Cast Iron vs. Ceramic Teapot | Which Is The Better Choice?

Clay vs. Cast Iron Teapot

If you are going to buy a new Japanese-style teapot, you need to decide between either a ceramic or cast iron pot. Cast iron vs. ceramic teapot is one better than the other. You will learn the benefits and disadvantages of both. However, I will argue that cast iron teapots are the better choice for the average tea drinker.

Cast iron teapots come in many styles and sizes, and they are non-porous, making them a perfect choice for everyday use. But are they better than ceramic clay teapots?After all, I hear many tea enthusiasts prefer to use Japanese or Chinese clay teapots, And this may leave you guessing if cast iron pots are any good. Yes, they are, and you can make delicious-tasting tea in iron and clay teapots.

While there are benefits to steeping tea in a clay or ceramic clay teapot, I think cast iron is a good choice for most people. And there are benefits to using cast iron over a standard ceramic Japanese teapot.

Table Of Contents

  • Buyer’s checklist (Ceramic vs. Cast Iron teapot)
  • Cast iron teapots have colorful and traditional designs
  • Japanese cast iron teapots last a long time
  • Great heat retention
  • Replaceable infusers available
  • The benefits of enamel lining and glazing 
  • Many sizes available 
  • Benefits of cast iron teapots vs. clay teapots
Cast iron teapot vs. ceramic teapot
Two good choices to enjoy your Japanese tea. I’m a cast iron enthusiast, but I have to admit the ceramic teapot looks beautiful.

Cast Iron vs. Ceramic Teapot Consumer Guide

Which Teapot Is Best For Your Needs?

Japanese Ceramic Teapot

Japanese Cast Iron Teapot

Intended Purpose

Steeping Japanese green tea

Steeping all loose-leaf teas

Infuser Type

In-built, separate, stainless steel mesh sheet or basket

Stainless steel mesh basket

Weak Point

It may chip or break if dropped.

The enamel may crack if heated or dropped.

Strong Point


Pleasing appearance

Dishwasher Safe

Most ceramic teapots are dishwasher-safe.




Can rust

Recommend For

Green teas drinkers

Changing teas
(Fruit, Herb, Black and Green Teas)

Cast Iron Teapots Look Better

One of the main reasons to buy and use a cast iron teapot is the appealing design. And I think most people like the aesthetics of the fusion between Western-style teapots and traditional Japanese kettles. 

Cast iron is not the original material to brew tea in Japan and China, and traditional Asian teapots are usually unglazed clay or porcelain. And I think this is one reason tea experts shy away from cast iron pots. 

However, for the home tea drinker, use the teapot you like the most. And for a lot of people, that’s a cast iron teapot. 

You can choose a brightly colored teapot with an elaborate pattern, or you can opt for a simple design. But go for a design you like, and you’ll get more enjoyment from it. 

See some teapots you can purchase without going to Japan by clicking the link.

Which Will Last Longer, A Clay Teapot Or A Cast Iron?

Both clay and cast iron teapots will last a long time. However, I’d argue that cast iron teapots are more forgiving when accidentally hit on the side of the bench or dropped.

Although cast iron is not indestructible, particularly the enamel liner, it is more likely to take hits from home use. The durability is a significant factor when purchasing a teapot, especially if you buy it as a gift or souvenir.

Which Has Better Heat Retention?

The thermal density of cast iron teapots is both adventurous and detrimental. Cast iron can quickly draw a lot of heat from your tea initially. But when hot, cast iron retains heat longer than other materials.

Both clay and cast iron have good thermal density. And probably clay distributes heat more evenly. And this affects the temperature of the water extracting the tea. But with cast iron, your tea should stay hot for longer. 

Which Japanese Teapot Has The Best Infusers?

I like removable infusers with cast iron teapots and some ceramic teapots. These infusers are usually stainless steel mesh baskets you can remove after steeping. They are easily washable and long-lasting. And if you ever need a new infuser, you can purchase one online.

Some clay teapots have a built-in strainer in the spout. This style is more suitable for high-quality tea with large leaves. If you want to use your teapot for different teas, such as herbal and English teas, then make your teapot contains a mesh infuser.

Enamel Lining vs. Porcelain vs. Unglazed

Cast iron teapots usually come with an enamel lining. Enamel lining like porcelain teapots is easy to clean and separates tea from the iron. The benefit of a lining is the material is inert, which means your tea retains its natural flavors.

I recommend a glazed or enamel teapot over an unglazed one. So you can use your pot for different teas, such as herbal and fruit teas. Unglazed clay teapots are best for using one type of tea as tannins will slowly build up over time, and this can affect the flavor of the tea.

Multiple Sizes To Choose From

Another benefit of cast iron over Japanese and Chinese clay teapots is the number of sizes available. You can select a small teapot for individual use or one big enough for a family. 

Pick the size carefully when you buy a teapot because most people purchase a teapot larger than they generally require. And tend to recommend small teapots that make enough for one standard-size teacup.

Read the historical reasons why Japanese teapots are small compared to Western teapots in this article.

Choose A Cast Iron Teapot To Enjoy Different Teas And A Ceramic Teapot For Japanese Tea

Sure, you’ll see professionals use non-glazed or traditionally shaped teapots. But they are often solely used for Japanese or Chinese teas. And they may not be suitable for smaller tea leaves in inexpensive tea.

If you want a great-looking teapot that you can feel proud using and displaying. Cast iron teapots are a great choice. And I’ll opt for an authentic Japanese teapot such as IwachuOigen, and Oitomi



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