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Tea Experience: The Benefits of Silver Teapot

Posted by Boyka Mihaylova on

Silver is an age-old symbol of wealth. It has served various purposes throughout history. Some of them include the usage as a currency, adornments, and utensils. Additionally, people used silver to create tokens, religious symbols, and even tools for poison detection! Traditional medicine valued silver not only as a precious metal but also for its potential health benefits believed to surpass even those of gold.

Royal nobles have been cherishing and using silver teapot for generations. While not widely collected even in its home country China, their exceptional craftsmanship and rich cultural heritage have garnered collectors' attention in recent years. Handmade silver pots showcase intricate techniques and boast exquisite appearances. You can check these blog posts for more information on the history and the crafting techniques of a handmade silver teapot. In this blog post, we'll cover the essential benefits of using a silver teapot. We'll talk about how silver benefits the tea brewing process and its influence on the water, the tea leaves, and the human body, making it a preferred tea brewing tool and a prized possession. 


The benefits of using a silver teapot

Silver teaware does not limit to merely using silver teapots. In China, silver is a ubiquitous material used to fabricate all kinds of tea utensils. A silver teapot is undoubtedly the most popular silver vessel among silver teaware. That includes both water-brewing kettles, as well as tinier teapots for infusing the tea leaves. However, the usage of silver doesn't stop there. There are silver "fairness cups" (gong dao bei – 公道杯) and silver (or silver-plated) teacups in all shapes and sizes. Artisans create intricately designed tea strainers in the shape of a leaf, or a petal, out of silver. Tea holders and delicate tea needles, all made of silver, are also quite popular. Some tea lovers store their tea leaves in exquisitely crafted silver tea jars. There is a habit among ethnic minorities in some areas of China to store food and beverages in silverware. It keeps the food fresh and delicious for a long time.


Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying  

From ancient times, people prized silver for its properties to eliminate certain bacteria and diminish inflammation, using it as a natural antibiotic. When using a silver kettle to boil water or let the water sit there for a while, silver releases positively charged ions. These ions connect with pathogenic microorganisms, eliminating a wide range of harmful bacteria. Using a silver teapot helps control the reproduction and buildup of germs in the water, making it cleaner and safer to drink. 


Softening and purifying water 

Using a silver kettle to boil water has a beneficial effect on water quality. Namely, it makes water softer and more refined. The ancients aptly described it as "silky water," indicating its smooth and gentle nature. In addition, silver teapot resembles porcelain teaware in being an excellent tool for brewing tea. Using a silver pot to make tea promotes the aroma and color of the tea brew, taking the tea experience to the next level.


sterling silver teapot


Dehumidifying and preserving freshness

In the early 20th century, people discovered that placing silver coins in milk prolonged milk's shelf life. Mongolian herders observed that milk stored in regular bowls would spoil and emit an unpleasant odor within a few days, while milk kept in silver bowls remained delicious and flavorful for an extended period. 

Some provinces in China, like Yunnan and Guizhou, are extensively using silver teapots for tea brewing. Local people believe that tea, brewed in a silver teapot, remains fresh and tasty for longer (even if left overnight, which is generally considered taboo in China).


Throughout history, wearing silver ornaments has been believed to bring blessings and provide protection against evil forces. Li Shizhen's Compendium of Materia Medica says silver can soothe internal organs, calm the mind, dispel fear, and ward off evil spirits, contributing to long and healthy lives. Ancient medical practitioners in China often wore silver rings as a form of preventive and healing measure. 


Today, some mothers also choose using silver kettles to boil water for infant formula, ensuring its freshness for longer. A popular habit from the near past of using a silver spoon for feeding a baby also stems from the silver's antibacterial properties. 


Ensuring a neutral environment for the infusion of tea leaves

Silver is a neutral and clean material. Its thermochemical properties are stable; it doesn't rust or deteriorate with time or under the influence of natural forces. Thus, it ensures a stable, clean, and neutral environment for tea brewing without altering the taste and aroma of the tea soup. 



a pair of silver-plated teacups


Using as gifts and objects of appreciation and collecting

Silver pots have been presented as prestigious gifts on many occasions. Their exquisite artistry represents China's intangible cultural heritage and the rich historical legacy of Eastern culture. Each handmade silver teapot possesses unique craftsmanship and develops a distinct patina over time. Silver teapots increase their value by the year as a collectible and earn the admiration of tea connoisseurs. Handmade silver pots have become beloved treasures in the tea industry, favored by tea enthusiasts and serving as popular tea sets for those with refined tastes.


When using a silver teapot, do you need a separate one for each tea type?

Many owners of Yixing teapots (ZiSha – 紫砂) are used to dedicating a separate pot for each tea type (or a group of similar tea types). You might ask yourself whether you need to do the same when using silver teapots?

Unlike clay, silver has no pores. Its density is very high, and it doesn't interact with tea leaves - meaning the pot cannot absorb the aroma or taste of the tea leaves inside it. After brewing the tea, it is enough to rinse the pot with boiling water. You can then proceed with brewing other tea types. There will be no impact on the taste or smell of the tea soup. 


silver tea set

handmade silver teapot


A word of caution

There are many counterfeiting products on the market with a low amount of actual silver in them. Instead, they are using cheaper materials like aluminum, copper or nickel. These can be particularly harmful to the human body. The type of silver commonly used in producing cutlery, teaware, etc. is "sterling silver", a kind of alloy with a high amount of silver. 


Pure silver is relatively soft and easily malleable. That makes it easy to work with but hard to use in daily life. Therefore producers pair it with other metals. Adding copper increases its hardness and strength. Other metals like zinc help reduce tarnishing, which silver is prone to. 


Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver combined with 7,5% of copper and/or copper alloy.


An authentic sterling silver teapot - or any silverware - always carries the "STER", "92.5%", or simply "925", which stands for its percentage of pure silver. Always choose a trustworthy provider. If in doubt, consult a jeweler or gilding master, making sure you're using healthy and safe silver teaware.