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…?

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