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Japanese Tetsubins

by toastedtoads » Dec 1st 08 3:04 am

Is there a particular type of tea that brews well in a tetsubin? I know traditionally they were the kettle and used to boil water, but with the new enamel-lined ones and it's heat-retaining ability...is there something in particular that does well in it? I'm assuming the extreme warmth would probably not be beneficial to green tea...but am I wrong?

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by shogun89 » Dec 1st 08 4:04 am

I own one and love it. It is a lined one. They hold heat incredibly well, especially if you preheat them. I haven't found a tea that they dont brew well. My first puerh was even brewed this way and I thought it was quite good, though I've moved on to yixing for those. But for black, white and greens it is great and I use it pretty much daily. I have this one. As you stated they work very well for green because of the heat retention just make absolutely sure you preheat it as when heating up the suck heat out of the water. Also if you put a blanket over it or something it will keep tea hot for a very long time.
http://www.teavana.com/Tea-Products/Tea ... Teapot.axd

Teavana is usually known for their lack of quality teas but I am telling you this, there cast iron teapots are great, dont get turned away by the high price, they will serve a lifetime.

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by Chip » Dec 1st 08 5:17 am

As much as I love mine (lined), I never use them as teapots. I do use them as pitchers like a fair cup for sencha occasionally. This would follow your logic Toastedtoads since I drink mostly green teas, Japanese.

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by odarwin » Dec 1st 08 5:26 am

tetsubins are really a very interesting topic, specially for those who still dont own one...

id really like to see how people use their tetsubins, specifically on how they boil water in it... do you use induction plates? if so, there would be a limited range of kettles you can use as not all tetsubins base are made flat right?

also, does anyone here use those coil burner thing? i saw some on a jap on line site and its very interesting... i think it just functions like an induction plate, except that all tetsubins can be used with the coil heater... right?

does anyone have links or know of on-line shops with english that do sell those coil heaters?

-darwin

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by trallis » Dec 1st 08 7:07 am

i have one of the enameled ones. it was my first teapot..
it seems like the real ones are very rare and usually alot more expensive. i'd love to have one though.

but as far as using mine.. its for any time i have a large group of people wanting tea, and i make blacks and oolongs with it. green and whites dont go well with it because it stays hot too long

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by Oni » Dec 1st 08 7:59 am

I think those ememeled tesubins with baskets are made for beginners who really don`t know nothing about tea, the whole thing is a joke. When I use the word tetsubin the only thing I mean is the real cast iron handmade japanese water heating device, if you want real one look at japanese vendors, but they are too pricy for me, there are the large ones for tea ceremony, and there are smaller ones for sencha do, and of course the legend, the silver tetsubin.

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by Selaphiel » Dec 1st 08 9:29 am

Got this Hisanori Masuda tetsubin:

Image

Don't use it a lot, except for some black teas. But it is a beauty and mine stands on a matching cast iron stand :lol:

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by MarshalN » Dec 1st 08 2:42 pm

Actually, all tetsubins I've seen have flat bottom. It seems to be the norm -- you can't stand the thing flat on the floor/table if it's not flat bottomed, and that's really not a good idea if it's filled with hot water, so all tetsubins, it seems, are flat bottomed.

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by Cinnabar Red » Dec 1st 08 4:14 pm

When you ask "brews well", do you mean makes a nice cup of tea, or a spectacular cup of tea?

Before Sal taught me how to make gyokuro in a flat "pot" called a shiboridashi, I prepared the tea in a tetsibin. Nice cup I thought. But not spectacular compared to the Sal method.

I will occasionally use the tetsubin to make a pleasant light cup of gyokuro. It does well with Netto Gyokuro, but not with others I've tried. I love using the pot for its looks and feel. And I don't get the caffeine overload. You also get more ounces of tea.

I imagine if you tailor the way tea is prepared to accomodate the fact that your using a cast iron pot you should be able to get a nice cup of tea out of it.

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by Oni » Dec 1st 08 4:55 pm

You really must have no idea about gyokuro.

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by Chip » Dec 1st 08 6:01 pm

Oni wrote:You really must have no idea about gyokuro.
Need I remind you we are all here to ask questions and learn. And sometimes share insight and hopefully inspiration to others along our own TeaJourneys.

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by battra » Dec 1st 08 7:17 pm

MarshalN wrote:Actually, all tetsubins I've seen have flat bottom. It seems to be the norm -- you can't stand the thing flat on the floor/table if it's not flat bottomed, and that's really not a good idea if it's filled with hot water, so all tetsubins, it seems, are flat bottomed.
Actually, a tetsubin can be standing on the table even if it's not flat bottomed!

My dad bought a tetsubin in the seventies, which has a thin ring extruded along the edge of the bottom, so only this ring is in contact with the surface it is standing on.
I don't know how common this is, but it is made by Iwachu - the biggest tetsubin maker.
If you heat it on a gas stove, this is not a problem, and I guess most people used gas then - as far as I know most people in Japan still use gas for cooking food.

Anyway, when I was looking at a few japanese sites selling tetsubin, most of their items were marked "good for use with induction plates".
odarwin wrote: id really like to see how people use their tetsubins, specifically on how they boil water in it... do you use induction plates?
I use the hot plates of a normal electric stove, which works fine - for me it takes about seven minutes to heat 0.7 litres of water to the boil, but this will of course vary with things like plate effect, tetsubin bottom area, tetsubin weight,...

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by shogun89 » Dec 1st 08 8:32 pm

Oni wrote:I think those ememeled tesubins with baskets are made for beginners who really don`t know nothing about tea, the whole thing is a joke. When I use the word tetsubin the only thing I mean is the real cast iron handmade japanese water heating device, if you want real one look at japanese vendors, but they are too pricy for me, there are the large ones for tea ceremony, and there are smaller ones for sencha do, and of course the legend, the silver tetsubin.
Have to disagree with you on that. The first ones as you stated were unlined for heating water only but then the Japanese Decided to take the pot and add a basket to them for use of brewing their sencha. So its not really a joke. . . .

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by orguz » Dec 2nd 08 12:39 am

Try reading this, it describes pretty much what one needs to know regarding heating and taking care of Tetsubins. Informative and helpful imo, I followed their advice on rustproofing :P http://hojotea.com/categ_e/tetsubin.htm

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by Cinnabar Red » Dec 2nd 08 1:01 am

Thanks for the link. It's very interesting and enjoyable.