Originating in China centuries ago, cast iron teapots eventually made their way to Japan where their design and quality were further enhanced, firmly establishing them as household necessities. Traditionally, they were intended for sitting over open fires and heating water, but are now mostly used just for holding tea due to the addition of an internal black enamel glaze. The fragility of this glaze prevents cast iron pots from being used as kettles, but provides excellent protection from the development of rust, thus prolonging their lifetime.
Cast iron pots are renowned for keeping tea warm for long periods of time. The cast iron provides even heat distribution which is ideal for brewing tea and holding heat. To get the best out of your cast iron pot here are a few rules to follow...
Before using your cast iron teapot for the first time:
- Thoroughly rinse the teapot with hot water.
- While the teapot is still warm, dry the teapot inside and out with a dry cloth.
When using your teapot always note the following:
- Use the cast iron teapot to brew tea, not as a stove-top kettle. The enamel lining is fragile and could be damaged.
- Never use in a microwave oven.
- Do not scrub the teapot with abrasive pads or use any detergents, simply rinse it with water ONLY and wipe it dry after each use.
- Do not leave any tea or water in the teapot for long periods of time. Always wipe the outside with a dry cloth while the teapot is still warm.
- Do not expose the teapot to salt or oil.
- Never use a dishwasher to clean it.
- Never suddenly cool the teapot when it is still warm.
- The inside of the teapot is glazed, so choose kitchen utensils that do not scratch the glaze; by doing so you will be assured years of enjoyment from your teapot.
The ornate appearance of most cast iron teapots means they also make gorgeous statement pieces, and in turn become so much more than just practical implements for brewing tea.