The History of the Teapot

Teapots just seem like one of those devices that have been around forever. It’s just one of those devices that seem simple enough even for cavemen to use. No one really takes the time to find and acknowledge where teapots originated.

Teapots are defined as a vessel for steeping tea leaves or other herbal mixes. When boiling water is added, the essential oils from the tea leaves transform the water into a delicious warm beverage.

Teapots come in all types of shapes, sizes, and colors. Teapots can even be classified by where the design of the pot fits in on the timeline of human history. Ceramic, silver, glass and porcelain are some examples of common materials used to make the first teapots.

The first teapot is thought to have been invented during the Yuan Dynasty, which lasted from 1271-1368. Other accounts have the teapot being invented during the Sung dynasty, which was from 960 -1271. Somewhere in that time, people decided to stop using cauldrons or bowls for tea and switch to the teapot.

Teapots in this time were actually designed to be single use. People would drink directly out of the spout. The reasoning behind this was the pot was best able to control the flavors of the tea. By the year 1500, teapots were a common device throughout all of China.

Once tea started becoming popular in the 17th century, teapots also made their way over to Europe. The first teapots in Europe were commonly made out of porcelain and had to travel a long way to reach their final destination. Europe didn’t make their own teapot factor until 1710. Until that time, they relied on importing teapots from China and other parts of Asia.

In these early days of the teapot, the craftsmanship of the pots did not go unnoticed. People who made teapots were almost considered artists because of the unique designs and materials they would use to make teapots.

Different materials served different purposes. Making a teapot with a certain type of clays were used to make teapots. The clay was known for absorbing the aroma and flavor of the tea, which over time made tea from that particular teapot more and more delicious.

Many teapots were also affixed with jewels and gold and silver highlights. Teapot makers took great pride and care in being unique in how they designed their teapots. This dedication set the tone for how fine china from China is revered today.

As you can see, teapots have a very rich a diverse history. Although they originated in China, tea has become such a worldwide phenomena that each country has made their own impact on the teapot. Even today, in the age of electric and cast iron teapots, humans are still finding ways to expand on this ancient device. Humans and teapots will be aligned together in history forever.

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