When it comes to choosing the right teapot to steep your tea in, it may boil down to your preference, but there are certainly pros and cons to each type of pot. There may not be a right and wrong teaware for each tea category, but there are teapots especially designed for a particular tea type. There are four main types of teapots.
Yixing teapots are best for oolong and pu erh teas. They are recommended for single sourced and unflavored teas such as Art of Tea’s Ti Kuan Yin or Pu-erh Tuo Cha. Over time and usage, minerals and oils from the yixing influence the flavors of the tea. In fact, the teapot becomes denser after each use, so you can eventually steep tea shorter because the flavors are already absorbed within the walls of the yixing. Each yixing must only be used for one tea because the interior of the pot is unglazed. If you steep Orchid Oolong, you should always make that tea in that yixing.
Glass teapots such as the Glass Assam Tea Press or Glass Bell Teapot retain heat evenly. Since it is transparent, you can watch the tea leaves unfurl and determine by color when to stop steeping. This is the ideal pot for blooming teas but great for all tea types, so you can see the leaves unravel and flowers blossom. However, because glass is so delicate, it is prone to breakage and may stain on the spout. To prevent breaking, it is recommended to hand wash. Quality glass teapots are lead free and made of borosilicate glass like the Glass Assam teapots by Bodum.
Ceramic teapots like the Bell Teapot by For Life are perfect for all tea types. Ceramic teapots are sturdy and easy to clean for food service. Since the inside is coated or glazed, this teapot is easier to clean and doesn’t impact the flavor of the tea. Ceramic pots also retain heat well, so they will keep tea warm for a longer period of time.
4. Cast Iron
Cast iron teapots retain and maintain heat for a long time. They were originally used to hold hot water. Cast iron is good for all tea types because it infuses evenly. The only downside is the rim can develop rust overtime. You can clean rust by rubbing a used tea leaf in the rusted area.
Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.