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teapots for kids

updated sun 21 jan 07


Geoffrey Barst on sat 20 jan 07

Here is a posting I made about 2 years ago about my thoughts on teapots.

I hope it is helpful.

Geoff Barst

I am a transplanted Brit living in the USA for the past 25 years and
before that in Canada for 5 years, but still need my daily fix of English
tea. I love to make teapots & my house is full of them, but many do not
meet the practicality criteria for daily use. I make my tea by putting a
couple of two cup Yorkshire teabags (which I bring back in bulk from
England when I visit, & which are excellent padding for breakables in a
suitcase) in a preheated pot that holds 4 mugs of water & brew for 5 mins
using a tea cozy to keep the pot warm. That rules out a cane handle for
starters as it won't fit the cozy. Cane handles also feel unnatural to me
when pouring a heavy pot as one has to compensate for the weight without
much area to take the pressure from the hand. They look great though. The
artsy teapots I see often fall short in actual use because of a number of
design faults. Lids should be large enough so you can reach into the pot
for occasional cleaning and to make it easy to empty.(We British like to
rinse out the pot but feel that the buildup of tea & crud adds a measure
of taste to the tea). A steam hole not only helps the lid drop on but
stops the steam from blowing the tea out of the spout. The lid should be
able to stay in place without being held there while pouring the last drop
of tea, so needs to be deep enough to allow this. Pouring and stopping
cleanly without dribbling is of course essential and here the taper of the
spout is important. Bernoulli's Theorem, which is the principle behind the
lift generated by an aircraft wing, where the pressure above the wing
drops as the air has to flow faster to cover the greater distance over the
top of the wing, applies here. The flow rate increases as the liquid has
to pass through a narrower orifice, but the pressure drops if the taper of
the spout is correct, allowing a nice flow of tea. I often curve the very
tip of the spout downwards to prevent drips, and some people drill a tiny
hole through this point to help create a little suction to keep the tea
from dribbling. I haven't found that necessary. Another consideration is
that one should be able to fill the pot as full as you like without
risking tea coming out of the spout, so the lowest point of the spout
needs to be above the highest fill level. Handles need to be big enough to
allow the hand to stay clear of the hot pot while pouring and broad enough
for comfort. Finally, I like my pots to be able to rest upside down on a
draining board after rinsing & not topple over. These technical challenges
make the creation of a beautiful and yet practical teapot so rewarding for

Geoff Barst

There was also some discussion about strainer holes which you can find by
searching the archives.