I will always remember when I fell in love with my favourite teapot. I was in a bric-a-brac shop, and it caught my eye across the room. The shape was elegant, and the colour was one of my favourites. It was perfect! It was the start of a relationship that has spanned many years, and many cups of tea.
If you are a loose leaf tea lover, then choosing the right teapot is such a very important decision in your life. It is a decision that should be made not only with the head, but also the heart. Of course, your chosen one has to suit the type of tea you are brewing. To bring out the full flavour in black tea, you should look for a stoneware teapot. If you are like me, and are a fan of the stronger tasting leaves, such as Assam, then a pewter or cast iron pot is for you. They offer a higher amount of heat retention, which is well suited to steeping the more robust black teas. Porcelain and Fine China pots are ideal for the more delicate green and white teas. And don't forget to ensure that there is a hole in the lid. This prevents a build up of steam in the pot, and stops the annoying dribbling down the spout when pouring. But the icing on the cake should be that the mere sight of your teapot, its colour and texture. It should bring a smile to your face, and make your heart beat faster - and make you fall in love.
Once you have found your perfect one, how do you take care of it, to ensure that is part of your tea routine for years to come? Never put your teapot in the dishwasher, or wash it in hot soapy water. The build up of tea deposits enhances the flavour of the brew. Instead rinse the pot with warm water, and leave to dry upside down. If you have a glass teapot, you can remove the tannin build up by soaking overnight in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and boiling water. If you are lucky enough to have inherited a Fine Bone China heirloom, and don't want to use it every day, make sure you wash it in warm water a couple of times a year. This will add moisture to your treasure and stop it from becoming brittle and cracking. Personally, I love making tea with these old teapots, as I love to fantasise about the lives of the people who enjoyed a cup or two.
I read somewhere that a teapot is a symbol of friendship, and a source of joy and comfort. I hope that your favourite pot is all of these things to you, and that your love continues to grow over the years. Or if you are anything like me, you fall a little bit in love every time you walk into a tea shop!