Nursing the pot, pt. 2

Last post on this topic was about the warmers, this time I want to focus on the materials of the teapots themselves. Have wondered for years what’s the best kind to use for that afternoon pot that one wants to sip on for a long while as one curls up with a good book, historical movie or murder mystery (as you do, right?).

This time I went for my same Mariposa porcelain Villeroy & Boch teapot, and added my Brown Betty (well seasoned after serving many cups of afternoon tea), and a silver-plated Edwardian-style teapot. (Didn’t bother with glass or cast iron teapots, simply because they are not my preferred to use.)

As before, did the best I could to control the variables – temp, same tea, same number of cups, timed just at the beginning and at the end of 30 minutes.

Also as before, I went in with preconceived ideas – that the thicker pot would likely retain the heat longer than the porcelain, while unsure about the silver plate, though it would make sense that would retain heat the longest. At least, that was my assumption – other than the beautiful look of silver, it sure takes effort to maintain – not sure I would use it unless heat retention was a distinct advantage!

So what were the results? In order progressing to best heat retention, it went from Brown Betty to porcelain to finally, silver plate. The difference between Brown Betty and porcelain was not dramatic, with about 6 degrees (Fahrenheit) difference at the 30-minute mark.

But the pleasant surprise was the extent to which the silver plate retained the heat over the porcelain; that is, there was over 10 degrees difference, which I call substantial!

Conclusion – pull out the silver more often!

And the ultimate “keep-my-pot-as-hot-as-long-as-possible” solution? Pair the silver plate with an English tea cosy, and you’ve got a combination that seems to be the one to let one enjoy the hottest cup of tea the longest.

Now, which historical movie to put on next as I heat up the pot, hmm…?

2 thoughts on “Nursing the pot, pt. 2

Add yours

  1. Hi Ellen

    I am a huge fan of your blog/website. I am really enjoying your posts, especially this post about cast iron teapot:

    Very detailed and valuable information. It helps me a lot.

    In the process of boiling or brewing tea, iron teapot could breaks down the elements of Fe2 +, which is doublet to increase the carrier of human hemoglobin, providing iron to the human body people needed. Very suitable for the anemia crowd with iron deficiency.

    I know you’re busy, so I won’t waste your time. I’m reaching out because I have an idea share to you. I am doing a research about cast iron teapots and planing to write a post about cast iron teapots, can you kindly provide me few tips and guidances in cast iron teapots? By the way, I am the owner of Umi Tea Sets Store. I am Chinese. Our store has many exquisite cast iron teapots, I have picked a handmade genuine cast iron teapot and want sent to you as gift, it come with a gift box. It is totally free, hope you can accept my first gift, and hope we can become friend. so we can talk more about cast iron next.

    Thanks for your time and consideration! Looking forward your reply. I will sent you the photos of the cast iron teapot gift then.

    Umi Tea Sets


    1. Hello!

      Thank you so much for the message, and I do apologize for my delayed response. I’m afraid my full-time job has been quite hectic lately, leaving my blog coming in second place of late!

      Firstly, thank you so much for the feedback about my blog. It’s a great pleasure to write about the afternoon tea ritual which is such an obsession for me 🙂 and it is great to know that others besides myself share the same passion!

      I really enjoyed testing out the different types of tea pots that I have been using over the years. My experience with the tea ritual is primarily from time spent in Germany and the UK, so I am not too familiar with the ritual and what is used in Asian countries, where cast iron is so much more common.

      I have actually seen your store site, though, and browsed through it. You have some of most beautiful tea sets and pots I’ve ever seen, and so many!

      I’m afraid, however, that I do not have much knowledge about cast iron teapots. For example, even what you’ve said, that they can be helpful for people with anemia, is something I didn’t know! Now I am intrigued, and would like to do research to find out more. I think the chemistry behind the objects we use and eat and drink can be very fascinating.

      Given that I can’t really provide you help at this stage, I don’t think it would be right for me to accept such a lovely gift, though I sincerely and greatly appreciate that you make such an extremely generous offer. I am very interested to find out more about cast iron pots, and would be glad to continue to correspond, and learn more from what you have to share as well.

      I will continue to read more on this topic, and as I can provide any tips or resources, I am very happy to do so.

      Take care; I hope this finds you well! And look forward to hearing more about your research –
      Warm regards,


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