The Complicated Physics of a Dribbling Teapot

When flow from a teapot (or a liquor bottle) is very slow, the liquid has a propensity to dribble back along the surface of the spout.
"Previous studies have shown that a number of factors affect [dribbling], such as the radius of curvature of the teapot lip, the speed of the flow and the "wettability" of the teapot material. But a full understanding of what's going on has so far eluded scientists..."

Now scientists at the University of Lyon have identified a "hydro-capillary" effect that can be overcome either by thinning the edge of the spout, or by applying superhydrophobic materials to the lip.  Superhydrophobicity is sometimes referred to as the "Lotus effect," because the leaves of the lotus and certain other plants (and the wings of some insects) are among the most water-repellant surfaces known to science.

Further details about the "Teapot effect" are available at M.I.T.'s Technology Review, via the New Shelton wet/dry.

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I guess they haven't gone to yumcha recently at any of the better places... Chinese teapots nowadays often have a sharply downward pointing spout tip, removing much of the dribble, as the tea gets cut off quickly.
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And here I always thought the chance of a pouring object dribbling was directly proportional to the capability of the object or material beneath said pot to become indelibly stained from the dribble.
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