This is the last of this series of posts. I just want to cover one more aspect of choosing the right teapot - the shape.
A zisha teapot with round belly
To a serious tea drinker, the shape of a teapot is important because it directly affects the quality of the liquor produced. In a zisha or porcelain teapots, flatter teapots generally work better than rounder teapots.
Flat teapots have wider bottom which work well for spreading the dry tea leaves out and preventing "soaping" of tea leaves inbetween steeps. Having a wide bottom to spread out dry tea leaves allows the leaves to expand evenly during steeping. Better expanded tea leaves release more flavor, producing better liquor.
A flat zisha teapot with wide bottom
The second benefit of a flat teapots is that the wide bottom spreads out the leftover liquor in the teapot inbetween steeps. Although we usually pour all the liquor out with each steep, there is always a little bit of liquor left in the teapot. If we let this leftover liquor soap the tea leaves on the bottom, the next steep may have an unwanted bitter taste. So by using a flat teapot with wide bottom, the leftover liquor is effective spreaded out, minimizing soaping. Another good thing about flat teapots is that they usually have wider mouths, making it easier to put larger dry tea leaves into the teapot.