Do you use a teapot when you brew your Chinese tea? And you are using a Chinese teapot? Nice.....here is a fun quiz for you. Can you identify, if any, a single hole teapot from the 1st 2 pix? I will tell you the answer later.
A single hole teapot is.......nah.....just look at pix 3. Look at the inside of the teapot where the tea will pour out through the spout. It is a single hole. This is a single hole teapot. Single hole teapots were considered older teapots and building a filter inside was considered a newer improvisation. Pix 3 has a pretty ball filter inside. I was told that teapot makers do not make these ball filters themselves as there are people in the same industry that specialized in ball filter production. I will find out more on teapot making when I visit a teapot maker in China soon. Please be aware that when you are buying Chinese teapots, single hole teapots now does not mean they are old, as some new teapots now are 'single hole' as well.
Chinese teapot users like their teapot to pour out tea well when they use the teapot to brew tea. A teapot is considered not good when it takes a long time to pour out tea from the pot. Some tea friends in Malaysia use a 10 second test when they buy a teapot. These friends will fill a teapot with water and count the time for the teapot to empty its contents. Taking more than 10 seconds would means 'fail' and they will not buy this teapot.
Putting a single hole teapot to the 10 second test would get you a 5 star performance. You can understand why such teapots will pour fast. When I started using such a teapot for the 1st time, I was hesitant that my precious tea leaves would pour out from the teapot as well. No worries....the hydrated tea leaves expanded and stayed in the single hole teapot.
There is a catch. Tea leaves will sometimes get lodged in the mouth of the teapot and pouring of the tea would slow down to a trickle. Swirling the tea while holding the teapot may not help as the leaves are seriously stuck at the 'single hole'. Users of such teapots will usually have a bamboo food skewer or a toothpick and use this stick, poking it in from the spout into the teapot to dislodge the tea leaves. It is no coincidence that most single hole teapot have a straight spout.....so that a user can poke and clear the tea leaves.
The Chinese teapot had 'evolved' and you see that filters are now designed into the making of teapots. Pix 4 & 5 are some examples. Any tea leaves gathering around the 'holes' of the teapot can be 'swirled' out gently by the user. For single hole teapot users, they can now buy a metal attachment to affix to the inside of the teapot, which acts as a filter and also to resolve the clogged leaf issue (see pix 6).
So which teapot should u get? Single hole, multi hole or ball filter? If you are a Chinese teapot user, you will, eventually, own one of each. It does make a tea brewing session more interesting.
And....did you identify the single hole teapot from pix 1 & 2? The answer.... there are 3 of them that are single hole, the teapot at the front of the pix is a multi hole one.