September 15 2010
Teapots can be the most vexing of things, especially if you work from home; then, your teapot assumes the status of a colleague. It spends a lot of time sitting next to you on the desk, where it can be an irksome – even hazardous – associate. Over the years I’ve had teapots that have spilt Earl Grey over vital documents, scalded my fingers and my feet, and drenched the desk. I’ve had dribblesome teapots that ruined my favourite blouse, ones that smashed when the handle broke or were simply content to drive me insane trying to get them to pour cleanly.
I’ve tried heavy ones and lightweights, oval and circular shapes, family heirlooms and contemporary types. I’ve even tried (and failed) to give up on tea leaves and go back to bags so that I could give up on the seemingly pointless quest for the perfect pot.
Then the most fortuitous thing happened. My sister dropped a plate on my latest leading-brand-but-totally-useless teapot, breaking the lid. She replaced it with a Zero Japan porcelain teapot from John Lewis.
Zero Japan is the leading manufacturer of teapots and tea accessories in Japan. Its eastern style, fluid shape and non-drip upturned spout make it both stylish and practical. The stainless steel, easy-flip lid will never chip or crack. And it has an integral stainless steel infusing basket which you can remove to prevent the tea from becoming stewed. It also does away with fumbling with strainers and makes cleaning the teapot a doddle.
The Zero Japan is the perfect size, making around six cups of tea, and is available in several different shapes and more than 40 colours. Mine is in a wonderful tomato red that looks great both in my kitchen and on my desk. Which reminds me: time to put the kettle on.
Zero Japan teapot and strainer, six-cup model, £40; two-cup, £28.