This teapot was at the top of my wishlist last Christmas (except in the color "le bleu"), and I was thrilled to find it under the tree! It is, by far, the most beautiful and interesting teapot I've ever seen and it dresses up my stove and kitchen even more than I had imagined. It is always one of the first things admired when someone new walks into my kitchen. It has an almost asian aesthetic which I find incredibly unique, and I love the way the handles fold down to allow you to remove the whole top. Not only is it sooooooo cool, but it's also nice to be able to get at the inside of the teapot to clean it. All the other ones I've owned had a very small top which made it difficult to clean off those hard water spots! But while this is the most beautiful and unique teapot, it is certainly not the most practical and it falls a little short in the function department. My complaints with it are the following:
1)Its terribly small girth: I have a professional Thermador rangetop with massive burners and this poor little teapot gets swallowed up by them. I have to have the burner on medium-low to low as to not have flames lopping up the sides of the teapot. This, coupled with the fact that cast iron is slow to heat up anyway, makes the task of heating up water take WAY longer than my old stainless steel model. Also, the small size is generally fine for everyday use, but if you are trying to boil teawater for more than a few people, then this teapot cannot accomodate your needs.
2)Its weight: Don't be fooled by its petite size, this is one heavy teapot! It doesn't pose too much of a problem for me, being that I'm still relatively young and strong, but if I were much older or had arthritis or other joint problems, I don't think I'd be able to handle this teapot!
3)Hot handle: Now bear in mind that this has always been a problem with every teapot I've ever owned, but those stainless handles get super hot. So hot, in fact, that it requires the use of oven mitts to handle, but again, I expect that from a teapot.
4)No whistle: The last teapot I had whistled, which I found to be a very handy feature. It has been a difficult transition for me without one, b/c I used to rely on the whistle to let me know when the water was at a boil and now I tend to forget to check on the pot.
All that being said, I still wouldn't trade in this teapot. I am so in love with the look of it, that I am willing to compromise on the function department. It may not have all the convenient features of my old teapot, but it still serves its purpose. It does boil water after all!
So for beauty and aesthetics this teapot is off the charts (5 stars all the way), but it earns 3 stars in the function department, leaving me with a final rating of 4 stars. If you can sacrifice a few comforts associated with some other models in order to gain a striking and unique teapot that is sure to become a conversation piece, then I wholeheartedly recommend this teapot to you!