A top choice for any serious tea drinker; releases infused tea straight into a drinking cup for optimal taste.
Leaves occasionally get stuck on the bottom valve.
Highly praised for its generous brewing capacity which affords several cups of tea at a time.
The handle can get very hot.
Composed of durable cast iron material which promotes even heat distribution while retaining heat.
Advertised as a 40 ounce unit but generally holds 36 ounces or less.
Safety-conscious consumers appreciate the heat-resistant construction and safe stovetop operation.
The lid fits into the strainer -- not over it -- making it impossible to remove the tea strainer without taking the lid off the pot.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Coffee is what you drink when you want a buzz, but tea is a far more relaxing beverage to be sipped slowly and savored. Anyone who drinks tea regularly should have their own teapot. While some teapots are handy when making tea for a group and look elegant when entertaining, you can also find smaller teapots that make just one or two cups at once.
There is a lot to consider when choosing a teapot. The material of choice is a big factor, with metal, glass, and ceramic options available. You need to decide whether you want a model with an integrated infuser or strainer for loose tea, or whether you'll use an external strainer. It's also important to choose a model that pours well from the spout and has a well-fitting lid.
We've listed our top five teapots, any of which would make a great option for your home. You can also read our full buying guide to learn all you need to know about teapots.
There's no single best material for a teapot — each has its pros and cons. The most common teapot materials are ceramic, glass, and metal.
Ceramic teapots are an excellent option if you want a classic-looking teapot, though not every ceramic option looks traditional. Those made from chunky ceramic retain heat best. There can be some issues with staining with any ceramic teapot, and they are likely to break if dropped on a hard floor.
Glass teapots have a contemporary appearance and are great for brewing blooming teas. It's easier to see when your tea has brewed to your desired strength so you can avoid weak or stewed tea. On the other hand, glass teapots are fragile and aren't the best at retaining heat.
Teapot capacity is usually given either in ounces or milliliters, though some models tell you how many cups they hold. You can find compact teapots that hold as little as 12 ounces, as well as giant 50-ounce teapots. The average teapot holds somewhere between 23 and 34 ounces. When figuring out what teapot capacity you require, bear in mind that the average mug holds between 8 and 12 ounces, whereas the average teacup is smaller, with a capacity of around 5 to 6 ounces.
The majority of modern teapots have an infuser basket that sits inside the lid. This is a great setup, since you can remove it easily when your tea has reached the desired strength to avoid stewing, and it's easy to empty and clean. You can also find models with a strainer in the base of the spout, catching leaves before they enter your cup. These strainers are more difficult to clean, however, and they can clog, slowing down or stopping your pouring.
Alternatively, some teapots don't have any kind of infuser or strainer. When using these pots with loose tea, you'll need to place an external tea strainer over your cup or mug when you pour.
Dare to be different
The ingenuiTEA Bottom-Dispensing Teapot from Adagio Teas isn't your average teapot. Rather than pouring it out through a spout, you simply place the pot on top of a mug or teacup once the tea has brewed, where it will dispense through a valve on the underside. You can get a 16-oz version for making two small mugs or one large mug or tea, or a 28-oz version for making jugs of iced tea or serving tea to a larger group.
Choose a teapot with a tight-fitting lid since it's annoying to have to hold the lid in place when you pour tea to keep it from falling off the pot.
A good spout should be level with the rim of the teapot for easier pouring. Oval spouts tend to pour more consistently than round spouts.
The handle may either be on the opposite side from the spout or may arc over the top of the lid. The former tends to make pouring easier.
You can find teapots in all kinds of colors, shapes, and patterns, from bare cast iron Japanese-style teapots to vintage-looking floral prints to ceramic teapots in bold primary colors. Whatever style you prefer, you can probably find a teapot to match.
If using tea bags in your teapot, you should use one for each cup of tea you're making, plus an additional bag.
Quality loose leaf teas tend to use whole tea leaves or large pieces of leaf. Those consisting of tiny shreds of tea tend to be of poorer quality.
Some metal teapots, especially Japanese-style models, can leave marks on worktops or tables if the exterior is slightly damp, so it's best to set them down on a coaster or dishcloth.
If you're on a budget, you can find some small, basic teapots for as little as $10 to $15.
Mid-range teapots cost around $15 to $30. Some options with larger capacities and more decorative models fall into this range.
High-end teapots can be priced anywhere from $30 to over $100 for designer teapots made by famous potters or homeware brands.
Choose a teapot that's easy to clean. Some teapots can be awkward to get completely clean, especially those with small openings or with strainers in the spout. If your teapot is dishwasher safe, this is the easiest way to get it sparkling clean every time.
Learn the correct water temperature for your tea. Black tea should be made with boiling water, for example, whereas green and white teas are best steeped in water between 170 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. A quality tea blend will tell you the correct temperature to brew it at.
Tea for three
A fairly compact model, the Hario Cha Cha Kyusu Maru Teapot makes just enough tea for three small mugs or large teacups. The large infuser basket gives your tea plenty of room to swirl around and infuse properly. The glass design is excellent for "blooming" teas if you remove the basket.
With countless teapots on the market, it was tough to narrow it down to our top five. We've selected a handful of alternatives for you to browse, in case none of our favorite options take your fancy. The Sweese Porcelain Teapot is an excellent everyday model available in a number of colors. If you want to keep it simple with a classic model, you can't go wrong with this one.
The Tealyra Pluto Porcelain Small Teapot is a modern update on the classic ceramic teapot, should you want something slightly more adventurous. The compact size is suited to tea for one, though you can just about get two cups out of it.
Thanks to its generous 1-liter capacity, the Venoly Stainless Steel Teapot is perfect for making tea for a crowd — there's even a larger 1.5 liter option available. The brushed steel finish looks modern, but the pot itself has a classic round shape.
If you're after something altogether more decorative, consider the TOPTIER Japanese Cast Iron Teapot. Its attractive leaf design stands out from the alternatives — plus it has a decent 950 ml capacity.
Q. Should I use loose leaf teas or tea bags in my teapot?
A. You can use either tea bags or loose tea in a teapot, though it's much more common to make bagged tea straight in the mug and loose leaf tea in a pot. If you're new to the world of tea, it's worth knowing that loose tea is the equivalent of freshly ground coffee whereas bagged tea is the cousin of the freeze-dried instant stuff.
Q. How long should tea be brewed?
A. Different varieties of tea have different brewing times. For instance, tea bags generally don't need to brew for more than a minute or two, since the finely ground tea inside infuses more quickly than large leaves. For loose tea, green tea should steep for two to three minutes, black tea for three to four minutes, and white tea for four to five minutes.
Q. What tea varieties should I try?
A. With a whole world of tea out there, it's tough to know what you should try. If you're looking for a classic English tea experience, choose an English breakfast tea or other similar black tea blend and drink it with milk and sugar, if desired. Earl Grey is another classic English tea, which is generally drunk black with a squeeze of lemon. However, there's much more to tea than black tea. Green tea and white tea give you far more subtle flavors and can be combined with fruits or jasmine to complement them. Then there are fruit infusions and herbal teas for times when you want to forgo caffeine. If you're not sure what appeals to you, trial and error is the best way forward.
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