known when you were growing up? Or do you change your teapots regularly? Do you have a collection? Or only one? So many questions! And here are some answers to questions we’ve had here at Tea Party Girl about the finer points of using teapots – and cleaning them!
Here are some answers to questions we’ve had here at Tea Party Girl about the finer points of using teapots – and how to clean them.
Hey, Tea Party Girl! I have read that you need different teapots for each individual type of tea. One for black tea and one for herbal tea etc. Is that true?
Thanks so much for this question. This is a hot topic that is often confused so let me take just a moment to explain the origin of this myth.
In truth, there are certain occasions where a teapot should only be used for one specific tea. This is the case with the Yixing teapots from China. Yixing (pronounced YEE – SHING ) are made from a very rare clay and are unglazed. The word, Yixing means “purple clay” in Chinese. Each pot is unique and is literally “seasoned” by the tea you steep within its walls. Over time, a Yixing pot will absorb the flavor of the leaf adding a fuller experience with each new cup. Yixing pot users must be committed to the care of their teapots and careful to not mix leaves. Most Yixing pots are used for black, oolong or puerh tea. If you plan to brew green or white be aware that the pots are temperature sensitive so be sure you are brewing these teas at the correct lower temperature.
Herbal tea is never brewed in a clay pot.
For more information see our article here: http://teapartygirl.com/tea-the-tea-parties-most-important-ingredient/
Glazed, glass or china teapots can be used for a variety of teas and there is not need to assign one specific leaf to each pot.
Be aware, however, that even a china teapot will absorb the flavor of a “smoked” tea, such as Lapsang Souchong, over time.
In addition, any cracks within the pot may absorb repeated flavor.
For most people a standard tea pot such as a “Brown Betty” will work well for a variety of teas on a day to day basis. A Brown Betty is round in shape and has a manganese brown glaze, known as Rockingham glaze. A special red clay that was discovered in the Stoke-on-Trent area of Britain was used to make the original Brown Bettys and it seemed to retain heat better. Tea brewed in the original Brown Betty – back in the 1800s when it was developed – was considered excellent. The Brown Betty is still available today after experiencing a resurgence of popularity!
Every teapot I see at the store these days seems to have a built in tea infuser or strainer. What is that and how do I use it properly?
Thanks for this great question. It’s true.
Many of the teapots on today’s store shelves (and indeed, online!) include a small device known as a tea infuser or a tea strainer. This infuser allows you to easily brew your tea using quality loose leaf tea without hassle and without mess. It removes the need for a separate tea strainer and somewhere on the table to put that strainer when the tea has been poured.
Here’s how to do it.
Step #1: Determine how large your teapot is. They generally range from 1 cup to 8 cup and the average pot is about 6 cups. Remember the term “cup” means teacup not a standard 8 ounce mug.
Step #2 Add just a bit of boiling water to your pot and roll it around the inside. Now just pour the water out the spout. Congrats! You have just warmed your teapot preparing it for “the leaf.”
Step #3 Measure 1 tsp of tea for every cup your pot holds. If it holds 6 cups you will need 6 tsp. (As you become familiar with the leaf tea you are using, you may choose to adjust to taste.)
Step #4 For black or herbal teas use rapidly boiling water straight from the kettle. For green, white or oolong use a lower water temperature. Click here for more details from our Tea Party Girl archive.
Step #5 Place the lid on the teapot and steep for the recommended time. Always use a timer and if possible clip it to you clothes so you don’t wander away, get busy, and forget!
Step #6 At the sound of your timer, remove the tea infuser from your pot, place the lid on the pot and pour yourself a great cup of tea.
“Want more? Most leaves are good for another steep in the teapot. Use your previous leaves one more time for another outstanding pot of tea!”
Ok, you probably have this written somewhere but how in the world do you clean a teapots?
Teapots and tea infusers stain over time.
If one day you steep a chai tea in a glass teapot with an inbuilt tea infuser, and then the next day (after washing the pot and infuser, of course!) you brew a milder tasting tea – such as a green tea – in the same pot, you are likely to be able to detect the taste and aroma of the stronger tea from the day before. So the following information is going to be of use to you.
The quickest way to clean your tea infuser is to use a toothbrush to scrub excess staining off and then place it in the dishwasher. Most of today’s tea infusers are dishwasher safe.
The easiest way to clean a teapot is to drop a dishwasher tablet into the pot itself and fill it with boiling water. Place the lid back on the pot and let the teapot sit for 10-20 minutes. Rinse well. Your teapot will be shiny and new! In addition, bottle brushes used for cleaning a baby bottle can work wonders on a teapot spout. Don’t be afraid to scrub it from the inside out!
If you need a “visual” guide for how to clean a teapot, check this out: