What To Look For When Buying Glass Teapots

I love watching a blooming tea expand in a glass teapot. I am also fascinated when I see the loose leaf teas unfurl while brewing. One of my main problems is deciding which type of glass tea pot to choose as there are so many options to choose from. If you are thinking about buying one, here are a few things to keep in mind as not all glass teapots are the same quality and even though one particular design may look great you will want it to also brew a fantastic cup of tea and be easy to use and clean. You may also find the best teapots for sale wherever you buy tea from.

The best glass teapots are made from high quality borosilicate glass, just as Pyrex kitchenware in Europe is.  (Not all Pyrex is made from borosilicate though–in the US it is made from soda lime glass instead.) This glass is heat resistant, and while lightweight it is also very durable. Most of the teapots made from this glass are crystal clear however you can find some beautiful amber coloured glass teapots as well. Because they are made from borosilicate glass they are safe to use to brew tea and they are generally dishwasher safe as well. Some caution may be needed if the dry heat in your dishwasher is extremely high–but in general they are safe to use in most home and commercial dish washers. I would only recommend buying teapots made from top quality borosilicate glass–it should be clearly labelled as being made from this material.

What Style Of Glass Teapot Is Best?

Now, that is out of the way we can talk about what else you should look for when purchasing a teapot. What style of glass teapot is best? It really depends on your personal preferences and the type of tea you are planning on brewing. If you want to show off your blooming tea you will probably want to look for a teapot that is either tall–so the flower can expand up, or fairly rotund leaving lots of room for expansion inside the teapot.  If you love loose leaf teas you may want to opt for a glass teapot with infuser. Tea leaves are popped into the tea infuser and boiled water is poured on the leaves. The tea brews nicely but you do not have to worry about tea leaves getting stuck in the spout when you are pouring the tea–and glass teapots with infusers are also quite a bit easier to clean in some respects. Maybe you love watching the tea leaves unfurl to their full size–then buy a teapot that either has an infuser that you can take out if you want, or buy a simple glass teapot without an infuser.

Photo By: Lucius Kwok

You can also find some teapots that have a removable strainer in the actual spout of the teapot. These allow you to brew the tea without needing an internal teapot infuser so you can see the tea as it expands yet it will keep the tea leaves out of your teacup. While a glass teapot with strainer will work well with a blooming tea they are not as useful if you are using loose leaf tea as the tea leaves tend to clog up the strainer fairly quickly.

Another very neat design that I saw recently was a glass teapot that actually sits on top of the cup while the tea is brewing. When you lift up the teapot the tea pours into the cup. This unique design could come in very handy–and it is also a bit of a novelty if you are looking for something a little unusual.

Best Size Teapot To Buy

What size teapot should you buy?  How many people will you brew tea for? If you are brewing a cup or two for yourself then a smaller sized 400 ml. teapot may be sufficient. If you are planning on brewing enough tea for your family to sip after dinner you may want to look at the larger 1000 or even 1200 ml. teapots.

Some teapots are fairly simple in design, beautifully showcasing the tea inside. Other designs are more intricate. For example, it is possible to buy double walled glass teapots. These are designed to keep the tea warm while keeping the teapot itself cool enough to handle. Some are styled after Japanese teapots, Arabic teapots or the small Chinese teapots. Most have a smooth glass surface but you can also find some where the glass surface is faceted to where the teapot has a jewelled appearance. Again, you will probably have your own preference.

Other Features

Photo By: Rob Chant

Other features, relating to how well the tea pours, are also important to consider. In general, the spout of the teapot should be slightly higher than the lid. This allows for optimal pouring.  The lid should be tight fitting, with some kind of seal around it so that it does not come off while you are pouring the tea–loose lids really are awkward as you have to keep your finger on the lid when serving tea. On the other hand, the lid should not be that tight fitting that you have to struggle with it to get it off as that can result in damage to the teapot and lid. Another area to pay attention to is the handle of the teapot. The joins should be smooth–with some teapots you cannot see any join at all, and the handle should look sturdy and secure. This is especially important if you purchase a larger capacity teapot.

How To Care For Your Glass Teaware
We had a kettle; we let it leak:
Our not repairing made it worse.
We haven’t had any tea for a week…
The bottom is out of the Universe.
~Rudyard Kipling

Some are designed to be used directly on either a gas or electric burner, while others are not. Pay attention to the instructions for use as improper treatment of your teapot could cause it to break. Following are a few tips on caring for your glass teapot as proper care and handling will be sure to prolong the life of your tea pot.

Unless specifically stated, the teapot should not be placed over direct heat or a flame. In other words, if the instructions do not implicitly state that it can be used in this way that means that it cannot.

When placing in the dishwasher, do not leave it in for too long–drying time should only be around 15 minutes maximum. You may need to adjust your dishwasher settings if you regularly use high temperatures for longer periods of time.

Although I do not see the need for doing so, still you should not place your teapot in the refrigerator or freezer if the internal temperature is set to maximum coolness. If you want to cool down your iced tea I would suggest transferring it to another refrigerator safe container, or making sure the temperature is not too low. Remember too, it is not a good idea to place a hot or very warm teapot directly into a cold refrigerator.

Finally, when cleaning your teapot do not use abrasive cleaning agents or abrasive cleaning pads as they will scratch the surface of the teapot and not only mar its looks but also damage the teapot.


1 comment to What To Look For When Buying Glass Teapots

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>