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Sua maestà: la Teiera. - Segni Particolari

His Majesty: the Teapot.

by Simona Pruiti Ciarello

Once upon a time there was a proud teapot, proud of its porcelain, its long spout, its wide handle…”

Did you recognize this incipit? Surely some of you have done it, others haven't. But don't worry, I'll tell you what it is and why I used it to start this new article of mine.

This is the beginning of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, which tells, at times amusingly and at times dramatically, the adventure of a prestigious porcelain teapot. 

Origins of the teapot

Today we will therefore talk about His Majesty the Teapot, its origins, its use and its evolution over time. There is so much to write on this subject, but I will try to summarize the fundamental features, obviously always with the aim of making you re-evaluate an object that we have at home and that, if we are not lovers of tea, infusions and infusions, we may not use for a long time.

The ancestor of our teapot was simply a jug, which was initially used to serve wine, until the moment when it became necessary, given the affirmation of the new fashion of macerating tea leaves in boiling water, to have covered containers which made it possible to keep the water temperature constant during the infusion. Where are we? In China, in the Ming era around 1368. It was from here that the tradition of the teapot spread (which obviously underwent transformations over the years).

So when does it arrive in Europe? We have to wait for the seventeenth century, with the diffusion here too of the drink obtained by infusion from the leaves of the tea plant. The first specimens are found in the large cities on the coast, such as London and Amsterdam, because it was here that the ships from India loaded with goods landed. English and Dutch merchants spread the importance of this object, obviously initially reproduced with very poor materials, such as tin and brass.

How the Teapot has changed over the years

In the years to come, the teapot underwent many variations (but only in terms of materials and design), for the rest, i.e. function and shape, it has always remained the same. Round and with a raised and functional spout for pouring tea. The upper part of the instrument has a ring in which to pour the water, which in turn can be closed with a practical lid equipped with a small breather. 

Nowadays teapots follow a lot of fashions and design while also keeping up with the times. A great convenience, for the faithful users of the teapot, was the addition of the infuser: removable, perforated and equipped with a thin mesh, perfect for infusing the tea in hot water, but at the same time very functional for keeping it inside of the teapot and do not waste it by pouring the tea into the cups.

Those who love tea, infusions and herbal teas absolutely cannot do without them. For example, I am very fascinated by it and I use it every day, both in summer with cold herbal teas and obviously in winter for hot drinks that become real cuddles on cold afternoons at home.

In this regard I will also tell you a curiosity. Do you know who was the first man to infuse tea and drink the golden drink? Fu Shennong, which means "Divine Farmer", a legendary emperor of China, also the inventor of Chinese medicine.

I would talk about my beautiful teapot for hours and hours but we have now reached the end of my article, I hope you enjoyed it and that I have succeeded in making you re-evaluate an object that certainly remains a symbol of charm, great design and functionality.

The author of this article is Simona, if you want to continue following her here are her social references:

♡ Simona Pruiti on Facebook

pruiti83 on Instagram

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