Our Love for the English Teapot, history and favorites
Spilling the Tea (Pot)
history of making and exporting tea pots!
I love teapots. But, truth be told, I'm actually more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker but something about the "pomp and circumstance" of the afternoon English Tea fascinates me. Sitting down properly for delicious nibbles and sipping tea on beautiful table ware (and hopefully equally beautiful surroundings) can be quite decadent. The delicate tea pots and tea cups are works of art and I've collected antique and modern sets for years. Apparently, the tea pot has a long history. I am waiting patiently for a few more days of the opening of the MET Museum's newly expanded British Galleries which will be all about the tea pot and it showcasing its illustrious history.
The history of the teapot- According to Wikipedia, "The teapot was invented in China during the Yuan Dynasty and made in cauldrons not small pots and poured into bowls and stirred with a brush". Not until the Ming Dynasty were single serve, small teapots used in China (1513) and then tea was drank straight from the spout. By the end of the 17th century tea was shipped to Europe as part of the export of exotic spices and luxury goods, but not until they reached England did the teapot become a fashionable table accessory. The pots were pretty typical and plain at first but the English amped up the style, functionality and design of the teapots. In 1694, The British East India Company created new teapots. At first, the Brits designed a strainer/barrier part that kept the leaves and liquid apart, and so the English Teapot was born. The English teapot is short and round allowing room for the tea to steep and produce a flavorful tea. The spout is short and located at the center of the pot making it easy to clean. The teapot morphed and eventually there were cup strainers rather than a separator.
Check out the tea pot display video at the MET