Okay, you have a new cast iron teapot now what? Cast iron teapots are really easy to use but quite often manufactures don’t include clear instructions on how to use their teapots. So if your teapot didn’t come with instructions your not alone. My teapot didn’t come with instructions either. It seems manufactures assume we all know how to use a cast iron teapot.
No problem in this article you can learn how to use your cast iron with this easy the follow step by step guide.
Teapot vs tea kettle
Before learning how to use your teapot. I just want to make sure you have a teapot and not a tetsubin (wiki) or a cast iron kettle. Your teapot should be shiny on the inside… that’s the enamel which will protect your teapot from rust. If it’s not shiny then you may have a kettle which is used for boiling water rather than steeping tea. If you’re unsure of the differences between a cast iron teapot and a kettle just click the link. And if you have a cast iron kettle then I have another article which covers a lot of the basics to get you started. Here’s the link to the kettle guide.
How to use a cast iron teapot for the first time.
If you are using your cast iron teapot for the first time “congratulations” I’m sure you’ll love it. Especially if your budget stretched enough to buy an authentic Japanese Nambu Tekki teapot from Iwate. If you’re not too sure what Nanbu or Nambu Tekki is then just click the link to learn more. They are a lot of fun and look great. The tea tastes pretty good too.
Before you start using your cast iron teapot make sure you do this.
Rinse out your new cast iron teapot a couple of times with warm water. Then I would fill it boiling water and let it sit for a while before tipping out the water.
“My cast iron teapot smells” Yes, there might be a slight odor the first couple of times you use your teapot. It’s just new so if your teapot does have a slight smell I’d say that’s pretty normal.
How to use a cast iron teapot in 7 easy steps
1 Choose Your Tea
The first step in brewing tea in a cast iron teapot is to select your favourite loose leaf tea. Although many people prefer to use a cast iron teapot to make green tea, there’s no reason why you can’t use your teapot for English and Chinese teas.
But it’s probably best to use just one kind of tea in your teapot since tannins and flavours can affect the taste of the brewed tea. So if you go from making black tea to green tea a few months later, your green tea might taste a bit strange.
2. Preheat The Teapot
The second step is to preheat your cast iron teapot. Do not place your teapot directly on the stove or another heat source — this could cause it to crack (craze). Instead, boil water in a kettle and then fill your teapot with the hot water and then tip out the water. This will help warm up and rinse out your teapot.
3. Measure Your Tea
After you have rinsed and preheated your teapot, measure out your favourite loose leaf tea. Use approximately one teaspoon per 8-ounces of water. Scoop the required amount into the tea infuser. You can simply add more or less depending on how you like your tea.
4. Add the Water
Next, heat your water. Many people prefer to use a cast iron tea kettle or tetsubin to directly heat the water over the stove. Using one of these vessels offers a variety of benefits over regular tea kettles. Check out this blog post for more on tetsubins (coming soon).
5. Steep The Tea
Next, steep tea directly in the cast iron teapot. Most cast iron teapots come with a built-in strainer basket or infuser for tea. This infuser usually sits around the rim of the teapot and can be removed for easy cleaning.
How do you steep tea?
After you have put the tea into the teapot, pour the hot water over the tea. Next, steep the tea for two to six minutes. The length of time for steeping depending on the tea that you choose. Generally, green or white tea can be steeped for about two minutes. Black tea takes about three to five minutes and herbal tea can take up to six minutes. Check the package of your specific tea for more information on infusion time.
After steeping your tea, you are ready to serve. Pour the tea from the teapot all at once so that it does not over-extract. If the teapot does not have a built-in strainer, then you will need to strain the liquid through a tea strainer.
I usually remove the infuser from my teapot: this stops the tea from becoming too bitter but keeps the tea hot.
7. Clean And Store Your Teapot
After you have finished serving your tea, you will then need to clean your teapot. Rinse your teapot with warm water. Never use cold water if your cast iron teapot is still hot. This could crack the enamel.
You can wipe off the outside of the teapot if it’s needed. Then, thoroughly dry the entire pot with a cloth. make sure you thoroughly dry all the parts of the teapot, including the strainer and the lid.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m a bit hasty and put away my teapot before the inside of my teapot is completely dry. What I should do is, turn the teapot upside down to make it easier to dry.
Enjoy your teapot
I’ve tried to keep the step by step guide easy to follow. Don’t worry too much and use your cast iron teapot just like any other teapot. I hope you have fun and enjoy using your teapot, I’m sure you’ll make yourself many cups of flavorful tea.