Where Yesterday Meets Tomorrow
by Diane Johns
The different shapes for tea pots and coffee pots result from the nature of tea and coffee. Tea leaves float and the spout, which joins the body of the tea pot near the bottom, allows the liquid brew to flow out from under them. Coffee grounds, on the other hand, sink, so the spout is typically mounted near the top of the coffee pot, allowing the coffee to flow out from above the grounds. Additionally, the more rounded shape of the tea pot encourages movement and floats the tea leaves while the taller coffee pot lessens the movement of the liquid and promotes the settling of the grounds.
The differences between tea pots and tea kettles are based on the high price of tea in the past. The small decorative tea pot allows for a small amout of tea to be brewed and consumed while at its peak flavor in pleasant surroundings. The utilitarian tea kettle, with its more copious capacity, held only water and remained boiling on the stove, ready to make additional servings as needed.
© 1997-2002 Coxsackie Antique Center