Glass teapot buying guide!

I guess all your Christmas presents are already purchased by now, but I wanted to note some desiderata for glass teapots.  This is coming from someone who has had 9 different glass teapots.  Most places mention glass is good if you want to try those “display teas.”  As if you wake up every morning and make yourself a pot of “Blooming Chrysanthemum.”  No, it’s definitely fun to look at tea, even if it’s not tied into flower shapes.  But I like glass because you can measure how much tea you’re making.

First, you want a teapot that’s about 20 ounces, or 0.6 liters.  This is a good amount for two people, or to drink by yourself.  Most teapots are way too big, as if you’re always hosting garden parties for the whole Red Hat chapter.  You’ll want a big teapot too, but you’ll use it less often.  Don’t waste tea.

You want to make sure the infuser is wide and deep, going almost to the bottom of the teapot.  This gives the leaves plenty of room to circulate.  It also makes sure the leaves contact the water even if you make a partial pot.  Again, glass is fun so you can see the leaves dancing around.  The infuser should have thin slits that don’t let leaf particles through, like they were made with a laser or a hot wire.  More slits means less time holding the hot infuser waiting for it to drain.

Get a paint marker. White’s good.  You can use it to make inconspicuous hash marks near the handle to measure portions.  Now you can make one cup or three with clinical precision.  Make sure you measure the volume with the infuser in, because that’s how you’re making the tea.

Spouts with notches in the bottom prevent dripping.  Not a high priority, but now you know.

And don’t kid yourself, glass is going to break.  It’s still worth it.  Buy some china/glass cement right off.  And here’s how your teapot will break: 1. Somebody will forget to hold the lid on when they’re pouring.  2. Cracks will grow up the slits in the infuser as it gets bumped during normal use and cleaning.  3. The handle will crack at the top and start to separate from the body, from bearing all the weight.  (Try and support the pot additionally on the bottom or on the spout.)  Use cement to arrest cracks and stop them from growing into serious breaks.  Maybe you want to buy a model for which replacement parts are readily available.

Here are some teapots that fit the bill, ones I have owned and enjoyed.  I’m sure there are many more out there, but I wouldn’t pay more than $30.

Bodum Thé de Chine

Yama Glass YA-500 (2nd row)

“Elegant Glass Teapot” via Jaya Teas

Nova and many others from Trendglas

You will be so happy, and everyone will admire you.


2 Responses to “Glass teapot buying guide!”

  1. 1 Lainie Petersen January 3, 2010 at 2:50 AM

    Fantastic! I love glass teapots myself, and this buying guide is super helpful. Thanks!

  2. 2 plucktea February 9, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Less probable is 4)you drop your thermometer inside the glass mug that has served the best and the longest, for the first time leaving an intact infuser without a vessel instead of the other way around. Like I just did. Woe!

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