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Cast Iron Teapot

by Nobie381 » Mar 9th 11 2:58 am

Hi all, I am new to the world of serious tea enthusiasts. I have alway loved tea, a few cups at work daily and some in the evening with dinner and to relax (just bought over priced teas in the bags). :)
I have been thinking for some time about buying a nice teapot to make tea and this evening walked into a new store in the area, Teavana. They were very nice products but seemed over price, 170.00 for a 48oz cast iron teapot. I was told a full set for 600.00. (Really!?!?!?!)
I am wondering are cast iron pots worth the money (probably would not go with that store, a bit over priced).
I read some people saying they are not good and others saying they are the best but no one gives personal experience so it sounds like they are regurgitating things they were told or read. I would like some actual insight to help make my decision.

Thank you in advance...

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Mar 9th 11 4:08 am
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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by TomVerlain » Mar 9th 11 4:08 am

There are enamel lined tea kettles for brewing, and unlined tea kettles for boiling water.

You might want to pair your type of tea to the right type of tea ware for best results.

What type of tea do you want to brew ?

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Mar 9th 11 6:02 am
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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by MarshalN » Mar 9th 11 6:02 am

For the love of god, don't buy those things from Teavana. They're extremely overpriced for what they are.

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by Rayuela » Mar 9th 11 10:45 am

If you post on here, you are quite likely to be issued with instructions to buy 15 different yixing teapots in different clays or suffer eternal damnation...

but to be honest, you will do just fine with a smallish (8-12oz) porcelain teapot for ten bucks or so and a range of different teas you can then try in small quantities. Or if you fancy something more exotic, a gaiwan (a small chinese lidded cup used for brewing teas - also a few bucks). Then you can see what you like and go from there, or not.

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by Proinsias » Mar 9th 11 1:34 pm

Something like the Adagio IngenuiTEA might be worth a look for getting started with loose leaf. Other options would be a small teapot as mentioned or maybe a gaiwan.

I'd avoid cast iron, at least at this stage.

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by MarshalN » Mar 9th 11 6:26 pm

Rayuela wrote:If you post on here, you are quite likely to be issued with instructions to buy 15 different yixing teapots in different clays or suffer eternal damnation...

but to be honest, you will do just fine with a smallish (8-12oz) porcelain teapot for ten bucks or so and a range of different teas you can then try in small quantities. Or if you fancy something more exotic, a gaiwan (a small chinese lidded cup used for brewing teas - also a few bucks). Then you can see what you like and go from there, or not.
Not necessarily, but for $600 he can, indeed, buy a dozen pots with impunity, all of reasonable quality too.

Basically, avoid Teavana.

I'm not sure if I'd second the ingenuiTEA, mostly because it's a plastic contraption and plastic eventually absorbs tea smells/stains.

A gaiwan is by far the most versatile among all the options.

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by tortoise » Mar 9th 11 6:33 pm

TomVerlain wrote:

What type of tea do you want to brew ?
That is the important question. But porcelain or enameled iron will be fine for brewing just about anything at first. I agree that you can find complimentary tea ware in other places for less money than teavana.

Where? Anywhere. A google search for iron teapot will give you a couple hours worth of gazing.

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by Nathaniel87 » Mar 9th 11 7:34 pm

The real reason you want to avoid those cast iron enameled pots from Teavana is that despite being extremely over-priced and far too large for any more expensive teas, the cast iron "soaks up" a ton of heat. This is something that they might try to actually advertise by saying it keeps the tea hot for longer, but if you are brewing correctly I can't imagine ever needing to keep tea hot in the pot for that long. Also, unless you filled it once with boiling water before brewing the pot would absorb a great deal of the heat from your water (which is why it would get skin blisteringly hot) which would lead the temperature of the water in the pot to drop too quickly and lead to an uneven brew.

I fell for one of those very pots a few years ago before giving it away and buying a nice starter gaiwan

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by Chip » Mar 9th 11 7:58 pm

The very good tetsubin teapots (Iwachu) I purchased as a newbie 12 years ago have made excellent shelf decorations. :roll: They are simply not practical for daily use IMHO and based upon my personal experience.

Too big
Hard to regulate temps
Small infuser basket
Nice eye candy, but not practical
Teavana's are also way overpriced fr the generally lower quality. You won't be getting Iwachu brand for instance from Teavana, but you will pay more for an inferior product.

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by tortoise » Mar 9th 11 8:10 pm

I have an enameled pot that was purchased in chinatown, NYC, 10 or 11 years ago and while I used it initially for greens and oolongs, I've since dedicated it to commercial grade black teas and flavored black teas. The heat is not really an issue for me. I do usually pre-heat the iron pot and it does get hot, but it's boiling water after all, and these black teas I drink call for long brew times. The handle never gets hot. I've never burned myself on it or completely ruined tea because the pot robbed too much heat from the water.

You said you are relatively new to tea, so take it slow and easy and allow yourself the time to discover the teas you like and the methods you prefer to brew them. Enameled Iron is not ideal for every tea, but they will not kill you, or your tea, so if it's iron you want, go for it -- just don't buy it from teavana because they exist to sucker newbies. It's their mission.

There are plenty of 8 to 20oz pots online available for about half of what teavana charges. (Who needs a 48oz teapot? Sheesh)

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by Chip » Mar 9th 11 8:17 pm

tortoise wrote:(Who needs a 48oz teapot? Sheesh)
A newbie of course. :mrgreen:

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Re: Cast Iron Teapot

by karmaplace » Mar 10th 11 1:44 am

Chip wrote:The very good tetsubin teapots (Iwachu) I purchased as a newbie 12 years ago have made excellent shelf decorations. :roll: They are simply not practical for daily use IMHO and based upon my personal experience.
Ditto, but mine gets used on freezing winter days when I'm up for drinking the same tea all day and night without running back and forth for water. (It allows me to stay curled up in my blanket.) :lol:

I started out with a 16oz porcelain Japanese beehouse pot (it was a gift). At the time, I thought it was great. The longer I've been drinking tea, however, the more I realize even that is not practical, especially if I want to get a lot of infusions out of my leaves. Even when my boyfriend and I share it, it's just entirely too much tea to drink between infusions.

Porcelain and glazed teaware are good for all types of tea. I heard glass teapots can be good too (though I don't own any). I would recommend getting something no larger than about 10oz (if you drink alone, I think 7-8oz is ideal), so you can make multiple infusions and get the most out of your leaves.

And don't buy anything at Teavana! :D Cast iron teapots are very pretty, but they're definitely not meant for daily use and multiple infusions.