Choosing the right teapot size can be challenging. With so many different sizes, shapes and designs, it’s often easy to make a purely visual decision. However, if you’re anything like me, this means you might have ended up with a collection of very good looking teapots – none of which ever seem to be the right size for the occasion. Fear not! Now is your chance to learn from my mistakes to ensure you walk away with something to suit your needs.
First things first, think about how you normally drink tea. Is it a quiet cup for yourself in the morning, or shared with a friend over a chat? Perhaps it’s usually five friends, all roaring with laughter? Everything from the number of people consuming the tea, the length of time over which it’s being drunk and the type of tea influences what type of pot will work best for you. These situational factors can then be translated in different teapot features.
For example, a single cup for yourself works perfectly with a small pot or a tea for one set. Zero Japan make excellent 350ml pots in a variety of colours, and The Tea Centre stocks Tea for One sets in numerous designs.
For several friends, it’s usually wise to get a pot with a removable strainer and one that fits a tea cosy. That way you can relax and chat without worrying about over brewed or cold tea, if you’re going back for seconds! London Pottery are perfect for this, with sturdy strainers and traditional English looks which go so nicely with tea cosies.
Just remember, strainers aren’t always the way to go. Sometimes, letting the tea really move around and expand is what’s best. If you’re going for the no strainer route, opt for a smaller pot so it’s empty every time your cups are filled up. You don’t want to leave water in there over brewing your tea. And remember to pick up an external strainer, so you’re not drinking your leaves!
Last, but not least, consider different brewing times. If you mostly drink herbals, you won’t be as affected by leaving your tea to brew for a long period of time, so feel free to opt for a slightly larger pot or one without a strainer. If you’re a white or green tea fiend, you might also find you benefit from lighter coloured pots, which can better allow you to check the brewing colour as you go. And if you’re a black tea drinker, keep your pot size smaller so you can keep your brews fresh.
While finding the perfect pot for your particular needs is always a little trial and error, thinking about these things puts you a step ahead. As hard as it is, don’t pick purely based on looks! Always, where possible, find out the volume of a teapot. A 1.5L pot may not look very big, but that makes a whopping 6 full mugs of tea, or around 7 to 8 teacups. Likewise, a good looking pot will just sit on your shelf if it’s not functional for you.