Mar 29th 09 5:17 pm
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 29th 09 5:02 pm

How to brew in a Tetsubin?

by Tengu » Mar 29th 09 5:17 pm

Hello,

I am very new to the world of tea and would like to get more information. I just bought a nice Tetsubin cast iron teapot. Can anyone please give me step by step directions on the correct way to brew tea? All info is appreciated. Also I have a few additional questions.

1) Is it recommended/necessary to preheat the teapot and cups before brewing the tea? If so how is this done?

2) Do you put the tea leaves in the infuser first. Then add the water from the kettle over the leaves or the other way around?

3) If a tea says its suitable for multiple infusions. How is this done? Meaning multiple pots of tea in the same sitting or letting the tea dry and reusing it another day?

User avatar
Mar 29th 09 6:24 pm
Posts: 2085
Joined: Mar 15th 06 10:43 pm

by MarshalN » Mar 29th 09 6:24 pm

Tetsubin will be pretty good at soaking up the heat initially when they're not preheated, so I'd suggest pouring hot boiling water in it and all the cups and then pour it out as the way to preheat.

The answer to your second question is dependent on what kind of leaves it is, but in general, I'd pour water over leaves.

Multiple infusions means using the leaves more than once in the same sitting. Drying it and reusing it might work, but is generally not done. Since there's an infuser basket, what I'd do is this: pour hot water in, brew till desired strength, pull infuser out and put it on a dish, and then when you're finished with your first pot of tea, put the infuser back in and then pour water in again to re-steep. If you leave the basket in it will contiually soak the leaves and all you get is some really strong and potentially nasty tasting tea.

BTW, where did you get your tetsubin from?

Mar 29th 09 6:26 pm
Posts: 515
Joined: Dec 26th 08 11:21 pm
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Atlanta, GA

by bsteele » Mar 29th 09 6:26 pm

Nice to have you at TeaChat :)


I'm going to assume your tetsubin has an enamel lining in it. The one I has does, so I'll go over how I use it and hopefully it'll cover your questions. Also, what size did you get?

1) I preheat. I pour boiling water in, let it sit for a bit until it is nice and hot and then I'll pour that water into my drinking vessels to get those warm. If you don't preheat, A LOT of heat is sucked up by the cold pot-- so when go to brew your tea, you'll instantly loose 20+ degrees (F)... no good.

2) I put the infuser basket in with the leaves then pour my water over that. I don't think it makes that big of a difference though.

3) Can be in the same sitting... or you can wait some- though I've never waited to the point where the leaves dry out again.

User avatar
Mar 29th 09 7:59 pm
Posts: 21658
Joined: Apr 23rd 06 12:52 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

by Chip » Mar 29th 09 7:59 pm

Pretty much what has been already said. Additionally ...

If you are brewing a deep steamed sencha (fukamushi) with lots of fine particals, I would put the water into the tetsubin, then the infuser with leaves into the water. Otherwise you will likely have toooo much particle get through the infuser.

Also, temp sensitive, high quality sencha can be challenging to brew in a tetsubin do to the heat retention and difficulty in adjusting temp of the water in the tetsubin. They do work great for non heat sensitive Japanese teas like genmaicha and houjicha.

Often tetsubin are pretty large, too large for one person.

Mar 30th 09 2:49 am
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 29th 09 5:02 pm

by Tengu » Mar 30th 09 2:49 am

My pot is 46oz which I got from Teavana. Yeah I know they're expensive but they really do carry some great tea ware!

User avatar
Mar 30th 09 3:29 am
Posts: 2085
Joined: Mar 15th 06 10:43 pm

by MarshalN » Mar 30th 09 3:29 am

46oz is huge.

And yeah, Teavana is pretty $$$$$

User avatar
Mar 30th 09 4:04 am
Posts: 86
Joined: Feb 11th 09 4:46 pm
Location: Waterford, Michigan

by Odinsfury » Mar 30th 09 4:04 am

Yeah, 46oz is huge... I could have a tea party with all my dolls...err friends with one that big!

User avatar
Mar 30th 09 4:13 am
Posts: 21658
Joined: Apr 23rd 06 12:52 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

by Chip » Mar 30th 09 4:13 am

My 1 large tetsubin make great paperweights, the best looking and biggest paper weights ...

The other is the most handsome doorstop ever ...

:lol:

JK, but they do sit on a shelf as decoration unused for the last almost 10 years.

I use a small one for genmaicha like teas, not much else.

User avatar
Mar 30th 09 7:44 pm
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 5th 09 9:48 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

by hpulley » Mar 30th 09 7:44 pm

Purist answer:

As alluded to above the real answer is that you don't brew anything in a tetsubin, you simply boil the water in it which is why the enamel-lined ones that can't be used to boil water are not really that useful. Then you pour the water into a steeping vessel. Once it has been steeped for long enough, you pour into the drinking vessels. Since you are boiling the water in the tetsubin, there is obviously no need to pre-heat it but in addition to pouring hot water into the steeping vessel, you may pour leftover hot water from the tetsubin into the drinking (or storing/pouring) vessel to pre-heat them which you'll obviously discard into a kensui before you pour the steeped tea.

For sencha, you pour the hot water from the tetsubin by holding the handle with your right hand and your left hand (protected by a chakin or fukusa) holding the lid closed while pouring (it should be open for heating and opened again when tea is over). For matcha, you hold the handle with your left hand and the lid with your right (again, protected by a cloth).

Non-purist answer:

Sure, lined or unlined, a tetsubin can be used like any old teapot: pre-heat the tetsubin with hot water, discard. Then throw the leaves in first, hot water next. Don't use a basket infuser please as the leaves won't be able to steep properly. Pour out into drinking or storage vessels or else the green tea will oversteep and become bitter. Heck, some Japanese used to cook rice in their tetsubins so why not tea? Rice and tea is good too! Yes, that's genmaicha.

You can pre-heat your tea cups too but I never do.

For multiple infusions I only reuse it the same day. After it has redried I'm afraid it would be an uncleanable mess so I never leave them around for another day.

Harry

Apr 1st 09 2:02 am
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 29th 09 5:02 pm

by Tengu » Apr 1st 09 2:02 am

Good info. Thanks everybody!

User avatar
Apr 1st 09 3:06 am
Posts: 1308
Joined: May 10th 08 11:22 pm
Location: Kentucky

by kymidwife » Apr 1st 09 3:06 am

I have 2 enamel-lined tetsubin... one of them I use almost daily. It holds maybe 20 oz. max, and I don't usually fill it all the way. It's great when used properly for the right kind of teas... mostly I use mine for blacks and darjeelings, never greens or oolongs.

Mostly for my blacks and darjeelings, I use which ever pot is clean and ready... tetsubin, glass pot, white porcelain pot, or glazed kyusu. :D

Sarah

Aug 29th 19 9:03 pm
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 29th 19 8:34 pm

Re:

by psoque » Aug 29th 19 9:03 pm

hpulley wrote: Purist answer:

As alluded to above the real answer is that you don't brew anything in a tetsubin, you simply boil the water in it which is why the enamel-lined ones that can't be used to boil water are not really that useful. Then you pour the water into a steeping vessel. Once it has been steeped for long enough, you pour into the drinking vessels. Since you are boiling the water in the tetsubin, there is obviously no need to pre-heat it but in addition to pouring hot water into the steeping vessel, you may pour leftover hot water from the tetsubin into the drinking (or storing/pouring) vessel to pre-heat them which you'll obviously discard into a kensui before you pour the steeped tea.

For sencha, you pour the hot water from the tetsubin by holding the handle with your right hand and your left hand (protected by a chakin or fukusa) holding the lid closed while pouring (it should be open for heating and opened again when tea is over). For matcha, you hold the handle with your left hand and the lid with your right (again, protected by a cloth).

Non-purist answer:

Sure, lined or unlined, a tetsubin can be used like any old teapot: pre-heat the tetsubin with hot water, discard. Then throw the leaves in first, hot water next. Don't use a basket infuser please as the leaves won't be able to steep properly. Pour out into drinking or storage vessels or else the green tea will oversteep and become bitter. Heck, some Japanese used to cook rice in their tetsubins so why not tea? Rice and tea is good too! Yes, that's genmaicha.

You can pre-heat your tea cups too but I never do.

For multiple infusions I only reuse it the same day. After it has redried I'm afraid it would be an uncleanable mess so I never leave them around for another day.

Harry
I know it is traditional to use the tetsubin for boiling water and nothing else, I wanted to know what could go wrong if we steep tea inside an uncoated traditional tetsubin. I'm asking this because I have seen a few Japanese websites are starting to sell uncoated smaller-size tetsubin as kyusu (tea brewing teapot), touting that the tea will taste better and you can still use the electric pot (something very common in Japan) to boil water.

Naoyuki