How do I make tea? Let me count the ways. (My apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning).

Truth be told, there are countless ways to make tea. Almost every tea lover will insist, however, that tea be made in tea pots.

The term “tea pots” is very broad, however, and can include just about any vessel that can hold hot water. Tea pots can be porcelain, earthenware, metal, or glass. Tea pots can be as small as a thimble or as large as a building.

Tea pots in such extreme sizes are not meant to make tea, but there is still a wide variety in shapes and sizes of tea pots.

Teapots for Black Tea 

The largest selection of tea pots is for making black tea. Black tea is best brewed in stoneware tea pots rather than metal or porcelain. Perhaps the most famous stoneware tea pot is the Brown Betty pot that has been a standard part of English tea since the 18th century.

Brown Betty tea pots were originally made in Stoke-on-Trent, England, from red terracotta clay. They are designed to allow the tea leaves to swirl around the pot as hot water is poured in.

Dark Indian teas are often made in iron or silver tea pots, whereas the light taste of green tea is better suited to a porcelain tea pot. Traditional Japanese tea, however, is made in cast iron tea pots called tetsubin. Tetsubin tea pots are aesthetically pleasing and well suited to the Japanese tea ceremony .

Oolong tea is traditionally made in small tea pots. The tea leaves completely fill the pot and the leaves are steeped for a short time. The oolong tea leaves can be re-brewed many times in this type of tea pot. The most famous of these oolong tea pots are the ones made in Yixing, China, and so small oolong tea pots have come to be called Yixing tea pots.

Modern Tea Pots

Glass tea pots have gained in popularity in our modern world. Glass tea pots don’t absorb the flavor of the tea the way that earthenware or metal tea pots do, so they are suitable for a variety of tea. They are also convenient – many glass tea pots have built in filters that hold the tea leaves and are easy to clean.

An example of an attractive modern tea pot is a German-made model called the {rawcontent 23}. This has a gold-plated infuser which allows the true flavor of the tea to emerge without tainting the brew with unwanted flavors.  The body is made of tempered glass which sits on a teak wood stand. The candle serves to keep the tea warm and also adds an attractive glow to the tea. {rawcontent 22}

Choosing a tea pot is a personal matter depending on visual appeal and the type of tea you drink. Remember, though, that the best tea is brewed in a pot – forget about that tea-bag-in-a-coffee-mug stuff – it just ain’t tea.