Western Teapot Question


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Western Teapot Question

Postby beachape » Jan 18th, '13, 12:16

Hello,

Just a question out of curiosity; All of the western teapots that I have encountered come without any type of filter. I assume that this is because the producers design them to use with tea-bags. How was tea brewed in western countries before the invention of the teabag? Did western teapots have some sort of filter in the pot, like in Asian teapots?

Thanks
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby JRS22 » Jan 18th, '13, 12:40

This is an interesting question. The only western-style teapot that I own was actually made in Japan in the 30’s. it has a direct filter, but based on the size of the filter holes it was designed for Chinese tea.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Poohblah » Jan 18th, '13, 12:44

Of the antique teapots that I have seen (not many), most had a seven-hole filter while some had a ball filter.

Of the modern teapots that I have seen (not many), most come with a basket infuser or something similar.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Alex » Jan 18th, '13, 13:04

IN the UK all the classic brown Betties I've handled have usually had no filter at all. Just leads from pot wall in to spout and then people would have used an external filter.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby edkrueger » Jan 18th, '13, 14:05

As Alex says, they would put something like this (http://www.amazon.com/Harolds-Coffee-an ... 86&sr=1-45) on top of their teacups when pouring from a pot with no filter.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Alex » Jan 18th, '13, 14:06

Yeah every old person I know serves tea in that way, with a strainer on top of the cups.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby beachape » Jan 18th, '13, 14:39

Interesting. Thanks for the reply. Another question related to how tea used to be served in the west before tea bags. Was it common to drink loose leaf tea (like the stuff offered on adagio; large leaf bits), or the very small leaf bits (near powder) that is found within teabags and offered as "loose leaf" by companies like twinnings?
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Alex » Jan 18th, '13, 14:47

beachape wrote:Interesting. Thanks for the reply. Another question related to how tea used to be served in the west before tea bags. Was it common to drink loose leaf tea (like the stuff offered on adagio; large leaf bits), or the very small leaf bits (near powder) that is found within teabags and offered as "loose leaf" by companies like twinnings?



I can only speak for all the people I know in the UK but hardly any of the old people I know use tea bags. They all use the small leaf bits. And have done for all of their lives. This is people from 50 - 90 years + none of them would even know what whole leaf looked like.

Under the age of 50 its usually teabags in mugs.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby rdl » Jan 18th, '13, 16:09

Alex wrote:
beachape wrote:Interesting. Thanks for the reply. Another question related to how tea used to be served in the west before tea bags. Was it common to drink loose leaf tea (like the stuff offered on adagio; large leaf bits), or the very small leaf bits (near powder) that is found within teabags and offered as "loose leaf" by companies like twinnings?



I can only speak for all the people I know in the UK but hardly any of the old people I know use tea bags. They all use the small leaf bits. And have done for all of their lives. This is people from 50 - 90 years + none of them would even know what whole leaf looked like.

Under the age of 50 its usually teabags in mugs.


from my experience the common size for tea in commercial tea brands is BOP - which is larger than the very small leaf bits described above. and if the tea was not filtered as it was poured into cups or mugs, it was poured off into a second serving tea pot with a filter. since this tea is not meant to be re-steeped, everything was rinsed after the first brew.
alex - interesting cut-off age for the old folks. i take it your far from 50 :lol: didn't a wise soul say tea tastes better when you reach 50. maybe not :wink:
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Poohblah » Jan 19th, '13, 02:29

Thank you guys for expanding my knowledge of tea :D
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Alex » Jan 19th, '13, 04:58

rdl wrote:
Alex wrote:
beachape wrote:Interesting. Thanks for the reply. Another question related to how tea used to be served in the west before tea bags. Was it common to drink loose leaf tea (like the stuff offered on adagio; large leaf bits), or the very small leaf bits (near powder) that is found within teabags and offered as "loose leaf" by companies like twinnings?



I can only speak for all the people I know in the UK but hardly any of the old people I know use tea bags. They all use the small leaf bits. And have done for all of their lives. This is people from 50 - 90 years + none of them would even know what whole leaf looked like.

Under the age of 50 its usually teabags in mugs.


from my experience the common size for tea in commercial tea brands is BOP - which is larger than the very small leaf bits described above. and if the tea was not filtered as it was poured into cups or mugs, it was poured off into a second serving tea pot with a filter. since this tea is not meant to be re-steeped, everything was rinsed after the first brew.
alex - interesting cut-off age for the old folks. i take it your far from 50 :lol: didn't a wise soul say tea tastes better when you reach 50. maybe not :wink:



Yeah I'm early 30s. Oh and sorry I didnt mean people over the age of 50 were old :mrgreen: . But its certainly that generation and above that tend towards loose bit tea. :oops:

Usually a mixture of some sort of strong assam blend as well....all our main supermarket brands are.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby brunogm » Jan 19th, '13, 05:35

I have inherited a silver teapot from my grandmother. I do not know how old it is, but it is from the 1950's or older, possibly much older.

There are filtering holes inside.

Based on hole size, this was a teapot designed for whole leaves tea.
Also, the teapot's inside is covered with tannins, which indicates my grandmother was not cleaning this teapot and letting a crust develop over the silver.

What is interesting is the attention to detail and love put in manufacturing this pot. This is a huge pot so the filtering holes are difficult to see, almost hidden. But they have been arranged in a beautifully artistic trident shape. This is interesting to have artistic parts designed not to be seen. The handle is isolated from the body by ivory rings. This way one does not burn himself.

My Grandmother was French but she had English tea drinking habits, because she had been raised in the UK, spent a huge part of her life there and even fought as a nurse in the British army (!).

So in summary, this is what we can deduct from 20th Century English tea drinking habits:
- whole leaves
- letting a crust develop inside the teapot
- a lot of importance given to tea given the artistry effort put into making this pot.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby Alex » Jan 19th, '13, 06:28

Most non brown betties have filter holes both modern and old partly just to hold the tea bags back. This is what's been sold in the last 100 years in the UK from supermarkets to small vendors

Image

Its referred to as "Loose leaf" on the box.

All the old people I've ever spoke to have never even seen what we call whole leaf. That would of been a lot further back when people drunk Chinese tea as the norm in the UK

The original brown betties weren't glazed so you could season them. This meant that people learnt not to clean their pots. So now everyone keeps the dirty crust on the inside of their glazed pots for better or worse.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby jayinhk » Jan 19th, '13, 10:17

The guys are dead on the money re: British people and loose leaf--it's from the era of tea cosies and egg cups.
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Re: Western Teapot Question

Postby brunogm » Jan 19th, '13, 14:49

Alex wrote:Its referred to as "Loose leaf" on the box.


This tea is too broken. The broken leaves would go straight through my grandmother pot filter.
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