These suggestions for teapot use and care are from Mrs. Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1860.
- have several teapots for different occasions
- avoid using aluminum or enamel; aluminum may discolor the tea; chipped enamel may effect the flavor of the tea
- ceramic or bone china teapots retain the heat best
- check the glaze inside the pot for cracks and crazes
- check the handle for finger and knuckle room to avoid burns
- look for a hole in the lid to allow air to pass into the pot to avoid dribble and a mess from the teaspout
- a lug should be part of the lid to hold it in place so the lid doesn’t crash into the cups as the tea is poured
- avoid using detergent inside a teapot as this will affect the taste of the tea
- remove tannin stains inside the teapot by filling and soaking the pot over several hours with a solution of hot water and four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda – rinse thoroughly.
Funny how this advice was given nearly 150 years ago, but it is just as relevant today as it was then. The only thing I do differently is using a paste of baking soda to clean the inside of my teapot, instead of soaking it and this is only because I don’t want to wait for several hours.