Why Black Tea in a Clay Pot? Well, in my opinion, Clay is the best material in which to brew an excellent pot of hot tea.
Clay is not the best conductor of heat, like say metal, but it is a great insulator; therefore, tea brewed in a clay pot tends to stay hot longer than the other materials.
My personal favorite type of clay material for black tea is, by far, Bone China. I believe it keeps the tea warmer longer. Especially if you use a tea cozy.
Does that sound persnickety and biased?
I also believe that there is nothing like the old standard "Brown Betty" for a good pot of Irish Breakfast, and it beats bone china hands down for a more rustic/robust tea.
TIP: Use a smaller tea pot (2-3 cup size) versus a larger one (4-6 cup size), if you can. Two or three cups seem to be the maximum amount before the tea grows cold or gets bitter from over steeping.
To see reviews and my recommendations for Clay Teapots click here.
Now I can hear everyone saying, "But what about the beautiful sterling silver or silver tea set my grandmother left me? I really want to use it, because it looks so elegant and traditional."
Well, I can't argue with that.
The silver tea set is the quintessential look that most people think of when they think about the traditional afternoon tea. And who can resist the lure of a lovely antique silver teapot calling your name from that antique store around the corner?
On a recent trip to the Cotswold's in England, in a quaint little antique shoppe, I surrendered to my weakness for a silver plated tea pot. It was my most prized memory/purchase from the trip.
Oh the joy!
But I knew going in, that the silver plated tea pot could possibly impart a metallic taste to my tea. Happily, my little treasure, did not change the taste of my favorite tea. Perhaps the reason for my good fortune was that the inside of the tea pot was stained with the build up of years worth of tannins.
One more reason to rescue a lovely old silver teapot from a lonely life in an antique store.
It reminds me of an old song from my childhood, "Make new friends, but keep the old ... one is silver, and the other gold."
Don't be afraid to have an eclectic mix of teapots and teacups; like friends, each is unique and special, and though different, each meets a need in our lives. Rigidity to one material or tradition, because that's the way it's always been, limits your experiences, and ultimately, your life.
One caveat: it is best not to ever use "silver polish" on the inside of your silver/plated tea pots. This is possibly the reason for the stigma that metal tea pots change the taste of the tea.
To see reviews and my recommendations of Metal Teapots click here.