Many thanks to Craig Newmark at Newmark’s Door for linking to this LA Times story about one woman’s quest for the perfect teapot. I, too, share this quest. The perfect teapot is
-clear, so you can monitor the steeping of the leaves
-dripless, with a spout that pours cleanly
-accompanied by an easy-to-clean infuser
-adaptable, to larger or smaller portions, and to the occasions on which one must be a heathen and use (gasp!) teabags
I concur with the author that the perfect teapot on these dimensions is the Bodum Assam pot, made of tempered glass and accompanied by a plastic infuser and, most importantly, a plunger lid. The plunger is crucial, because if you let the water stay in contact with the leaves too long (say, more than 3-4 minutes for most teas), then the bitter tannins come to the fore in the taste and make the tea unpalatable.
Plus the Bodum Assam pot is awfully cute!