19th
Apr
2013

Posted in Kafevend Blog

The rise of the teapot was a result of a change in the way tea was prepared. For a long time, tea had been compressed into bricks. Parts would be broken off and ground up, then mixed in hot water and frothed in a bowl, which the tea was then drunk from. In the 14th century however, steeping tea leaves in water took off, a process which wouldn't work with the bowls used before.


Vessels such as kettles, similar to teapots, had been in use for centuries, though they had been used for water and wine. It seems likely that teapots were based on these. The first teapots lay between the bowls used for drinking tea and the large teapots we use today. They were small, only holding enough tea for one person. The tea was also drunk from the spout as opposed to being poured in to anoher vessel. A popular variety of early teapot was that made from Yixing clay, originating in the 15th century.


Chinese teapots were imported to Britain along with tea by the British East India Company in around the middle of the 17th century; British potters were in direct competition with these imports for hundreds of years. Innovations such as the improved and hardy cream coloured earthenware or 'Queen's ware' made by Josiah Wedgwood meant that by 1791, the B.E.I.C. stopped importing Chinese pottery, as Britain's own pottery industry entered the world market.

by Kafevend

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