Thursday, April 29, 2010

Choosing a teapot

All about utilization

Teapot designs are personal.

They reflect the taste and personality of the owner.

The best teapots come from Taiwan.

This is particularly due to the quality of the clay and water in Taiwan that are free from industrial pollutants.

Teapots that are vintage (pre-1950's) or antique (more than 100 years old) teapots made in China are considered safe as daily food utilitarian items.

Most of the teapots that come out of China, past the 1950's are best just for collection and not for food use.

The Taiwan kilns are tested for contaminants and chemical pollutants by the master potters.

Master potters of Taiwan are particular about the quality of their clay.

These potters are also some of the best following the tradition of ancient Chinese potters.

Selection Technique

Design is a matter of choice and taste.

A teapot must please the user.

Above its beauty, a good teapot must reflect good form and function.

Form and function of a teapot is vital in the preservation of the essence of the tea brewed in it.

General Guidelines

•A standard teapot will have a paralled alignment of its handle, mouth and spout , this reflects the skill of the potter.

•A teapot lid must fit perfectly to retain the flavor and aroma of the tea.

•Overall balance of the teapot, the handle and spout must align,.

•Thickness and curve of teapot handles must be comfortable for handling.

•Quality of clay must be clean and high. It will reflect the lustre of the overall teapot.

•Dyes in clays must be avoided.

•Teapots must not have odours. Any odour of oil, stains or chemicals indicates contamination.

•A new teapot must smell like clay or earthy tones.

•The pouring flow of the teapot must be smooth so that it does not influence the flavour of of the tea brewed.

•A teapot that pours out tea without leaving a drop, is a superiorly designed teapot.

•Thickness of the pot can be assessed by the pitch that is emitted from the friction caused by the lid against the mouth of the teapot.

•A thick walled teapot emits a low pitch, and is best for teas that require a higher temperature and longer brewing time, e.g. pu errh, black teas.

•A thin walled teapot has a high pitch and is best for brewing teas that require a lower temperature and shorter time to brew, e.g. oolong, scented teas.

•Tall and small flange teapots are best for brewing fermented teas.

•Short teapots that have a large flange are best for mildly fermented teas.

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