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
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.