How to Use a Cast Iron Teapot

How to — Tea

how-to-use-a-cast-iron-teapot

In the last few years, cast iron teapots have become all the rage—and it's easy to see why.

Many people prefer them to hot water kettles

First, they have a beautiful design, which makes them the ultimate accessory for any kitchen. They also serve a very specific function: helping your tea to attain a distinctive, exquisite flavor.

Still, not everyone knows how to use a cast iron type quite yet. Although the process is a bit more complicated than what you may be accustomed to, it is totally worth it to purchase one of these beautiful products.

How to us​e a cast iron teapot

Luckily, there's not much of a learning curve with these teapots. This is all you need to do:

  • Place the loose tea inside of the infuser.
  • Add the hot water from your kettle to the teapot.
  • Steep the tea and brew it for a certain amount of time, depending upon the type of tea you're using.

Voila! You are now ready to enjoy some great-tasting tea!

Different types of tea

Since the tea actually "seasons" the pot in which it is brewed, many people like to have a separate teapot for the various types of tea that they drink. This would mean that someone who likes black tea, green tea and herbal tea would keep a different teapot for each varietal.

Suggested brew times:

  • Japanese green tea—between two and three minutes
  • Chinese green tea—no more than two minutes​
  • Black tea—depending on how strong you'd like it to be, between three and five minutes
  • Oolong tea—between three to five minutes
  • Herbal tea—usually starts at around five minutes, can go up to seven
  • Puerh tea—between three to five minutes
  • White tea—between one and three minutes
  • Darjeeling tea—about three minutes

Benefits of cast iron teapots

  • Due to even heat distribution, the flavor of your tea will truly blossom, allowing you to experience it as it's meant to be tasted.​
  • Cast iron teapots last so long that they've even become heirlooms in Japan and other countries, making your investment an excellent idea.
  • When the inside of the teapot is not enameled, a cast iron teapot will even imbue the tea with a uniquely sweet, distinctive flavor all its own.

Image: Flickr

The cast iron teapot: a bit of history

These iconic teapots, which are referred to as tetsubin in Japanese, have a history that spans approximately 400 years. Although we have no concrete evidence, it is often stated that the need for this specific type of teapot came about due to a new Chinese imported good—Sencha tea.

In order to find new ways of making this tea—and keeping it warm—the Japanese people innovated until they found the best solution. With the tea ceremony in mind, artisans began creating these teapots by using clay molds that allowed the cast iron to take its shape. The teapots have been quite popular ever since.​

Can you put your cast iron teapot on the stove?

Once you learn how to use your new teapot, chances are that you'll wonder how you managed to live without it for so long.

However, before you get so swept away by the cast iron teapot that you throw away your regular kettle, you'll want to ask yourself the eternal question: can cast iron teapots be put on the stove?

​The answer to this query is that, while technically anything can be put on the stove, not all things should be. Your cast iron teapot is one of those things that should not be placed on the stove, unless it is one of the rare teapots that has been specifically designed for this purpose.

How to use a cast iron teapot warmer

Obviously, if you've put enough effort into your teatime to purchase one of these fantastic teapots, then you're not going to be warming up your tea in the microwave!

Unfortunately, even cast iron teapots do not stay hot indefinitely, though. In this scenario, your best bet will be to make use of a warmer.

You may be surprised to learn how inexpensive and convenient many cast iron teapot warmers are. If you look online, chances are that you will be able to find a warmer at a very affordable price. Also, if learning how to use a cast iron teapot is easy, then lighting up a warmer is even easier. Most of these warmers will contain a space for tealights.

All you have to do is whip out some matches and light them, and they will continue to keep your  teapot warm for hours on end. It's an extremely convenient system, which is why many people opt to buy warmers that will complement their teapots. It makes for a nice set, and visitors to your home will stop to admire it.

How to clean a cast iron teapot

When cleaning your teapot, you'll want to take extra precautions to make sure you're doing it correctly. As is the case with cleaning jewelry, using the wrong types of cleansing agents can spell disaster.

Luckily, cleaning your cast iron teapot requires only one ingredient—water. Using warm water, you'll rinse out the teapot repeatedly, making sure that you're being gentle.

While it is still warm, take a clean cloth and dry off the outside of the teapot. Then place it upside down and allow it to dry naturally—that's all you need to do! There are no complicated instructions when it comes to cleaning your new favorite kitchen item, so just keep it simple.

If you treat your cast iron teapot with respect, it should last you forever. How many other household appliances can boast such longevity?​

About the Author

On the day Hannah Jordan discovered the source of true happiness, she was sitting on a cushion in a tiny teahouse tucked away on a side street in Kyoto. Between her palms, she cradled a warm teacup that emitted the fragrance of orchids and fresh grass. Now a sports journalist, Hannah collects antique teapots and has a brown belt in Jiu Jutsu.

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