Why settle for a cup of tea brewed in a glass teapot when Japanese teapots look great, fun to use, and will not break on your kitchen tiles. But what are the best cast-iron teapots?
If you decide on a cast iron teapot, it is going to be a hard choice. After all, you can choose from a wide selection of colors, from traditional black to bright and cheerful pastels. But there is a sizable price difference between makers. With teapots manufactured in Japan selling at a premium. But are these first-rate teapots worth it?
Luckily for us, there are many good choices available no matter your budget. And I have put together a selection of first-rate teapots available online.
In this article, you can learn:
- Why use a cast iron teapot
- Useful online buying advice
- Best cast iron teapots
- Simple care and use guide
Trust and Expertise
Do you use a cast iron teapot?
Yes, I own two Iwachu teapots and an Oitomi teapot.
Why do you prefer Japanese cast iron teapots?
I have lived in Japan for almost 20 years. And have some knowledge of the Japanese cast iron industry.
Do you know what makes a good teapot?
I am not a tea expert. However, I have visited several foundries and workshops that make cast iron teapots. I have also seen the skill and expertise that goes into making a traditional Japanese teapot.
Why do you also recommend Chinese teapots?
Although I prefer Japanese teapots, Chinese teapots present great value, and many are of good quality.
I Want A Teapot, But Some Advertisers Use The Term Tea Kettle.
If you are looking for a teapot, be careful how it is described. A cast iron tea kettle also called a tetsubin, is used to boil water for tea.
Traditional Japanese tetsubins have been used in Japanese tea ceremonies since the 17th century. They are made by hand in Japan by master artisans who train for years to learn the craft of making these beautiful tea kettles.
These kettles were traditionally used directly over charcoal fires. They are used to boil water for tea. True tetsubins can be used directly over just about any heat source and almost always hold over a liter of water. However, most are imitations, and usually, the interior is raw iron. To learn the differences between a Japanese teapot and kettle, click the link.
To Steep Your Loose Leaf Tea, Use A Cast Iron Teapot.
Japanese teapots are coated with an enamel lining or seasoning that helps inhibit rust. These types of cast iron teapots are known also known as Tetsu Kyusu.
Because these teapots have an enamel lining, they are not suitable for use directly over a heat source. And are used strictly for steeping tea. So, you would need to boil water in a kettle first. These teapots are beautiful and come in a variety of colors and designs.
Buying Online? Here Is A Quick Warning.
As mentioned earlier, I am pretty familiar with cast iron Japanese kettles and teapots. Unfortunately, many online sellers are not familiar with or take advantage of those new to cast iron. It is not uncommon to see teapots advertised as tetsubin when it is actually an enameled teapot.
This may lead to disappointment and or misuse. Also, it does not help that sellers seldom take a photo of the interior of the vessel. Just keep in mind the process of making a traditional tetsubin is very labor-intensive and is likely to cost a pretty penny.
When you shop online, check to see if the pot includes a tea infuser or strainer. It will make washing out your teapot so much easier.
Here Is Why You Should Choose A Cast Iron Teapot.
The enamel coating helps prevent rust.
Good heat retention
Cast iron holds heat very well. So you will have a nice cup of hot tea.
Cast iron teapots are beautiful. Many have elaborate designs and are great for displaying in your kitchen or on your desk.
Easy to clean
The enamel coating is nonporous and will be easy to clean.
Best Cast Iron Teapots
I have put together a selection of top-notch teapots available online. When I say the best cast-iron teapots, it really is subjective. There are so many great brands out there that are not mentioned. Sure take a look at my choices, but I recommend looking around and choosing one that really takes your fancy.
Best Affordable Cast Iron Teapots (Non-Japanese Manufactured)
There is a lot of budget cast iron teapots that are beautiful and functional. Even though they are on the affordable side, you can count on them to last. Just keep in mind lower-priced options are usually manufactured outside of Japan. And produced in countries with low manufacturing costs, such as China.
However, ask yourself what do you want from a teapot? For most of us, if it holds water and retains heat, the teapot did its job. That being said, here are a few choices.
Old Dutch International Cast Iron Saga Teapot
This 52-ounce Teapot Saga from Old Dutch International is an affordable pot for any tea lover. It is perfect for everyday use, thanks to the easy-to-clean enamel lining. This stylish teapot is hand-made and sturdy. With the correct care, this teapot should last for years. It will keep the tea warm for up to an hour. Since it has an enamel lining, this teapot should only be used to brew tea. There is a stainless-steel basket inside to place tea leaves.
The old Dutch teapot is available from many online retailers, including Amazon. If you want to see the price for this teapot, click the link (Amazon Affiliate link).
Primula Dragonfly Cast Iron Teapot
If you are looking for a beautiful, traditionally-designed cast iron teapot, this is it. This macha-colored teapot features a dragonfly design. In Japanese culture, the dragonfly symbolizes power, agility, and victory. After learning from Japanese artisans, I have found out the dragonfly design is popular in Europe.
This teapot features an enamel interior that resists rust. The fold-down handle is very convenient for pouring and cleaning. And it also comes with a removable stainless steel infuser for easy cleaning.
The Primula Dragonfly teapot is available from many online retailers and home centers. But if you want to read the reviews on Amazon, here is the link. (Amazon Affiliate).
Japanese Manufactured Cast Iron Teapots
Why not go for an authentic cast iron teapot or kettle made by a leading Japanese manufacturer?
Iwachu Japanese Honeycomb Teapot
The Honeycomb by Iwachu is an authentic cast iron teapot made in Morioka, Japan. The company is a household name in Japan. But best of all, it will not break the bank. However, I must admit it is priced higher than many other manufacturers. But why not treat yourself?
It has a modern design which is popular in Japan. It also comes in a range of sizes and colors. So, you will be able to choose your favorite.
Iwachu is known for producing high-quality and durable products that last a lifetime. And this teapot is no exception. It should not chip or crack if used correctly. The enamel lining makes it resistant to rust. A 30-ounce capacity teapot is perfect for when you have a friend over.
I was lucky to visit the factory and showrooms. The staff members were knowledgeable and helpful. You can not go wrong with an Iwachu teapot. Click here to learn more about Iwachu.
Here is the link to Amazon (affiliate link) if you’re interested in a honey of a teapot.
When Quality And Authenticity Matter.
Teapots in this price range are durable and high-quality, and manufacturers pay closer attention to detaining and imperfections.
Iwachu Hobnail Cast Iron Teapot
The handle features the ever-so-popular. This one was painted by Iwachu artisans in a beautiful matte black for a traditional look. It will keep your tea warm for about an hour. There is also an enamel coating on the inside, meaning that this teapot is designed for your morning brew.
If you are looking for an authentic Japanese teapot, check out the hobnail on Amazon (Affiliate Link).
Iwachu Teardrop Teapot
Here is another great-looking teapot from Iwachu. I know it may seem I am pushing Iwachu, but they do make some of the best teapots available. And I think this one might surprise you. Iwachu calls it the teardrop, but there is nothing sad about this teapot. It has a sleek modern design which is sure to please. It comes in more expensive than other teapots on the list. But if you think the traditional round teapots look a bit fuddy-duddy, then this little cutie could be for you.
If you want a teapot with a sleek design, then look no further. The matte black is available on Amazon, and it is very cool. (Amazon Affiliate link).
Using A Cast Iron Teapots For The First Time
Cast iron teapot care is a little different than for tetsubins. That is because they have an enamel layer on the inside. So, you must take extra care to not damage the enamel. Do not worry — it is easy to care for your cast iron teapot if you know these tips.
1. Before you use your cast iron teapot for the first time
2. Rinse it out a couple of times with water.
3. Lastly, dry the teapot with a soft cloth.
After Each Use
1. Every time you use your cast iron teapot, rinse it out thoroughly.
2. Then, dry it with a soft cloth and turn it upside down.
3. Only put the lid on after your teapot is fully dry.
Cast Iron Teapots – Use & Care Tips
Here are a couple of things to remember about cast iron teapot care.
Only use for brewing
Never boil water in an enamel cast iron teapot unless the manufacturer specifically mentions it is safe to do so. Otherwise, you risk ruining the enamel coating. It could chip or break.
Not for microwave use
Cast iron teapots are not to be used in the microwave.
Do not allow the tea to sit in the teapot
Never leave tea or water in a cast iron teapot for long periods. This will cause it to develop rust.
Avoid oil and salt
Salt and oil can damage the interior lining and outside finish.
Avoid harsh cleaners
Never scrub your teapot with abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.
Instead, use a washcloth to clean it.
Not dishwasher safe
Cast iron teapots are not dishwasher safe.
Never wash your teapot in the dishwasher will cause it to rust.
Cast iron teapots and tea kettles will last for many years. There are teapots and kettles for every budget. But the Japanese brands will likely cost more. But what is the best cast-iron teapot? Above all, I recommend choosing a teapot you think looks great, and decide what size you need. I would also make sure it comes with a removable stainless steel infuser for easy cleaning.
Cheers, and good luck with your purchase.