Absolute Tea

Wednesday, March 29

More Spouting

Continuing this weeks theme on teapots I'd like to share a little about what I use. I have two teapots - one for practical use and the other for a more ceremonial purpose. Most professional tea drinkers or serious hobbyists will have more than just two pots. They will have an assortment that ranges from Chinese clay to ceramic Japanese, as well as the famous British teapot.

I'm a poor college student so my options are very limited when it comes to choosing what I get to make my tea in. What I did choose is an English style teapot made of lead-free ceramic. Its specific brand name is Chatsford Teapot, which is very British sounding. They make the pot sizes up to 10 cups, but I chose the 6 cup teapot because that is plenty of tea for one person. If you're in the market for buying a teapot I'd recommend going no lower than a 4 cup pot, otherwise there won't be sufficient room for the loose leaves to unfurl as they steep.

The infuser (the filter that holds the tea) is a very important aspect to a teapot. Traditionally, the leaves are suppose to be unbound inside the teapot to achieve a maximum infusion, but for practical reasons and to save time cleaning up I prefer to use them. It also helps when you want to kill the steeping process immediately and then to clean up all you have to do is empty the filter.

Of course, you want to have a good sized infuser with the finest holes so that only the tea liquor gets through. The larger the filter, the better the tea will be. This is especially true for the more gentle and light teas like white and green. Some teas like High Mountain Oolong, should only be brewed in the largest of filters, such as the 10 cup ones because the leaves are deceptively compact and will expand to a point where it will make the oils difficult to infuse.

There are plenty of places you can buy teapots on the web, but if you want to know where I got mine, it was from the site Special Teas. I paid somewhere around $30 for it and out of the 5 colors I chose white so I could see the teas color and it is easier to tell when it's clean.

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