The oldest surviving teapot has been dated back to 1513. Teapots were originally created to serve one cup of tea at a time. In the 17th century, teapots made in China were made of porcelain and painted with a white and blue underglaze.
To steep tea leaves, a teapot is needed. If steeping loose leaf tea, you can use a tea strainer or a tea bag. Some teapots actually have a strainer built into the inner edge of the spout. The earliest known teapots cam from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in China. They were made from zisha or purple clay. Both Japanese and Chinese were drinking tea from teapots by the 15th century. Around 1710, Johann Bottger of Meissen Germany, discovered how to balance materials to mix into what is now known as the European porcelain teapot. This allowed for the innovation of decorative painting techniques on the teapots with a wider range of colors. In the 1700’s teapots were created in silver and were very popular in England and Scandinavia. The cost of teapots reflected the cost of tea. Ale was replaced by tea in the late 18th century England at the breakfast table of the wealthy.