Why settle for a cup of tea brewed in a glass teapot when Japanese teapots look great, fun to use and won’t break on your kitchen tiles. But what’s the best cast iron teapot?
If you decide on a cast iron teapot, it’s going to be hard choice. After all you can choose from a wide selection colors from traditional black to bright and cheerful pastels. But there’s a huge price range between the different 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’ve put together a selection of outstanding teapots available for you 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
Table: Trust and expertise
I’m not a tea expert guys, and all I want from a teapot, is to enjoy a nice cup of tea. In saying that, I’ve answered a few questions below. If you want to learn more about Japan cast iron just click the link.
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’ve 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’m not a tea expert, however, I’ve visited several foundries and workshops that make cast iron teapots. So, I’ve 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 good quality.
I want a teapot but some advertisers use the term “tea kettle”
If you’re looking for a teapot just be a little careful how it’s 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 usually seasoned. To learn the differences between a Japanese teapot and kettle just 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. Rather, they are used strictly for steeping tea. So, you would need to boil water in a kettle first. These teapots are very beautiful and come in a variety of colors and designs.
Buying online? Here’s a quick warning
As mentioned earlier, I’m pretty familiar with cast iron Japanese kettles and teapots. Unfortunately, many online sellers are not familiar or take advantage of those new to cast iron. It’s not uncommon to see teapots advertised as a tetsubin when in fact it’s an enameled teapot.
This may lead to disappointment and or misuse. Also, it doesn’t 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’s why you should choose a cast iron teapot
What are the advantages of using a Japanese cast iron? Tetsu Kyusu make great teapots for brewing tea in for several reasons:
The enamel coating helps prevent rust.
Good heat retention
Cast iron holds heat very well. So you’ll have a nice cup of hot tea.
Cast iron teapots are very beautiful. Many have elaborate designs. And they make a wonderful display item in you kitchen or office.
Easy to clean
The enamel coating is nonporous and will be easy to clean.
Best cast iron teapots
I’ve put together a selection of top-notch teapots available online. When I say 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
There are 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 done 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 right 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 just 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’ve discovered the dragonfly design is particularly 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.
Japanese cast iron teapots
If your budget allows 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 authentic cast iron teapot made in Morioka Japan. The company is a household name in Japan. But best of all it won’t break the bank. However, I must admit it’s 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’ll be able to choose your favorite.
Iwachu is known for producing high-quality durable products that last a lifetime, and this teapot is no exception. It shouldn’t 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’m also the proud owner of two Iwachu teapots. And I was lucky to visit the factory and showrooms. The staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. You can’t go wrong with an Iwachu. Click here to learn more about Iwachu.
Here’s the link to Amazon (affiliate link) if you’re interested in a real honey of a teapot.
When quality and authenticity matters.
Teapots in this price range are durable and high-quality and manufacturing pay closer attention to detaining and imperfections.
Iwachu Hobnail Cast Iron Teapot
This teapot features the ever so popular Hobnail designed handle seen on many Japanese teapots. It is a functional, stylish piece that will last for many years. Iwachu hand paints all of their teapots. This one was painted by Iwachu artisans in a beautiful matte black for a real 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 designed for your morning brew.
If you’re looking for a an authentic Japanese teapot then check out the hobnail on Amazon (Affiliate Link).
Iwachu Teardrop teapot
Here’s another good looking teapot from Iwachu. I know it may seem I’m pushing Iwachu but they do make some of the best teapots available. And I think this one might surprise you. Iwachu call it the teardrop but there’s 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 look than look no further. The matte black is available on Amazon and it’s a real stunner. (Amazon Affiliate link).
Using a cast iron 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. Don’t worry though — 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 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 says that it’s 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.
Don’t put oil or salt in the teapot
Salt and oil can damage the interior lining and outside finish.
Don’t use harsh cleaners
Avoid scrubbing your teapot with abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.
Rather, use a washcloth to clean it.
Not dishwasher safe
Cast iron teapots are not dishwasher safe.
Also washing your teapot in the dishwasher will cause it to rust.
Cast iron teapots and tea kettles will last for many years. They are useful and also beautiful kitchenware items. Every home should have one. There are teapots and kettles for every budget but the Japanese brands will likely cost more. But what’s the best cast iron teapot? Above all I recommend choosing a teapot you think looks the great, decide what size you need. And I’d get one with a removable stainless steel infuser because it will be much easier to clean.
Cheers, and good luck with your purchase.