How to Pick the Best Teapot
for Your Next Pot of Tea

Before you make your next pot of tea, check to make sure you are using the right teapot for the type of tea you are making. It does make a difference.

First, it is important that you have an understanding of the variety of materials used to make tea pots. The three most common materials are,

  • Metal which includes:

    Cast Iron

    Silver/Sterling Silver

    Silver Plated

    Stainless Steel


  • Clay which includes:
ceramic teapot


    Bone China



glass teapot

  • Glass which includes:



Okay, now that we've looked at all the usual materials that tea pots are made from, let's discuss which ones to use with each tea type.

We will start with the most common material and type of tea:

  • Clay and Black Tea

    • 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.

      bone china teapot

      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.

  • Metal and Black Tea
    • 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?

      Not me.

      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.

  • Glass and Herbal Tea

    • For the ultimate in visual sensory experience, nothing beats an herbal flowering tea in a glass teapot.

      glass teapot with blooming herbal flower

      The glass tea pot allows the tea drinker an amazing 360 degree window to view the "flower" unfolding as it steeps in the warm water. It reminds me of a scene from the Discovery Channel of some beautiful, never-seen-before, underwater sea urchin caught unfurling in the vast depth of the ocean.

      Everyone should experiment with this type of tea at least once. Even if you later decide it's not for you; it's one awesome sight to behold!

      Of all the materials that teapots are made of, glass is the most versatile. It works beautifully with all types of teas. And no other material lets you visually enjoy the wide spectrum of tea's colors. The only disadvantage to a glass teapot is that it isn't a good insulator; therefore it doesn't retain heat well and tea tends to cool rather rapidly in it.

      To see reviews and my recommendations for Glass Teapots click here.