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Jun 21st, '09, 15:35
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Tetsubin quality

by clareandromeda » Jun 21st, '09, 15:35

I was out of work for awhile this year on disabilty and didn't get paid for months...long story short due to contractural stuff I just got a unexpected $1000 bonus! I want to buy a tetsubin and am wondering the issues in price range. Some sites have tetsubins for $50 (enjoying tea) and then there are sites like Artistic Nippon that have prices ranging from $50 up and then there is Hojo tea thats cheapest model is $223 dollars. Why the range? I am willing to spend a few hundred bucks, but is it worth it? I want the "softer taste" and a visualing pleasing piece. Is there an issue with the quality of iron?

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Jun 21st, '09, 15:42
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by scruffmcgruff » Jun 21st, '09, 15:42

Are you buying it to use as a teapot or a kettle? The more expensive ones from Japanese vendors are probably kettles. Actually, I think all the tetsubin at AN are kettles. Don't forget that you will pay an arm and a leg for shipping from Japan, too-- these things are cast iron, after all.

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Jun 21st, '09, 15:57
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by clareandromeda » Jun 21st, '09, 15:57

I want a kettle Sometime I use my grandmothers cast iron frying pan and I think my wrist is going to break during pouring and it's quite messy. Other times I use a kitchen pot. The "soft" water that comes from the tetsubin sounds so delicious. Unfortunantly (I don't believe I'd ever say this) I have a gas stove. so I know there are tetsubin issues with that.. whats a newly flush with cash girl to do?

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Jun 21st, '09, 16:14
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by brandon » Jun 21st, '09, 16:14

Buy a Waring cast iron electric hot plate from Amazon for $50.

An unlined tetsubin kettle will cost at least $400, Hojo is a good source. Plenty of threads here already on them.

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Jun 21st, '09, 16:46
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by clareandromeda » Jun 21st, '09, 16:46

I read the Hojo threads, I'm more interested in finding out about iron quality issues.

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by scruffmcgruff » Jun 21st, '09, 16:59

brandon wrote:An unlined tetsubin kettle will cost at least $400
Several kettles here are less than 400, some are in the 100-150 range (including shipping).

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Jun 21st, '09, 17:34
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by brandon » Jun 21st, '09, 17:34

The price gaps are for a few reasons, the first is lined and unlined - this has been hashed out in a million threads. The $50 tetsubins at AN are lined and not intended for use on any kind of serious heat source. Will not influence the taste of water.

Prices go up very quickly with the size of the kettle.

Also there is a wide range in quality of manufacture. Iwachu (the cheapest) kettles are mass produced in much the same manner as the $50 one. The iron is probably ok. Many of the kettles on Hojo are made in artisan shops with old methods and priced accordingly.

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Jun 21st, '09, 18:29
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by clareandromeda » Jun 21st, '09, 18:29

brandon wrote: The $50 tetsubins at AN are lined and not intended for use on any kind of serious heat source. Will not influence the taste of water.

.
according to AN they are unlined..
"The kettles shown here do not have enamel coated interiors and are not suitable for brewing tea. They are suitable for use over a naked flame, on gas and electric rings and have been specially treated to resist rust ( although care still needs to be taken and water should not be left in the kettle)."

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Jun 21st, '09, 18:42
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by brandon » Jun 21st, '09, 18:42

http://artisticnippon.com/product/iwachu/arare5.html

http://artisticnippon.com/product/iwach ... kyusu.html

Interesting - no picture of the inside of the first, but I guess the first one really is unlined. Never noticed one this size and with a brew basket before without lining.

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Jun 21st, '09, 19:54
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by scruffmcgruff » Jun 21st, '09, 19:54

The second link you posted is from their tetsubin teapot section, which I'm guessing is lined. The ones in the top section of the page I linked are unlined, at least according to AN (though I can't imagine they would get away with it if they weren't. I know Hobbes has one of them).

The basket thing is weird, I'm not quite sure why they put that in there. Maybe to show that it could be used for either purpose? Strange since they also say not to use the unlined ones for brewing.

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Jun 21st, '09, 20:14
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by chingwa » Jun 21st, '09, 20:14

careful... those two links are misleading. the bottom link is definitely lined, but the top one would also be unsuitable. even if it's "unlined" it's highly probably that it is treated on the inside with an anti-rust material, similar to the outside.

there will be no positive effect on the water by boiling it in a "tetsubin" unless the interior iron has been chemically reduced (FE3 to FE2). It's this reduced iron that in turn changes the water... the color of the interior would be the tale tell sign (medium grey with a tinge of blue), I wouldn't even think of buying one unless you can verify the interior, or trust where it's coming from.

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Jun 21st, '09, 20:37
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by MarshalN » Jun 21st, '09, 20:37

Brandon, there's no way you need to spend $400 on one before you can get a decent unlined one. All of mine that are unlined have cost under $200, and they all work just fine. I can also find new ones at around the same price, as some others have pointed out already.

The first thing the OP needs to decide is whether s/he needs a new or used one, that will determine where the sources of such tetsubins are.

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Jun 21st, '09, 20:48
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by brandon » Jun 21st, '09, 20:48

Show me a used tetsubin in good shape for under $200 via PayPal... and I will purchase tomorrow.

Thanks in advance!

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Jun 21st, '09, 22:16
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by MarshalN » Jun 21st, '09, 22:16

That depends a lot on your definition of good :)

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Jun 21st, '09, 22:27
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by MarshalN » Jun 21st, '09, 22:27

Heck, why go for an old one when you can find a new one that's unlined?

http://www.artisticnippon.com/product/i ... ettle.html

It didn't take too long to go through all of them.

There are other sources, including those from Japan, but that'll require a little more work.

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