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Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by FarmGal86 » Aug 15th 09 7:12 pm

Howdy All!

I am looking to order a cast iron teapot. I found several I like at Republicoftea.com and at teavana.com Which website offers better quality items? Who would you recommend I make this purchase through via your experience?

Thank ya kindly, :mrgreen:
FarmGal

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by wyardley » Aug 15th 09 7:15 pm

If you're looking something to brew tea in, I would suggest considering something other than cast iron to use as a teapot, probably something made of porcelain or glass.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by Chip » Aug 15th 09 7:31 pm

Yeah, what Wyardley said ... and clay teapots as well. Enameled interior cast iron would be my last choice for brewing most quality teas. Very hard to adjust/regulate the temp.

I personally would not give either of them that kind of cash for any of their products, just generally high priced.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by FarmGal86 » Aug 15th 09 8:05 pm

I have a ceramic---but I would like the cast iron for day-to-day use b/c I heard it retains heat better (and longer) and I like hot tea. Most mornings I am not drinking the most high quality teas---just flavored blacks that I find tasty (for the caffeine).

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by Chip » Aug 15th 09 8:49 pm

FarmGal86 wrote:I have a ceramic---but I would like the cast iron for day-to-day use b/c I heard it retains heat better (and longer) and I like hot tea. Most mornings I am not drinking the most high quality teas---just flavored blacks that I find tasty (for the caffeine).
That heat retention is overrated unless you are looking for a kettle.

Heat retention can also work against you in a teapot. If the water stays too hot for too long, your tea can get bitter or just bad.

It is better to do frequent resteeps IMHO. Fresh tea is always better than something sitting around a while. And most loose leaf teas can be resteeped at least a few times or more.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by Rainy-Day » Aug 17th 09 6:17 am

Yeah, cast iron pots are almost completely useless, waste of money, space and time. Yes, even for cheap, simple teas. If you want to keep them heated, consider a teapot warmer with a candle, or one of those electric mug warmers, or one of those cheapo coffee makers where you'd make tea elsewhere and them pour in carafe and put it in coffee maker; You can also use a Zojirushi vacuum carafe.

Cast iron pots with enamel were never traditionally used in any tea drinking country AFAIK. In japan, non-enameled cast iron *kettles* were used to boil water (and they are actually very good for this purpose). The reason these pots are sold is that people don't know any better and these pots look nice and have a nice heavy feeling to them. People will more readily pay a high price for a heavy, solid iron pot that makes terrible tea than for a clay or glass pot that makes excellent tea. Unscrupulous merchants know this very well. That's pretty much the only reason they're sold at all.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by Jon_ATFEH » May 8th 10 3:16 am

Okay so heres to go ahead and end the talk from ppl who dont really know, yes cast iron is pricey, its because they are the best. They will keep your teas hot for extended periods of times as long as you pre-heat it by pouring hot water in first, everyone should know that cast iron keeps things at the temp. as the material itself is at cold cast iron= cold tea, hot cast iron= hot tea, you generally get 1-2 hrs of hot tea in them, And they also do brew a better cup of tea the distribution of heat in the actual brewing process allows for a more even brew, which give it more flavor. and the porcelain coating inside a good cast iron is there to absorb nutrients and minerals which in turn allow for a healthier cup of tea!!! Also why would you want glass if it breaks once the price to replace it is going to more than just investing in a good pot so save yourself 40$ get cast iron, I have seen nothing but success with mine. Oh and never heat your water in what you brew tea in releases tannins from teas and can kill healt and flavors!!! Buy a good kettle of water heater i highly recommend a zojirushi

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by TubbyCow » May 8th 10 4:41 pm

Jon_ATFEH wrote:the porcelain coating inside a good cast iron is there to absorb nutrients and minerals which in turn allow for a healthier cup of tea!!!
Let's assume for a moment the absorbing part is true... Wouldn't a teapot stealing nutrients from your tea make for a less healthy cup of tea?

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by TIM » May 8th 10 5:07 pm

Jon_ATFEH wrote:Okay so heres to go ahead and end the talk from ppl who dont really know, yes cast iron is pricey, its because they are the best. They will keep your teas hot for extended periods of times as long as you pre-heat it by pouring hot water in first, everyone should know that cast iron keeps things at the temp. as the material itself is at cold cast iron= cold tea, hot cast iron= hot tea, you generally get 1-2 hrs of hot tea in them...
hi Jon. Do you brew tea in cast iron pot directly? And we can keep the tea in it to keep hot for 1-2 hrs also? What kind of tea do you prefer for this method? Thanks ~ T

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by beachape » May 8th 10 5:59 pm

Such high heat retention is not necessarily a good thing for most teas. I don't use a tetsubin teapot but sometimes I will use a stainless steel vacuum thermos to brew/store tea on the go. Even if you take the tea out, the tea soup cooks in the water and will taste pretty bad in about 10 minutes. Heat retention can be fine for things like cooked puer, black teas, and maybe some herbal/fruit tinsanes . If you're making more delicate teas like green, white, oolong i would not recommend it.

Since the OP said that they are drinking black teas and she wants hot tea, a much cheaper option would be to get a thermos, or one of those coffee carafe's (brand new...not one that has been used for coffee) for about 10 bucks.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by debunix » May 8th 10 6:23 pm

I do not presently own a tetsubin--I bought one for purposes urelated to tea, found it did not work--and it was not very sturdy as the lid knob fell of after a short distance fall onto the floor--and have gotten rid of it. I never was inclined to use it for tea (I use gaiwans, glass teapots, a kamjove, and some cheapo 'yixings', FWIW).

As for the ability of any teapot to hold tea temperatures for 2 hours, well, I am not only skeptical, but I have cast iron and thermometers that say not so much. Took my 5 quart dutch oven, added 4 quarts of water, and brought it to a boil--211 degrees about 1 minute after turning off the heat, lid temp 205 by the infrared temp gun. After 1 hour, with room temp about 74 degrees, it's down to 150 degrees, inside and out. That's not too bad, still hot enough to be pleasant to drink. But....that's 4 quarts of water in a 5 quart dutch oven, with a heck of a lot more thermal mass than any ordinary tetsubin. I find it hard to imagine a tetsubin keeping tea above lukewarm after one hour, let alone two.

My thermos does much better, but even there, the deterioration that was mentioned above definitely occurs--white and green teas really develop quite noticeable more oxidized flavors after a couple of hours, seeming more oolong and black tea like. It's better than no tea when I can't be near my teakettle and gaiwans, but it's nowhere near as nice as fresh tea, however brewed.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by Geekgirl » May 8th 10 6:32 pm

I own 3 tetsubin teapots. (we're talking only about lined cast iron teaPOTS here, right?) One at work, and two here at the house. I use them all, although not as often as my other teapots. I think they work GREAT for brewing herbal "tea," since they stay hot for a long time, (and many herbals require an extended steep to extract flavor.) I also like them for quick brewing strong tea for making iced tea, and for strong but average quality teas, it's sometimes nice to be able to brew a large quantity, then keep it on flame for awhile.

That being said, I would never use a cast iron teapot for brewing fine teas. There's just not enough control possible, and I don't believe the material is an ideal match for most high quality teas.

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Re: Republic of Tea vs. Teavana Cast Iron Teapots

by Chip » May 8th 10 7:33 pm

Jon_ATFEH wrote:1) Okay so heres to go ahead and end the talk from ppl who dont really know, yes cast iron is pricey, its because they are the best.

2) And they also do brew a better cup of tea the distribution of heat in the actual brewing process allows for a more even brew, which give it more flavor.

3) and the porcelain coating inside a good cast iron is there to absorb nutrients and minerals which in turn allow for a healthier cup of tea!!!
:lol: I am not going to reply to this ... I am not going to reply to this ... I am not going to reply to this ...

I am going to reply to this.

1) Quite a bold first post, thank you for coming here and telling us "who dont really know ..." Bottom line, many of us have experience in brewing with tetsubins, and for actual tea, I do not think they are superior to other materials for brewing tea.

Pricey because "they are the best" ... this does not hold much logic. The best is not necessarily the most expensive. They require more expense to manufacture which directly affects the price. That said, there are many knock offs sold by places like Teavana and consumers are being gouged ... IMHO.

"most expensive" ... not really, but they are expensive.

2) I disagree.

3) They are lined with enamel which is a protective coating to prevent rust. Enamel does not absorb nutrients and minerals ... and even if it did, that would make for a less healthy cup.