How to Use a Cast Iron Teapot – Care and Buying Guide

Cast iron teapots originated in 17th century Japan and have recently gained popularity in the West. Last year, we bought a cast iron kettle and learned how to take care of it. It’s a bit different from common teapot materials, but we say viva la difference! We have enjoyed learning how to use a cast iron teapot.

how to use a cast iron teapot
how to use a cast iron teapot

The tea is so delicious, and we wrote this article to pass on everything we’ve learned. By the time you’re done, you’ll know how to use a cast iron kettle and be able to choose the one that’s right for you.

What is the difference between a Teapot and a Tea Kettle

The two are sometimes referred to interchangeably; however, a teapot generally is used for steeping tea or coffee, serving or pouring tea. A tea kettle is designed for higher heat temperatures or applications and is used for heating, boiling water, and brewing tea. Used together, a tea kettle and teapot can make for a delicious and refreshing cup of tea, green tea, herbal tea, or coffee.

Using a Teapot

Cast iron requires special care, as anyone with this type of cooking equipment can verify. Proper seasoning and cleaning are a must. The steps for seasoning and proper cleaning prevent rust and odors while improving the taste of tea. Using a cast iron kettle is no different. The process is much easier than caring for cookware.

How to Use a Cast Iron Teapot

  1. Fill your teapot or tea kettle with clean drinking water
  2. Bring your cold water or warm water to a boil
  3. Let the water cool to the desired temperature
  4. Measure your tea leaves and place them into your infuser
  5. Position the infuser in your teapot and let the tea steep
  6. Remove the infuser and set it aside
  7. Pour your tea and enjoy!

How To Season A Cast Iron Teapot Interior

Just like cast iron pots and pans, cast iron teapots need seasoning before they’re used the first time. Mercifully, this only takes 3 steps and does not take a long time.

  1. Add 5 to 10 grams of tea leaves to water and boil water for 10 to 20 minutes
  2. Pour the hot water out of the teapot
  3. Repeat boiling with water 2 to 3 times until the water runs clear
  4. Leave the lid off your teapot to allow leftover water to evaporate
  5. Let your teapot dry. You are now ready to start making tea !

How does this season a cast iron teapot? The tannin or tannic acid from the tea leaves and the iron from the kettle react to form a film over the cast iron. This protects the kettle from rust.

How to Clean Cast Iron Teapot

Cast iron tea kettle rust can occur if you don’t clean your kettle correctly. Luckily, cleaning a tea kettle is easy.

First, pour out the remaining tea and rinse the inside of the kettle or teapot with warm water and optionally a soft brush. Then, wipe the outside of the teapot dry with a clean cloth but also a soft cloth. Finally, remove the lid and allow both the lid and pot to air dry. Voila! Clean.

Check out these additional tea kettle cleaning steps. Even the laziest tea drinkers can manage!

Can You Put A Cast Iron Teapot on Stove Tops?

Tetsu Kyusu vs Tetsubin

Cast iron teapots come in two varieties. Tetsukyusu or Tetsu Kyusu is not for boiling water and should only be used to brew tea. Tetsukyusu has an enamel coating on the inside and can’t be used on the stove or over flames. The heat could potentially cause the enamel to crack; therefore, this teapot style is only to steep tea. The other teapot Tetsubin is 100% cast iron and is best for boiling and steeping. Therefore, this kettle is good to go on your kitchen stove, your camp stove, a charcoal fire, and the open flame of a campfire. A cast-iron teapot is pretty versatile for use with just about any heat source (excluding microwave, safety first). Just push aside the cast iron griddle and pans and make space on your stovetop for your teapot.

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Cast Iron Teapot

When it comes to cast iron kettles, one size does not fit all! The following guide will help you choose the best cast iron tea kettle that meets your needs and wants.

Best Cast Iron Teapot: Hwagui Large Teapot

This Hwagui Large Cast Iron Teapot is the best pot on our list in our opinion. High-quality iron releases the antioxidant Fe and improves your health benefits. Similarly, the iron also makes water softer and less bitter, allowing the true flavor of the tea to come forward. The bitterness comes from the tannins or tannic acid found in the tea leaves.

With a capacity of 41oz, this kettle is large enough to serve 4 cups for a perfect afternoon brew with friends! It comes with a stainless steel infuser which resists rust and is removable. Also, the infuser is small enough for loose leaf tea yet big enough for teabags.

What We Like:

  • Beautifully designed in the Japanese Tetsubin tradition
  • The knob on the lid is plastic to prevent burns and the handle has a wrap
  • Get a good cuppa on an electric stove, gas stove, wood-burning stove, or open fire flame
  • Pours easily with no spillage

Most Affordable Teapot: TopTier Japanese Teapot

The most affordable product on our list is the TopTier Japanese Cast Iron Teapot. The thickness of the material allows your tea to infuse evenly on the stove and over a flame. Therefore, you can use this gorgeous teapot in the home or at the campsite.

It includes a removable stainless steel infuser to save you the cost and hassle of buying one separately. The interior of this kettle has an enamel coat to prevent rust. However, the outside and rim are cast iron and must be dried with a soft dry cloth after use to avoid corrosion.

What We Like:

  • A mix of 16 different colors and styles to fit any kitchen decor
  • Affordable – you’ll have money left over to put towards exotic teas
  • Available in different sizes to serve up to 7 people

What Could Improve:

  • You can’t fill the teapot all the way up with the infuser because water will boil over
  • The spout is even with the top of the teapot so you must be careful when pouring
  • The infuser basket is short so water must be ¾ full

Best Teapot Made in Japan: Tetsubin Tea Kettle

If you’re looking for the most traditional kettle, look no further than the Japanese Iron Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot. This exquisitely detailed teapot is even designed in the Tetsubin tradition, with the addition of a stainless steel tea strainer.

What We Like:

  • Made in Japan
  • Removable stainless steel infuser
  • Coated interior to prevent rust

What Could Improve:

  • Not for use over an open flame

Best Cast Iron Teapot with Infuser: Japanese Style Tea Kettle

Although not authentically Japanese, the Japanese Style Cast Iron Teapot offers similar benefits. The pure cast iron teapot is free to counter bitterness as there is no coating. You also don’t have to worry about enamel flaking into your tea. Due to the cast iron construction, you can use this kettle outside over a campfire or inside on a portable wood-burning stove.

What We Like:

  • Available in 3 stylish designs
  • The stainless steel infuser is fine enough for handling loose leaf tea
  • The knob on the lid is plastic with handle wrap to prevent burns when pouring

What Could Improve:

  • Available in only one size (23 oz) big enough for 2 servings
  • The kettle can only be filled 70% or boiling water can potentially spill out the spout

Best Cast Iron Teapot with a Trivet: White Japanese Tea Kettle

The White Cast Iron Japanese Teapot has a beautiful decoration that comes with a matching trivet. A trivet is a small stand that sits under your teapot and protects surfaces from heat. The iron interior softens the flavor and removes the bitterness for a purer tea tastes experience. A beautiful representation of the many designs of Japanese tea kettles and is perfect for Japanese teas.

What We Like:

  • Keeps tea warmer for longer than most other new cast iron teapot options on our list
  • Perfect for 1 or 2 people with a 27oz capacity (2½ cups)
  • Also included is a rust-resistant stainless steel tea strainer and a heat-resistant wrapped handle

What Could Improve:

  • Possibly hot to the touch warning as the top of the lid is cast iron

Your Perfect Cast Iron Tea Kettle

To sum up, you should now know how to use a cast iron teapot or kettle. This means that you can invest in a kettle, and if you take good care of it, you can likely pass it down through the generations. We recommend the Hwagui Large Cast Iron Teapot for your legacy, but the smaller kettles on our list have benefits too.

The TopTier Japanese Teapot is good for tea lovers on a budget, and an included trivet is a benefit of the White Japanese Teapot. Tea drinkers who appreciate authenticity will appreciate the Tetsubin Teapot. So, if you’re searching for a pot with high longevity of your cast iron teapot, we don’t think you can go wrong with any of the kettles reviewed on our list. On the other hand, if you’re not looking for a new cast iron pot and prefer ceramic teapots or stainless steel teapots, those pot options exist as well.