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A Guide to Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea is often quoted as the “queen of teas” and for good reason. It’s grown on the high hills of the Himalayas and when prepared the tea takes a shimmery gold color with a delicate taste.

About Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea belongs to the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. You can find it in varieties of black, green, white and oolong. After proper brewing, the tea it takes a light color infused with a floral aroma. The flavor of the tea is often described as musky and spicy with an aftertaste of astringent tannin.

darjeeling tea
Photo credit: Partha Sarathi Sahana

Darjeeling tea is unlike other Indian teas because it is commonly made from the small-leaved Chinese variety of Camellia Sinensis, while many other Indian teas are made from the large-leaved Assam variety. Darjeeling tea is mostly found in black, but the oolong and green variety are becoming increasingly popular. Green and oolong Darjeeling teas are now commonly produced and much easier to find. An increasing number of estates are also producing white Darjeeling tea as well.

History and Origin

Tea planting started in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district in 1841 and Arthur Campbell initiated it. Campbell was a civil surgeon of the Indian Medical Service and he was transferred from Kathmandu, in Nepal, to the Darjeeling district in 1839. Two years later, in 1841, he brought the seeds of the small-leaved Chinese plant, Camellia Sinensis, from Kumaun. He started to experiment with the seeds for the purposes of tea planting in Darjeeling. During the same period, specifically around 1847, the British government also established tea nurseries. Then in the 1850s, the tea was being developed commercially. Finally, in 1856, the Kurseong and Darjeeling Tea company opened the Alubari tea garden, and soon enough others followed it.

Continue reading A Guide to Darjeeling Tea

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Gift Ideas for Tea Lovers

There has been a recent boom in the tea industry as people are becoming aware of the many beneficial properties of good quality loose leaf teas. It has significantly stirred the consumer goods market and now you can find anything from tea accessories to unique services such as tea subscriptions. So, if you are looking for gift ideas for tea lovers, here are some of our favorites to consider (click the photos, or links, to learn more).

1. Tea Forté Loose Leaf Tea Chest

People who are devoted to tea, or even new to tea, can enjoy the great tastes of Tea Forte loose leaf tea. The Tea Forte Single Steeps loose leaf tea chest is super easy to use, and the pouches of the teas are already portioned for a single serving. It has never been easier or more convenient to make your perfect cup of loose-leaf tea.

The set is equipped with a tasting menu that highlights the different types of black, green, white and herbal teas. There is no compromise on the quality of these teas, and the collection is diverse.  Tea Forte works directly with the growers of these teas, which shows their dedication and determination to provide only the best.

The Tea Chest contains 20 packets of tea of the following blends: African Solstice, Apricot Ameretto, Blood Orange, Bluberry Merlot, Bombay Chai, Caramel Nougat, Chamomile Citron, Cherry Marzipan, Coconut Chocolate Truffle, Coconut Mango Colada, Cucumber Mint, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Ginger Lemongrass, Green Mango Peach, Honey Yuzu, Jasmine Green, Lychee Coconut, Mojito Marmalade, Peach Brûlée, Peach Rhubarb Preserve, Sencha, Swiss Apple, Tangerine Rosemary, Tupelo Honey Fig, White Ginger Pear, White Cinnamon Sage, Wild Apple Ginger.

2. UEndure Tea Infuser Travel Mug, Glass Tumbler with Loose Leaf tea Strainer

 

This premium product takes luxurious tea drinking to another level. This mug not only allows you to enjoy tea on the go but also is made from natural and eco-friendly materials. The UEndure Tea Infuser is made of a high quality borosilicate quartz compound. To maintain the temperature of your beverage, the bottle is insulated with double walled glass. However, do not worry about the bottle being too big because this unique design fits snugly in your hand.
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Q&A with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints.com

TeaPrints Gaiwan Tshirt

TeaPrints

I’m really excited to have recently discovered TEAPRINTS.  I mean, how can you not possibly not love a t-shirts design that proudly displays: “KEEP CALM and GAIWAN ON” – brilliant!  And, a great way to strike up a “tea-conversation” when out in the wild.

TeaPrints Gaiwan Tshirt

Rosanne Muncy, CEO and Founder of TeaPrints, took notice of my love for this particular t-shirt and was kind enough to send me one. I really like the simplicity of the design, and the high quality of the t-shirt is definitely noticeable.  My TeaPrints shirt arrived pre-shrunk, which I prefer, and has a comfortable classic fit (note: the women’s t-shirts are more form-fitting).  TeaPrints also has a 7-day return policy, and a great FAQ page on their website to help you determine the best size and other details and answers to frequently asked questions.

TeaPrints currently offers a collection of T-Shirts, Hoodies, Totes, Posters and Gift Cards. TeaPrints also has a blog with frequent posts on useful information for tea folk, along with active social media channels (see links at the end of this post).

I’m really impressed with Rosanne, along with the origin story of TeaPrints and where she is taking the brand.  To learn more, check out my Q&A with Rosanne below.

 

Interview with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints

Q. Tell us a little more about yourself (especially about your time living in Morocco). And, how did you come up with the idea to build and launch TeaPrints.com?

A. I am a tea lover, organic gardener, and a nature lover. I became a tea lover at the age of eight when my family lived in Morocco for many years. I was a tomboy and spent a lot of time with my dad. My dad was friends with the Berber tribe leader and local hero, so I was able to experience Morocco in a unique and in-depth way.

I distinctly remember the first time I experienced Moroccan Mint tea. I can even smell it every time I close my eyes and reminisce. We were in a large tent, lots of people were milling around, there was an exhibition of horsemanship and shooting, but all I could focus on was the delightful aroma of the tea. It was fascinating to watch them prepare the tea and then pour it from many feet high into the beautiful tea glasses. The taste was just as exquisite as the aroma and as beautiful as the teaware. I fell in love!

In 2014 I opened an online tea shop, Tealated, and quickly realized that I enjoyed promoting tea much more than selling it. Tea is so diverse and can transcend obstacles between different people and cultures. It is an excellent way to make new friends, it helps to maintain health (especially if you use tea to replace toxic habits like soda addition, cigarette smoking, etc.), and it is delicious! I decided to close my online tea shop and focus solely on promoting tea and tea culture. TeaPrints is all about having fun while enjoying tea and starting a conversation about tea with others.
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“Talking Tea” with Jen Piccotti of An International Tea Moment

Talking tea JenPiccotti

“Talking Tea” is a weekly feature where I check-in with some of my favorite tea people online.

This week we feature Jen Piccotti from An International Tea Moment:

Q. Jen, can you tell us a bit about why you started An International Tea Moment, and what you like most about running the blog?

A. I first started my tea blog when my oldest daughter was born. It was a creative outlet for me, something that I could control, when the rest of my world felt so chaotic and unpredictable. I wrote simply for my own enjoyment and sanity, and it was mostly memories of tea moments I had experienced around the world with different friends and family.

I was surprised when I realized people were actually reading it. Then tea companies started reaching out and asking if they could send me tea to try. I felt like I had won the lottery! I think now the thing I enjoy most is connecting with such a variety of interesting people who enjoy the simple pleasure of tea… and also receiving samples of some of the most amazing teas in the world!

Q. What is one of your favorite “tea moments?”

A. One of my favorites is the first time my oldest daughter suggested having a tea party with me. She was 4 years old at the time. It was so sweet to experience that with her and imagine future “moments” as she grows up. A Persian Princess Moment.

Q. What general advice or tips would you have for someone that is new to tea?

A. Try different things and then enjoy what you like. If you like fruity teas, explore those. If you enjoy teas that smell flowery, try some floral blends. There’s no way to do it ‘wrong.’  Drink what you like and don’t be afraid to try something new when you have the opportunity.

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The World Tea Expo – Will You Be There?

Last year was my first year attending the World Tea Expo, and the experience was amazing on on so many levels. One of the best parts of the show was being able to meet face-to-face with  many of those from the tea industry that I’ve gotten to know “virtually” over the years (but had never met in-person).

World Tea Expo

I’m especially excited that the Expo will be returning this year to the Long Beach Convention Center, May 6-8. The annual event brings together hundreds of tea companies from around the globe.  The World Tea Expo is more than just a place to taste tea and enjoy the company of other tea lovers. It’s a place of community, education, networking, ideation, and more. The annual event is attended by more than 5,000 people, coming from all corners of the world. With 250+ exhibitors from more than 50 countries, the World Tea Expo is the world’s largest tea event.

James Norwood Pratt World Tea Expo
Meeting with James Norwood Pratt was a personal highlight of attending last year’s World Tea Expo

One of my favorite parts of the event is the Bloggers Roundtable (May 7, 2:30 – 3:30 pm PST). This year’s panelists will include Nicole Martin, Jen Piccotti, Naomi Rosen, Chris Giddings, Jo Johnson, Geoff Norman and Rachel Carter.

World Tea Expo Bloggers Rountable
A “Don’t Miss” Event!

One of The Fastest Growing Industries 

The tea industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In the US alone, the tea market is worth more than $8 billion and is expected to grow by another $7 billion by the end of 2015. The World Tea Expo is attended by distributors, tea room owners, retailers, other business professionals (and many tea bloggers and writers as well!). We all get the chance to visit with more than 200 different high quality tea suppliers and vendors in a casual, one-on-one setting. According to event organizers, almost 75 of these tea suppliers chose the World Tea Expo as the only tradeshow they attend to exclusively share and display their products.

The event is organized by The Beverage Group, an integrated media company that has been providing the beverage industry all over the world with business solutions. It’s a division of the F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company. The World Tea Expo is the largest event organized by the Beverage Group. Other than this, the Beverage Group also holds the professionally judged premium tea competition, called the North American Tea Championship.

Event Programs, Subjects and Topics

Attended by more than 5,000 people, The World Tea Expo is an event that is more than just about learning (and tasting) various types of teas and tea-related products. It’s a conference where tea experts from all over the world come together to discuss everything that is tea, from production to health benefits, and much more. There are a wide variety of educational topics that are covered, such as:

  • How to Source and Select Teas
  • The Science Behind Health Claims on Tea Beverages
  • Current Trends and the Future Outlook for Tea
  • Cultivating the Next Generation of Tea Connoisseurs
  • Building Your Own Successful Tea Business
  • Current and Emerging Regulatory Issues in the Tea & Infusion Products Industry
  • Why Ignoring Herbs Could be Costing Your Business

These are just the few of the main topics that are featured.

World Tea Expo speakers

Continue reading The World Tea Expo – Will You Be There?

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Joseph Wesley Keemun Congfu No. 5 – Review

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

Brand: Joseph Wesley Black Tea
Type: Keemun Congfu No. 05 
Origin: China
Preparation: Porcelain Gaiwan
Temperature: 185 F

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

Joseph Wesley Black Tea has been on my radar for awhile now, and I decided the No. 05 Keemun would be make for a great introduction. Turns out, I was right! The Joseph Wesley line of teas are all high quality, directly sourced from personally selected growers (which highlights the value and importance of trusted relationships among tea brands and growers).

Before getting into the tasting notes, the story behind the brand is worth highlighting. I may be a bit biased (originally being from the Detroit-area), but the origin story of the man-behind-the brand is inspiring. Hailing from Detroit, Joe Uhl decided to leave the city in 1992 to study in Malaysia. He traveled around the world, nourishing his passion for “tea’s craft and culture.” Upon returning home, Joe earned a law degree and practiced at a Detroit law firm. Eight years later he resigned and founded Joseph Wesley Black Tea. Thank you Joe for making that decision!

Now…onto the Keemun Congfu.

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

The dry leaves are tightly rolled/small, dark and have a very strong (and pleasant) aroma. Beyond the expected Keemun aroma, I detected hints of cocoa, and perhaps a bit of malt with the No. 05. This tea definitely has a very distinctive nose, especially in comparison to other Keemun I’ve tasted.

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

Once brewed, the liquor is deep auburn in color.  Interestingly, it’s challenging to pinpoint specific tasting notes with this Keemun, as it’s very complex. I quite liked this characteristic! One thing is very clear though…the wonderful sweetness delivered a variety of notes across steepings. I pulled out molasses, honey…and perhaps a hint of angel food cake. Also a malt, and touches of burnt sugar along the way. The complexity made for a very enjoyable tasting experience. And the sweetness described was very well-balanced.

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

I can confidently say that this is one of the best Keemun black teas I’ve tasted. In addition to a great morning brew, I’ve added this one to my afternoon rotation of teas (as it brings a feeling of “indulgence,” which is a perfect mid-to-late afternoon reward).

I try to get back to the Detroit area at least once a year, and it’s been great to see the results of what many are describing as a “renaissance” taking place. Businesses and entrepreneurs dedicated to craftsmanship, community and creativity are establishing roots in Detroit and helping to re-build the city and it’s reputation. It’s especially great to see a tea brand like Joseph Wesley leading the way.

 

Disclaimer: I paid full retail price for the tea reviewed above. 

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Tea: A History of the Drink that Changed the World

Tea is undoubtedly a drink loved all over the world, sovaldi and because of this it has been appreciated in many different cultures. Tea is served in many different fashions, is enjoyed either hot or cold, has travelled all over the world and has charmed the hearts of many people. In Laura Martin’s book Tea: The Drink that Changed the World, she enlightens readers with the fascinating journey of tea, and how it has helped achieve positive effects in the world as we know it today.

This book offers a comprehensive study of tea, with a focus on how it has evolved and its immeasurable value across civilizations.

This is a great book for those seeking a bit of a “thriller” behind the story of tea — as it touches on exploration, espionage, diplomacy, and competition…all revolving around tea. The author also gets very specific about the nuances of tea manufacturing.

Some specific examples from the book include details about why ancient tea caddies required locks, what Confucian contemporaries thought about tea, and the different points of view among various cultures with regards to tea drinking and tea ceremonies.

This is a great book for those interested in learning more about the history of tea, as well as for those more seasoned tea aficionados that want to expand their collection of books about tea.

(This review includes affiliate links)

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Tea Cliffsnotes — Pu-erh

The People’s Republic of China is known for its fine assortment of teas, but perhaps none is more coveted than pu-erh. The one-of-a-kind, large leaves hail from the Yunnan Province’s famed tea region, which is located just beyond the Yunling Mountain. It has everything high quality, wild teas could every hope for — including a temperate climate, nurturing soil and clean water. Once the leaves reach their peak flavor, they’re normally harvested by the bud and put through a rigorous fermentation process.

puerh tea cake

The process starts with an elaborate drying method that includes pan-frying, bruising and rolling. It’s designed to stop oxidation. Afterward, the leaves are traditionally fermented with the aid of microorganisms and pressed into a wide variety of shapes before being tucked away to age in climate controlled areas. For many tea enthusiasts, only the oldest cakes or bricks of pu-erh tea will do (and come at a premium price). Other connoisseurs are willing to buy bundles that are much younger and continue aging them at home solely for the pure joy of it. However, those that do give it a go must take great pains when storing their little treasured bundles. Otherwise, the tea won’t taste nearly as good.

In future editions of “Tea Cliffnotes” we’ll get into more detail about the nuances and differences among sheng and ripe pu-erh.

Regardless of whether a tea drinker is willing to hold out for 75-year old leaves or not doesn’t matter when it comes to the brewing process. The majority of all vintages are prepared with gong fu sets and steeping rituals to help bring out their inherent flavors. The sets are readily available online and tend to sell at various price points. As we indicated previously, pu-erh tea prices will also vary. Therefore, there’s a good chance that many tea lovers will be able to pick up loose pu-erh tea and a gong fu set that fits well within their budgetary constraints.

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Tea Review – Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong (by Eco-Cha)

Eco Cha Ollong Tea

Brand: Eco-Cha
Type: Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong 
Origin: Zhu Shan, Nantou, Taiwan (1500m elevation, Summer2014)
Preparation: 6 steeps, gongfu style (gaiwan). Rinse / 20 seconds / 30 seconds / 45 seconds / 55 seconds / 60 seconds / 90 seconds
Temperature: 185 F

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

I’m very pleased to now have Eco-Cha on my radar, and am especially appreciative of their story and mission (representing the “artisan tea industry in Taiwan.”)  Before sampling Eco-Cha’s wide variety of Oolong teas, I spent a great deal of time on their website, getting to know more about the team, where they source their teas from, and many other interesting details and stories about Eco-Cha (what I would best describe as their “origin-story”).

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

I chose the Shan Lin Xi, High Mountain Concubine for this first review.  I really enjoy “oriental beauty” (bug bitten) oolongs, and this particular Eco-Cha tea/harvest was described on their website as being particularly affected by the Green Leaf Hopper.  Additionally, this oolong is quite different from traditional Oriental Beauty — this Oolong having tightly rolled Concubine leaves and also being a different varietal.

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

Aroma – Dry and Wet Leaf

The dry leaf had a very satisfying aroma…strong hints of honey, and even a bit of candied pecans.  Very pronounced.  The wet leaf was equally pleasant, with the introduction of winter vegetables (particularly a brown sugar, butternut squash aroma).  From the aroma alone, I knew I was in for a treat.

Steeps

After a rinse, I steeped in the gaiwan for 20 seconds.  This first steep produced very subtle hints of almond mixed with a bit of woody-ness (not much floral…yet).  This was a satisfying steep, but also quite mild with the leaves not yet fully awake.

The second steep, at 30 seconds, introduced very distinctive notes of honey and the introduction of winter vegetables (mostly a butternut squash taste)…I even detected hints of sweet fig.  My daughter joined me in this steep, and she immediately noticed pine-nuts in the flavor profile.  I agree.  The moth feel was now also much more pronounced, and very pleasing.

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

My tasting notes for the remaining steeps include nutty flavors, along with a mild sweet corn.  The floral notes also became more noticeable.  I definitely also detected the almond and honey flavors, which are often included with descriptions of this particular tea.

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

Overall, I really enjoy this tea.  It brings some unexpected and satisfying flavor profiles, and also has a wonderful aroma (something I really took notice of).  I’m now excited to dig-in and review additional Eco-Cha Taiwan Oolongs.

Here are some additional Eco-Cha links:

 (complementary samples were provided by Eco-Cha)

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A Complete Guide to Cast Iron Teapots

It is said that it was during the 17th and 18th century that the first Cast Iron Teapots were made in Japan. However, cure there are accounts of the cast iron teapot being present during the Sen no Riky? period, prostate the historical figure most famous for influencing the Traditional Japanese “Way of Tea.”

Known as Tetsubin teapots in Japan, these were originally used to boil water but after the advent of Sencha Green Tea, these teapots became a household item for tea brewing all over China and Japan. The name “YiXing” comes from the region of YiXing in China where teapots were first made using the clay unique to that region. Historically, YiXing is famous for its clay teapots, whereas the Japanese Tetsubin is known to be the first cast iron teapot.

Avid tea brewers believe the best tea is made in Tetsubin teapots and because this teapot is made with natural iron, the water boiled in them gives off a unique taste, resulting in the tea brewed to taste better than when brewed in other teapots or kettles. These cast iron teapots allowed the people of that time to keep the water warm so they could pour the water over the loose tea leaves. This has led to the Tetsubin becoming a part of traditional Japanese Tea Ceremonies.

Five Favorite Cast Iron Teapots

(click on the links or photos to learn more) 

PictureCast Iron TeapotRating
Iwachu Japanese Iron Teapot/Tetsubin, Gold and Black Maple 5
Miya Cast Iron Teapot - Purple Hanabi 3
Japanese Tetsubin Cast Iron 40 oz Black Hobnail Teapot 4.3
primula pci7440 black cast iron teapot 40 oz with stainless (peerless industries pci7440) 4.0
Dusk Cast Iron Positivity Teapot 26 Oz 4.7

(scroll down to see our full review of each of these cast iron teapots)

Benefits of Cast Iron Teapots

Why Cast Iron?

Cast iron cookwares, including teapots, have been used for centuries. With the introduction of cookware made from new materials hitting the market, people started discarding their cast iron cookware in favor of the new and supposedly ‘improved’ cooking products. However, nowadays you will see a trend of people going back to the old ways. With people suffering from different deficiencies and diseases, doctors and health gurus are recommending going back to the way of life of our forefathers. This includes cooking and brewing tea in cast iron cookware.

You may be thinking how old-fashioned cast iron cookware is but, there is a reason why everyone is going back to filling their kitchen cabinets with cast iron cooking products. Even in the modern kitchen, this dependable cookware has more benefits than any other cookware available on the market today.

Cast Iron Teapots Last Decades

There are people who have been using their cast iron teapots for generations, going back as far as the 1850s. These teapots, if taken care of properly, can stay in excellent shape and perform at their best for your children, your grandchildren and even your great grandchildren.

Chemical Free Teapots

Another major benefit of cast iron teapots is that because they are made from pure cast iron, you are able to avoid harmful chemicals that come from teapots made with other industrialized materials. A lot of teapots nowadays are coated with a material which gives off PFCs (perfluorocarbons) when heated. This chemical is known to be damaging to the liver.

Pumps Your Tea with Iron – Beneficial for Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world today. This is a problem that was never faced by our ancestors centuries ago. Because people in the old days cooked and brewed tea on cast iron cookware, their teas and foods were infused with iron that was leached into them by the cast iron pans and teapots.

tea infuser strainer for cast iron teapot

A study by the American Dietetic Association has found that when using cast iron teapots, a good amount of iron is leached into the boiling water. This results in the tea brewed becoming infused with iron and the person drinking tea will receive a boost of iron, minerals and nutrients. People with iron deficiencies can greatly benefit from this effect.

Cast Iron Teapot

Why Choose Cast Iron Teapots

A Traditional Way of Brewing Tea

Those who are not really into the art of tea making will not realize how important a part is played by some of the little things they overlook, such as temperature, steeping time, the equipment, quality of the loose tea leaves and the quality of the water. When it comes to brewing your favorite tea, finding and using the the right tools is important. As all tea lovers are aware, the secret to having that delightfully perfect cup of tea is to know the right method of brewing and that requires the right equipment.

In order to brew tea in a traditional manner, it is important to pay attention to what you are brewing the tea in. Cast iron teapots are the oldest types of teapots which have been used by tea lovers over the years to brew their favorite cup of tea. Apart from the health benefits of using cast iron, tea enthusiasts swear by cast iron teapots as giving a more flavorful tea.

This taste comes, in part, from the same reason why cast iron teapots are recommended for people with iron deficiency. This water, when fused with a good quality loose leaf tea, results in a brew that is unlike any other. What’s even better is a seasoned cast iron teapot will produce tea that is more delicious and richly flavored than the last time you brewed. Old is Gold when it comes to Cast Iron Teapots!

Better Heat Absorption – More Nutrients Extracted

Another reason why you should buy a cast iron teapot is cast iron absorbs heat evenly, ensuring the water heats up steadily over time. This gradual approach, even heating while the loose tea leaves are floating in the water, infuses the tea flavor into the water perfectly. This not only gives the tea a pronounced flavor, but the healthy nutrients from the tea leaves are also extracted and bonded with the water.

When compared to ceramic and clay teapots, cast iron is able to retain heat more effectively. This way, you can keep your brewed tea warmer for as much as an hour. Cast iron teapots are more durable than ceramic or clay as well. If dropped, ceramic and clay teapots may shatter into bits whereas cast iron will not. If properly cared for, your cast iron teapot will last you a lifetime!

What to Consider When Buying Cast Iron Teapots

Why Cast Iron?

When looking for the best culinary for brewing tea, a cast iron teapot is a great choice. Not only does it give your tea brewing (and drinking) a traditional touch, it will also add to the flavor and give your body a healthy boost of minerals.

Origins

When buying a cast iron teapot, you need to make sure of its origins. As you know now from the history, cast iron teapots were first made in China and Japan and to this day, the best cast iron teapots are produced in these two countries. The Tetsubin teapots are considered the first teapots. If you wish to purchase a cast iron teapot, make sure the seller gives you the info on where it was made. Tetsubin teapots are handmade in Japan from solid cast iron.

Quality

The quality of the cast iron teapot depends on where it was manufactured. You can buy a regular teapot from your local store but the chances of it having been made with pure cast iron are fairly low. The best cast iron teapots are made in Japan. Having been used for over four centuries, the Japanese have mastered the art of manufacturing these teapots by having the most skilled craftsmen spending weeks making a single teapot.

Durability

To make sure your cast iron tea pot lasts for years and even decades, the quality of the teapot is crucial. Even though iron teapots are strong enough to resist getting cracked or shattered, the quality of the cast iron being used for manufacturing will decide the life of the teapot. Some manufacturers coat their cast iron teapots with an enamel to prevent oxidation and rusting. This ensures the teapot will last long enough to may even be passed down to your grandchildren.

The Design

Japanese cast iron teapots are handmade by craftsmen/craftswomen, allowing them to design every teapot with meticulous detail. From simple to ornate, a cast iron teapot can be a beautiful work of art with eggshell finishes and beautiful flat handles. They can also be detailed with iconic symbols of the Japanese culture or some other designs and patterns, like the Imperial Dragon, gracing the sides of the teapot.

Choosing a cast iron teapot will add a touch of power and strength to your kitchen. It represents who you are. If you want to feel the ambiance of the traditional Japanese way of drinking tea and get the great flavor as well, then sharing tea made in a cast iron teapot with your friends and family is the way to go.

You can even buy a whole cast iron tea set that comes with a pot and cups. This will make serving tea a lot easier. You can even use this set for decorative purposes as Japanese cast iron tea sets are a work of art and will look amazing in your home.

A Sign of Prestige

A time came when tetsubin iron teapots were coveted items to have in one’s home. Their unique designs and the manufacturers’ who made these fancy and beautiful teapots became a way of showing the stature of households in Japan.

Capacity

Another feature of the cast iron teapot to consider is to choose the right size. There are small ones and there are large ones, which to choose depends on your needs. If you will be brewing a cup of tea for yourself in the mornings and evenings, a 14-ounce cast iron teapot will be suitable. If you think you will be having guests over and may need to serve them tea, having a larger teapot of around 30 ounces will be enough to serve a small group of tea drinkers.

Caring For Your Cast Iron Teapot

Do you love your beautiful Japanese cast iron teapot? Of course you do! Every tea lover loves their tea brewing equipment, especially when it is something that has traditional value. For your cast iron teapot, care is important if you want to keep brewing tea for the coming years.

Make sure that when washing your cast iron teapot, you don’t use any soap or detergent. Only use your hands to clean the tetsubin teapot, rinse it with clean water and use a clean cloth to dry it. If your teapot is old, this method will keep the seasoned mineral coating unscathed and preserve the iron in the teapot from oxidizing.

To ensure your cast iron teapot lasts a long time, follow these basic guidelines:

  • When you buy a new cast iron teapot, rinse it thoroughly with hot water
  • Take a dry clean cloth and wipe the teapot inside and out while it is still warm
  • Never use the cast iron teapot as a stove-top kettle
  • Never put it in a microwave, dishwasher, or expose to oil or salt
  • Use it only for brewing tea, otherwise you may damage the fragile enamel lining
  • Never use detergents or abrasive pads to wipe the cast iron teapot, only clean water for rinsing and a clean cloth for drying
  • Never leave the teapot filled with water or tea for long periods of time
  • Try to always wipe the cast iron teapot’s exterior while it is still warm
  • If the teapot is warm, don’t cool it off immediately, let it cool down on its own
  • To ensure years of flavorful tea, never use kitchen utensils that will scratch the inside glaze of the cast iron teapot

Follow these guidelines and you will ensure a long life for your tetsubin cast iron teapot.

Brief Reviews of 5 of Our Favorite Cast Iron Teapots

To help you find the best cast iron teapots, we are providing an overview of five favorite tetsubin cast iron teapots available online. You can easily order these and have them delivered to your doorstep and start enjoying the most flavorful tea, for a lifetime.

Iwachu Japanese Iron Teapot/Tetsubin, Gold and Black Maple

Iwachu is a company with over 100 years’ experience of crafting cast iron teapots, kettles and most famously, Tetsubin. Being one of the finest makers of Japanese ironware, the craftsmen/women at Iwachu respect their tradition and have come up with one of their best Tetsubin maple designed products. The precision and beauty of this handmade cast iron teapot is visible in its intricate exterior maple leaf design.

Providing consistent heat all over the interior, the superior quality of the material used ensures the water is heated perfectly and the tea brewed being the most flavorful. The excellent quality also keeps the tea warm for a long time and the interior coated with enamel prevents the teapot from rusting. Its 22-ounce capacity is perfect for brewing a delicious tea for a nice morning and evening tea.

Cast Iron Teapot – Purple Hanabi

Manufactured by MIYA, a household name for tea lovers in China, this cast iron teapot is a must have for tea lovers around the world. MIYA is known for using the best quality materials and craftsmanship to make their cast iron teapots and this is no different. Coming with a stainless steel mesh infuser and interior coated with enamel, this ensures the teapot remains in use for years to come.

It gets its name from the famous Hanabi fireworks, as displayed on its exterior. Its quality ensures the heat is transferred equally all over the teapot, heating the water perfectly for a nice brew of your choice.

Japanese Tetsubin Cast Iron 40 oz Black Hobnail Teapot

The M.V. Trading Co. introduces this massive 40-ounce Tetsubin teapot with a design that reflects the stature of who owns it. For centuries, Tetsubin cast iron teapots have been known as a work of art as they are handcrafted, giving each teapot a unique design for the one who buys it. With a large space for brewing tea, this is the perfect teapot for when you have friends and family over.

Handmade and hand finished, it is fitted with a removable stainless steel mesh infuser basket to allow perfect infusion. The interior of the pot is lined with enamel to keep it from rusting and allow the user to keep using it for years. However, make sure you take the precautions and not do anything that would damage its exterior design. This is the perfect cast iron teapot for brewing tea for a tea party or ceremony.

Primula Pci7440 Black Cast Iron Teapot 40 Oz With Stainless Infuser

Another big contender in the 40-ounce cast iron teapot market, the Primula Tetsubin can be another graceful addition to your kitchen. Its enamel is made with FDA-approved materials, ensuring excellent quality and durability. Its beautiful black textured design makes it a unique item to have in your kitchen.

With its exceptional craftsmanship, Primula has been providing quality teaware to its customers since 1991. It only takes 3 to 5 minutes for the PCI7440 to heat the water to brewing temperatures, resulting in a tea that is not only served just as fast as in modern electric kettles but also giving a tea that tastes far greater.

Old Dutch Cast Iron Positivity Teapot, 26-Ounce, Dusk

Manufactured by the Old Dutch, this Japanese inspired cast iron teapot is designed in one of the most beautiful possible ways. The elegant craft of the Japanese style is clearly visible on the exterior as it features the looks of the antique Japanese cast iron teapots.

It features a black enamel interior coating that prevents the teapot from rusting. The 26-ounce capacity ensures you can brew tea for a small group of friends and family. The quality materials used for making this teapot ensure the tea remains warm for up to an hour, a sign of high quality cast iron material.

Just like other cast iron teapots, don’t use any detergents or heat it over a stove. Use your hands to rinse and dry with water at room temperature. This is a great Japanese style Tetsubin teapot to have in your house for any tea of your choosing.

Conclusion

When it comes to brewing your favorite tea, finding the right culinary for brewing is important. As a tea lover, you likely desire the items you use for making tea to be in accordance with traditions of tea brewing. This will ensure you are not only making tea the best way, but also giving yourself the traditional flavor that has been around for centuries.

As all tea lovers are aware, the secret to having a delightfully perfect cup of tea is not just in knowing the right method of brewing but also having the right equipment. After reading this guide, you have the knowledge to start brewing tea the way it should be done: as the old ways are often the best ways. And not only that, you also now know about some specific Tetsubin cast iron teapots that can help you achieve the dream of brewing that perfect cup of tea.

tea infuser strainer for cast iron teapot

(Disclosure: These reviews contain affiliate links to Amazon, which helps support the TeaMinded website. We are not compensated by any of the manufacturers for these reviews, and they reflect our honest and unbiased opinions of these products).