If we wanted this piece to speak to both the novice and connoisseur and have it fully functional in the workspace, it needed to be one piece, which means no lid (I’ve seen a lot of lids break in my day when it gets busy). Instead of a lid, we designed the Alpha Pot so that the Alpha Mug can rest on top for those who want to brew with a make shift lid.
We also needed the person brewing the tea to be able to pour tea out of the pot without it becoming unbearably hot. Usually pots have some sort of bamboo piece attached to the pot so your hand does not get too hot. But because we wanted to use only clay and didn’t want a handle on the pot, we flared the rim on the top so that extreme heat would not make it up to where your hand is resting. In conjunction with the flared rim, we placed the spout lower than the top of the pot, which does two things:
1. It prevents the pour from traveling close to the rim and thus keeps the heat lower than your hand.
2. It allows you to know how much water to pour into the pot. Once you see water start to fill the spout, that is when you stop pouring.
Western culture likes mugs, but to be honest, I don’t like most mugs very much. So if I was going to create a mug, it had to be one that I actually liked. So I came up with some ideas and ran them by my friends. These were our conclusions: medium size, just enough to hold a brew of tea, but small enough that I could actually steep another brew or two before ending my tea session.