How to Select the Best Cast Iron Teapot


Japanese cast iron teapots, also known as tetsubin became essential teaware in the household as the enjoyment of loose-leaf green tea, especially sencha, rose during 17th and 18th-century Japan.

Originally, cast iron pots were used to boil water and tea over the fire. The art and craftsmanship of tetsubin pots evolved with more intricate designs that incorporated symbolism.

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For example, a dragonfly design embodies new beginnings and good fortune. Used in the Japanese tea ceremony, the design is often on the side of the teapot that faces you when you hold the teapot in your left hand with the spout facing toward the right. Highly prized tetsubin teapots were also a symbol of wealth and status.

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Things to consider when choosing a Japanese cast iron teapot are the size of the pot, your desired design, and the quality of the cast iron craftsmanship. Contemporary tetsubin teapots have an enamel coating on the interior to prevent rust. These teapots are for steeping tea and not intended to be used on the stovetop to boil water.

Good quality cast iron teaware is heavy gauge and retains heat very well. A stainless steel infuser basket is normally included so you can remove the tea leaves when steeping is done.

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Care for your cast iron pot is simple – rinse the pot after every use and then allow it to dry inside and out to prevent rust.

A treasure for your own personal tea ceremony, you may want to consider more than one tetsubin for yourself! Other teapots to consider include, ceramic tea pots, glass teapots and clay Yixing teapots.

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