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The right teapot can transport you to a different time and place. A certain material might evoke afternoon tea beneath Victorian parasols. A pattern might throw you back to childhood. No matter what, a great teapot is out there for everyone, and this list looks to find it.
To make the selection process easier, keep some of these factors in mind. Capacity: do you typically serve several people, or is the teapot for personal use? Durability: do you need a teapot that can withstand wear-and-tear, or can you get away with a more fragile one? Weight: some teapots weigh several pounds when full, making the pouring process a nightmare.
"Mistakes with brewing tea usually involve time, temperature, or water-to-tea ratio," explains Shunan Teng, Founder, and CEO of Tea Drunk.
In an array of prices, materials, and designs, here are the best teapots to buy.
Best Overall: Sweese Porcelain Teapot with Infuser
Multiple color options
Dishwasher and microwave safe
Not the smoothest pouring
This 27-ounce teapot is both elegant and adorable. The round handle and slightly gooseneck spout give the item a classic silhouette, and it's available in a number of vibrant and glossy colorways, ranging from a timeless white to an eye-catching turquoise. It also comes with a convenient stainless steel infuser that works with both bagged and loose tea.
The teapot is on the smaller side, but its capacity is sufficient for personal use—you can expect to brew about two to three cups at a time. Avid tea drinkers or customers who often host parties will be pleased to know that Sweese makes a nearly identical teapot at 40 ounces—the main difference is that the larger teapot does not include an infuser.
This particular teapot is praised for its value for money, and also makes an excellent gift. One thing to keep in mind is that the porcelain material is durable, but not entirely resistant to chips and scratches.
Material: Porcelain | Capacity: 27 and 40 ounces | Infuser: Yes (27-ounce model only) | Dimensions: 5.2 x 5 x 8.5 inches (27-ounce model)
"One size does not fit all when it comes to teapots. Consider having a larger teapot, around 45 ounces, for pulling out when company comes over for tea. For everyday personal use, keep a smaller teapot on hand—between 12 ounces for a single cup up to a 20-ounce teapot to extract multiple cups." — Annelies Zijderveld, Author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Cusinium Glass Teapot with Infuser Set
Stovetop, microwave, and dishwasher safe
Easy to clean
Handle may get hot
Infuser doesn't reach far into pot
If you are looking for an everyday teapot that can hold a few mugs' worth, then this is your pick. This model holds three to four cups of tea in borosilicate glass so durable that you can put it directly on a gas stovetop. When the stainless steel parts are removed it can also go in the microwave to warm up your tea when it cools down a little. An added bonus is that it's dishwasher safe, so you can easily clean it after a long day.
Anyone who has ever poured hot water out of a teapot knows that burns do happen, but this item's lid is designed to stay cool so your fingers stay safe. And, the ergonomic handle allows for a firm grip while holding the pot while the spout is spill-free. Our product tester cautions that its capacity may be too small for some avid tea drinkers, but she was "thoroughly impressed with the teapot's high-quality design and user-friendly operation."
Material: Glass | Capacity: 32 ounces | Infuser: Yes | Dimensions: 6.1 x 4.7 x 5.9 inches
"We love everything about the Cusinium Glass Teapot Kettle with Infuser—from its sophisticated design to its ability to brew a tasty pot of tea." — Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Glass: Hiware Glass Teapot with Removable Infuser
Easy to handle
Microwave and dishwasher safe
Instructions could be clearer
This handcrafted glass teapot can be placed on the stovetop, as well as in the microwave. At 45 ounces, it's a larger version of Hiware's 27-ounce glass teapot. Designed with a non-dripping spout and an open round handle, this pot is made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass that the manufacturer makes durable enough for everyday use. Upon testing the product, our reviewer was initially "a little leery about owning a glass teapot," like many customers would naturally be, but she was pleasantly surprised to find that "the glass felt thick and sturdy."
What's great about the pot is you can use the lid with or without the infuser so you can switch it up daily depending on your personal preference. This also has a two-year warranty, so if you are scared of glass construction, you are guaranteed it will hold up, or you will get a refund.
Material: Glass | Capacity: 45 ounces | Infuser: Yes | Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 4.02 inches
"With its stylish and sturdy design, superb performance, and low price, you really can’t go wrong with the Hiware Glass Teapot." — Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Budget: Primula Half Moon Teapot
Mixed reviews on dripping
This unique teapot from Primula is one of the most affordable you can find. Yet, it has more to offer than a bare-bones budget option. The Primula Half Moon Teapot has a fairly large capacity of 40 ounces, and it comes with a stainless steel infuser to make the steeping process easier. It immediately stands out when compared to most conventional teapots because of its round silhouette and half-glass, half-plastic exterior. Many customers love the design, which is available in multiple colors, but it may not be for everyone, especially if you prefer the look of classic porcelain models. The item can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. Just keep an eye on the glass when using it, as it is breakable.
Material: Glass and plastic | Capacity: 40 ounces | Infuser: Yes | Dimensions: 5.75 x 7.25 x 6.75 inches
"The number one thing to improve tea at home is to stop covering it. This is essential for green and yellow teas. For other kinds, if the tea isn't very good quality, then leaving it open will increase the taste." — Shunan Teng, Founder, and CEO of Tea Drunk
One way to brew tea openly is by using a fairness pitcher (or gong dao bei), which is common in Gong Fu brewing—a traditional Chinese style of tea preparation.
Best Stoneware: Le Creuset Traditional Teapot
Great heat retention
Le Creuset is known for high-quality (and colorful) cookware. With this teapot, the century-old French manufacturer takes the timeless look of stoneware and adds a few modern touches. It's chip-resistant, dishwasher-safe, and designed for long-lasting heat retention. The rounded handle is easy to hold, and the spout is elongated for better pouring. Perhaps the only downside is that the item does not come with a tea infuser.
Available colorways vary depending on the retailer. The most popular tends to be the striking blue Marseille, but the Oyster colorway, a more subdued grey, is also easy to find.
At roughly 45 ounces, the teapot is sizable enough to entertain multiple guests. The price is surprisingly affordable too, especially for a piece that will glisten for years to come in the kitchen, dining room, or cabinet.
Material: Stoneware | Capacity: 45 ounces | Infuser: No | Dimensions: 5.3 x 10 x 6.3 inches
Best Ceramic: Tealyra Daze Ceramic Teapot
Ceramic teapots are widely lauded for their excellent heat retention, easiness to clean, and timeless aesthetic. Tealyra's Daze Ceramic Teapot has all these wonderful traits, plus it's available in seven colors to match any personality or kitchen décor. It has a 24-ounce capacity and the ceramic body is built to resist high temperatures and stand the test of time. The extra-fine stainless-steel strainer prevents the smallest leaves from floating into your tea, resulting in the perfect cup. Buyers add that the pot doesn't drip when the tea is poured and that it also makes a great gift for a friend who also cherishes a warm spot of tea on a cold day.
Material: Ceramic | Capacity: 27 and 47 ounces | Infuser: Yes | Dimensions: 6.69 x 6.54 x 6.3 inches (27-ounce model)
Best Set: Pukka Home 22-Piece British Royal Series Tea Set
Great for entertaining
Beautiful design, multiple colorways
Rack is not included
With 22 gorgeous pieces, this tea set has everything you need to entertain. There are six teacups, six saucers, six teaspoons, a sugar bowl, a cream pitcher, stainless steel filter, and, of course, a gleaming 28-ounce teapot. Every piece in the set is crafted from white porcelain and accented with elegant gold trim. Customers say the porcelain is surprisingly sturdy, as the item nearly has a perfect five-star rating for durability; the pieces are also dishwasher safe but should not be used in the microwave or on the stovetop.
What really separates this Pukka Home set from other options is its value for money. The price is extremely reasonable when considering the quality and number of pieces included, and it also makes a great gift. If you’re looking for a pop of color, Pukka Home not only makes the set in Pure White but in Milk Purple and Young Pink as well. Keep in mind, however, that the set does not include the display stand used in photographs.
Material: Porcelain | Capacity: 28 ounces | Infuser: Yes | Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.5 x 5 inches
Best High-End: Royal Albert Old Country Roses 3-Piece Tea Set
Fine bone china
Other sets available in same pattern
You can't go wrong with any of Royal Albert's teapots or tea sets. The British company has been crafting gorgeous fine bone china for over 100 years. We chose the Old Country Roses motif because it's one of Royal Albert's best-selling designs. The company also makes dozens of pieces with the same lush floral pattern—including serving trays, napkin rings, and wine glasses—so you can expand your china collection whenever you like, all in a matching design.
This set includes a 42-ounce teapot, sugar bowl, and cream jug. While it doesn't come with cups and saucers, we love that it provides three essential pieces at a price only slightly higher than buying the teapot by itself. If need be, teacups in the Old Country Roses pattern can be purchased separately at a number of sites online. This collection is highly rated and has hundreds of reviews. Many customers say it's the best tea set they have ever owned.
Material: Fine bone china | Capacity: 42 ounces | Infuser: No | Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.5 x 10.5 inches
"Mistakes with brewing tea usually involve time, temperature, or water-to-tea ratio. This means brewing for too long or too short, using an incorrect temperature, or using too much or too little tea. Being mindful of all three factors will help people develop their tea-brewing techniques." — Shunan Teng
Best Cast Iron: Old Dutch International Cast Iron Sapporo Teapot
May be too heavy for some
This Japanese-inspired cast iron teapot is ideal for brewing small batches of loose-leaf tea for yourself or a guest. Iron teapots are traditionally heavier, as the weight of the iron helps retain heat for an extended length of time, which is ideal for long-brewing and taste. This item strikes the perfect balance between function and design, however, as it's on the lighter side for iron models, clocking in at 2.8 pounds. It's also equipped with enamel lining for rust resistance. This teapot is dependable enough to use on a daily basis and the iron design stands out in any kitchen.
Material: Cast iron | Capacity: 20 ounces | Infuser: Yes | Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.25 x 6 inches
Our two top picks come at a similar price but reflect very different paths for those interested in purchasing a teapot. The Sweese Porcelain Teapot (view at Amazon) has a timeless look and feel, and it even comes with a handy infuser. The Cusinium Glass Teapot, on the other hand, offers a more modern design and is stovetop safe. Both are worthwhile options that provide value for your money, so the choice may come down to personal preference.
What to Look for in a Teapot
If you usually make a single cup of tea, you might not want a large teapot taking up space on your stovetop or in your cabinets. If you often entertain large crowds, however, it’s nice to serve everyone without waiting for a second batch of water to boil. The teapots on our list come in a range of sizes—all you need to do is pick which one is right for you.
Teapots are made from a variety of materials, including glass, porcelain, stainless steel, and coated metal. Not only does this affect the item's aesthetic, it may also dictate whether or not it can be placed on the stovetop. If the convenience of a stovetop-safe teapot is important to you, check out heat-resistant materials first.
Many teapots are dishwasher safe, which is a major plus for frequent tea drinkers. If it's hand-wash only, check out the size of the teapot's opening. Larger ones let you fit your whole hand into the pot for cleaning, while a smaller opening might require a brush. Also note that glass teapots make it easy to assess cleanliness, while porcelain and metal are a little harder to examine.
How do you use a teapot?
Whether you’re completely new to tea or an expert looking for a few quick tips, we’ve got you covered. Using a teapot is simple. Many even find the process calming.
The first step is to boil water in a separate kettle. Check what water temperature is recommended for the type of tea you are brewing (more information on this below), as this will allow you to extract the richest, truest flavor. Second, preheat your teapot by rinsing the inside with hot water. This small but important step helps the teapot maintain the ideal water temperature while the tea is steeping, and it prevents porcelain and ceramic teapots from cracking from the sudden heat of boiling water. You can use hot water from the tap while the kettle boils, or water straight from the kettle before it reaches its peak temperature. Third, fill the teapot or the infuser basket with your tea, whether it’s loose-leaf or bagged—the general rule of thumb is one teaspoon of tea for every cup of water used, plus one extra scoop. Fourth, pour hot water over the tea, place the lid on the teapot, and let steep. Finally, once the recommended time has passed, serve the tea. If you had let the tea leaves float freely in the pot, place a small strainer over your teacup as you pour so you won’t get any loose leaves while sipping.
These five steps are the basic guidelines, but experts and amateurs alike have their own methods, tips, and tricks, to brew the best tea for them. Feel free to experiment with your own method until every sip is delicious.
Can you put a teapot on the stove?
The vast majority of teapots are not safe for stovetop use. The heat could damage and even crack a teapot depending on its material. It is possible to find a small number of teapots labeled safe for stovetop use, but most tea experts would advise against this and recommend boiling water with a tea kettle instead.
How do you clean a teapot?
There are many different ways to clean a teapot, and fortunately, most are quick and easy. It’s best to rinse the inside of your teapot with hot water after every use; this removes any leftover tea residue and sets you up for a delicious batch next time around. A more thorough clean should be performed roughly twice a month to prevent limescale buildup. This can be done with a number of household items—dish soap, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, etc.—depending on the material your teapot is made from. Simply pour your preferred cleaning product into the teapot and add hot, nearly boiling water. Let the combination sit for around thirty minutes before emptying the teapot and scrubbing inside with a cloth or brush.
Cast iron teapots are an outlier when it comes to cleaning. Owners should avoid detergents and coarse brushes because they can damage the interior, which is typically coated in enamel. Instead, use only hot water and a soft cloth to clean a cast iron teapot, both inside and out.
What water temperature is best for brewing tea?
The ideal water temperature varies widely depending on the type of tea you are making. Gentler teas naturally taste best when brewed at lower temperatures, while bolder teas require hotter temperatures. White tea, for example, is best brewed with water that is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Green tea ranges from 150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Oolong is best around 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Moving into the stronger teas, black tea ranges from 180 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, herbal teas sit around the 212 degrees Fahrenheit mark. Many electric kettles can be pre-programmed to reach a specific temperature, and some even come with designated buttons for different tea varieties.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This piece was written and edited by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. To select these products, he read customer reviews, researched the history of teapots, and looked into the advantages and disadvantages of different materials.
Shunan Teng is the founder and CEO of Tea Drunk and an avid tea educator. Tea Drunk was founded in 2013 and has a brick-and-mortar tea house in New York City. Its teaware and Chinese teas can be purchased online.