recommendations for cast iron teapot
Any recommendations for cast iron teapot. Looking for something 35-50 US$.
I’ve got two cast iron pots, one large and one small. Size is the first thing that you need to think about. My husband can’t understand why I bother with the small one since I’ve been know to drink it pretty fast but… some teas you just don’t want to drink warm. They are best hot and the cast iron will keep it that way for a long time. Here is link to one like my small pot that falls in your price range. I’ve got the red one but they carry other colors.
I got a very very very good price on my large one at Filene’s Basement in the Boston area but I doubt that is an option for most.
I have a few cast iron pots that I purchased from a eBay seller based out of Japan. One holds about 16oz (short flat type pot) and the other holds about 20oz (square type). Neither were super cheap but both were made in Japan and are of very good quality. Both were under $50. I could probably dig up the sellers ID if you want..but a search of eBay should get you on the trail…
I recently picked up an Japanese cast iron tea pot at an antique shop for $7. Quite a score, only a minimal amount of surface rust on the inside of the lid. It’s not one of the enameled kind, so it can be used as a kettle, though I’ve just been brewing in it. It didn’t come with an infuser, but I happened to have one for another pot that works perfect. I’ve just been brewing chinese black teas in it and it is wonderful. There’s an extra hint of that rich iron flavor that lends well to a Yunnan’s spicyness. Super yum. I’d been looking for one for a while, but unwilling to shell out the big bucks. Keep your eyes open and perhaps one will find you like this one found me.
Is cast iron the authentic way to steep Chinese blacks? What about other Chinese teas?
Cast iron pots were not (to the best of my knowledge) “traditionally” used to steep any teas.
Unlined cast iron kettles (tetsubin) were used quite a bit in China and Japan, but were used to boil water. Unlined cast iron kettles aren’t supposed to be sold in the US except for decorative purposes. The current trend of marketing smaller lined cast iron kettles at Teavana, Whole Paycheck, etc. as a brewing device is more or less a complete crock. Not only that, but the teas they’re often suggested for (greens, whites) are fairly delicate, and are least likely to benefit from something that’s so thick-walled and which holds so much heat.
I would suggest not wasting your money on something that isn’t at all traditional and which isn’t going to make your tea taste better, and buy a cheaper and more practical brewing vessel made of porcelain, earthenware or stoneware, or glass.