Updated date:

Benefits of a Cast Iron teapots

Charlene loves all things home related and has a wide range of knowledge/skills learnt day-to-day as a caregiver, home-maker, mom and wife

"Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher."~ Chinese Proverb

tea-anyone

Introduction

The cast iron teapot can be traced back to Japan where it is known as the tetsubin. No, I didn't just curse you. This is a kettle with a spout for pouring, a lid, and a handle that cross over the top. Like most kettles, it is used to boil water for tea and other uses (or as a weapon to clobber some sense into your husbands-just kidding)

Information about the inception of the cast iron teapot is vague. There is no clear explanation as to when it was introduced. There is a possibility that the tetsubin was modeled after a water kettle called the tedorigama. One prominent theory is that the tetsubin became popular in the 17th century, around the same time as the sencha, a type of green tea leaf.

Unlike the then-popular, matcha, sencha was a tea to drink during an informal setting. Drinking tea was now becoming something that could be done in everyday life, friends and families came together to drink tea. Initially, it was an alternative to the expensive Chinese tea making items, the cast iron teacup evolved. It’s designed also evolved, they went from basic to amazing elaborate masterpieces and being as well-known as they are now.

This belief that the tetsubin was not an original has proved popular. This is because there are other teapots of the same time that resemble it. Five of these are the toyama, the tedorikama, the dobin, the yakkan, and the mizusosogi.

The yakkan is the one that resembles the tetsubin most. The main difference is that Bakken is made of copper. It is said that tea from iron has a particularly enjoyable taste (and you may or may not become Ironman).


Important information you should know about cast iron teapots.

The first thing to do is to not make tea and to make coffee, no that is not it. The first thing you need to do is clean before use, in fact, it is important to wash anything before use especially these days with the fear of contracting the coronavirus is very real.

These are the steps on how to clean a cast-iron teapot:

  • Open the lid and take the infuser out.
  • Use plenty of water for boiling
  • Swish the water around in the teapot.
  • Turn out in a dishtowel.
  • Clean the diffuser.

Note:

With medium heat, boil water in the tetsubin then throw all the water while it is still warm, the heat will evaporate any residual moisture. Repeat the boiling several times before you start making tea. After each use leave the lid open so that the water can evaporate and the interior of the teapot can dry completely. Do not heat an empty tetsubin in an open fire because this can damage the brittle enamel inside. When they were first introduced, charcoal was used to heat the tetsubin. Which more often than not left the outside looking rusty, this was not harmful though. Also heating the teapot on a stovetop makes it brittle which can result in cracking and ultimately damage. As opposed to charcoal, modern heating forms produce steam. This could lead to rust forming on the floor of a tetsubin and despite how it sounds, this is not harmful.

It is also important not to scrub the inside and the outside of the tetsubin using a brush, strong detergent or cleaning implements could damage your pot.

tea-anyone

How to Maintain a Cast Iron Teapot

  • After some use, you will start to see red and white spots also watermarks in or on your pots, this is normal. Also over time, mineral residue from the surface of the cast iron gathers however this is good and will prevent rusting. So do not try to remove it, especially with coarse material as it will damage the cast iron.
  • Avoid leaving water inside the teapot for any extended period of time.
  • One way to maintain the cleanliness of the teapot is to wipe it clean. Take a clean cloth and soak it with green tea. Squeeze it until it is only damp. Use the cloth to polish the tetsubin, which will be left looking glossy.
  • Do not be alarmed by the indentations on the bottom of the kettle. They were formed during the making of the kettle and are completely normal.
  • Never use soap, salts, or oils on your kettle.
  • Pouring hot water into a cold kettle is as dangerous as pouring cold water into a hot kettle.
  • Remove tarnishing from the kettle as soon as it accumulates to prevent weakening the cast iron.
tea-anyone

Benefits to Using Cast Iron Teapots

1. Durable

The unique design of the cast iron teapots, which ensures heat is evenly distributed throughout the pot, make it strong and lasting. They are easily the most durable teapots around. They do not wear easily like modern teapots. Cast iron teapots can withstand being bumped or dropped better than modern-day teapots (trust me, I'm clumsy so I know this to be true). It also heats up fast and can boil water up to very high temperatures.

2. Keeps Tea Hot for Long

With the tetsubin you won’t have to serve a lukewarm beverage. It takes a long time for the water in a cast iron teapot to cool. Which means your tea will retain its heat for an extended period of time, longer than it usually would with other teapots. Because of heat distribution which allows the whole pot to receive heat and the fact that it is less conducive, it maintains its high temperatures longer. You can enjoy your tea without having to reheat like 20 times which useful when you are a mom.

3. Healthy

A lot of people nowadays are affected by anaemia, something you wouldn’t have found a century ago. Our ancestors cooked most of their food using iron cookery. Cast iron teapots are made of iron so when boiling water, a bit of iron from the pot is infused with the water. This iron is an essential mineral that is good for our health. Doctors even recommend that anaemic patients start using cast iron pots to increase their iron intake. The pot is also not made from any materials that could be considered harmful or toxic though It may be prone to rust, it is however not harmful if ingested.

4. Attractive and Unique Design

From its inception, tetsubin has always had beautiful designs. At first, these designs were not so intricate. They mainly showed symbolic engravings that represented happiness, strength and blessing. Now, these designs have evolved, It is now being used as much for decoration as for boiling water and brewing tea. Unlike others, this type of teapot does not depend on potters it takes its shape using a mould. This means it can be made into a variety of shapes.

tea-anyone

Conclusion

Iron is released into the water each time a cast iron teapot is boiled and it is said that the Japanese claim this gave the tea from such a pot “a graceful sweetness” -an enhanced flavor. It cannot be denied that the water from a cast iron pot has a unique and better taste than most which is another reason why cast iron teapots are such a big sell.

“If you ask Zen people they will say tea is not something that you pour with unawareness and drink like any other drink. It is not a drink, it is meditation; it is prayer. So they listen to the kettle creating a melody, and in that listening, they become more silent more alert.” ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Comments

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on October 22, 2020:

Good for you following what they say

It's maybe the reasons I'm always out of life lol

Very well thanks as well and have a great night

Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on October 22, 2020:

Yes Chrish, the elderly are wise beyond measure:) My grandmothers and mom always share info with me that I too think are 'old wives tales' but Ive often used or done what they say and its worked lol so ya it proves that wisdom sure does come with age. Thanks for taking the time to pop by Chrish:)

Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on October 22, 2020:

Thanks for reading Ankita:) Im glad to share what I know, for what its worth. Much appreciated.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on October 22, 2020:

Your article prove that my Grandma's right. I'd never happen to serious thought of it. Yes thanks Charlene

aw I remember my grandma

Ankita B on October 22, 2020:

This is an interesting article. I did not know about the many advantages of using cast iron teapots. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this informative article.

Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on October 22, 2020:

You are welcome Pamela! Always appreciate your comments...yes I too have cast iron cookware as well, you should give the teapots a try too and let me know what you think:)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 20, 2020:

This article is very interesting. I never thought a cast iron teapot would be healthier. but we us cast iron frying pans sometimes for frying particular meats but I have never used a cast iron for tea. Thank you for sharing this information, Charlene.