What's better than brewing and enjoying tea the original way? Nothing, right?
Cast iron tea sets have been around for a few centuries and for all the right reasons. Made of pure cast iron, these tea sets have the special ability to keep tea warm for hours after brewing. And along with being highly functional, they make up for some of the most beautiful pieces too!
So if you're ready to learn all there is about a cast iron tea set, you should keep reading. Here is everything you need to know before you buy a traditional cast iron tea set:
Where did Cast Iron Tea Sets Originate from?
Cast iron tea sets have been found in recorded history, dating as far back as the 17th Century. And if you're wondering what part of the world was using a cast iron tea set back then, it's the Iwate region in Japan!
Back then, cast iron tea sets were used because of their heat-holding capacity. The teapots would stay very warm for a long time after being used, which meant people could save up on firewood and kindling.
Hence, a cast iron tea set became one of the most popular products in the region.
Locals would boil water in the cast iron teapot for cooking in the morning. Once it was poured out, the pot would remain warm till the afternoon. That way, the Japanese would enjoy hot tea in the afternoon without having to light a fire again.
How do Cast Iron Tea Sets Work?
Now, of course, you're wondering how they stay warm for so long. And how does the whole process work? We're here to explain the science behind a seemingly simple tea set!
Cast iron itself is a dense material with a very high thermal mass. So when you heat cast iron, it absorbs and stores a significant amount of heat energy, maintaining a high temperature for hours - depending on the amount of heat it was given.
Cast iron is also a poor conductor of heat. And so despite absorbing a lot of heat very quickly, it doesn't transfer that heat to its external surroundings. Instead, it holds onto the heat and keeps the contents of the teapot warm for a long time!
Cast iron teapots also come with a functionally smart lid design that traps heat inside the pot. Again, this ensures that the teapot can stay warmer for longer.
And that's how cast iron tea sets work to keep tea warm.
How to use a Cast Iron Tea Set?
Preparing tea in a cast iron tea set is a graceful, practical, and simple process. Here is how to brew tea in a cast iron tea set at home:
1. Pick your favorite type of tea leaves. Cast iron tea sets were traditionally limited to preparing only green teas, but you can brew any type of tea you want! So, you can brew black, oolong, ginger, white, or tisane tea too!
2. Next, you should heat your cast iron teapot by adding hot water to it directly. Do not put the cast iron teapot on the stove. Instead, boil water separately on the stove in another utensil and convert it into the teapot once it boils.
3. Let the boiling water sit in the cast iron teapot for 10 minutes. Then, tip it all out via the spout and drain it. This water is not being used to make the tea. Instead, it has now cleaned and heated up the teapot.
4. Now, measure the amount of tea leaves you'll need. The usual measurement is having 1 teaspoon of your favorite tea leaves per 8 ounces of water. Put the tea leaves in the infuser basket within your teapot.
5. Now you want to add fresh water into your warm teapot and steep your tea directly into the teapot.
6. Serve your tea to guests and other tea enthusiasts or enjoy the deliciously warm beverage yourself! You can remove the infuser to make sure you don't over-steep your tea.
How to Clean a Cast Iron Tea Set?
As it says in the name, Japanese cast iron tea sets are made from iron. That means they're quick to rust if you don't care to properly clean it after every use. But it's easy to properly clean and protect your cast iron tea set!
After each use, make sure to let your tea set cool down first. Then, you should rinse it and wash it properly with warm water.
When you are washing it, refrain from using dishwashing detergents or other soapy cleaners on the tea set because it can damage the iron and enamel.
When your tea set is properly cleaned, you should dry it with a towel or some other absorbent yet soft fabric. Can you put a cast iron teapot on the stove?
The answer to this depends on the type of cast iron teapot you have. Many cast iron tea sets produced in the West feature an enamel coating on the interior and exterior.
You should not be putting these types of teapots on the stove because it would dissolve within the tea, and release toxic fumes which is dangerous.
However, traditional Japanese cast iron tea sets are made from pure cast iron with no artificial coatings and can be safely put on the stove.
We highly recommend checking in with your pot's manufacturing company or the local tea store if you're not sure about this matter!
Benefits of Using Cast Iron Tea Sets
A high quality and real cast iron tea set can improve the water quality inside and enhance the mellow and taste of tea.
As cast iron tea set can release trace iron ions and absorb chloride ions in water, so the boiled water is softer, sweeter and tastes better than spring water. Brew tea by cast iron tea set, the tea soup is better than normal teapot, extraction of natural nutrients in tea.
The heat conduction is uniform when heating by cast iron tea set, the bottom and all around are being heated, so the temperature can be fully raised in short time and keep the water warmer longer.
Pig iron will release rich second-order iron ions when the water boils in cast iron teapot, which can supplement the iron needed by the human body. Usually, we take the third-order iron from food, and the our body can only absorb 4-5%, while the second-order iron ions can be absorbed by the our body is about 15%.
There are about 68 processes in the manufacturing process of the cast iron tea sets. It takes two months from the initial design to the completion of half of the finished product. Each cast iron tea set is worth collecting.
It is originated in ancient China, and then populated in Japan. In recent years, with the Chinese folk craft and traditional processing have become more and more elaborate,the series of Cast Iron Tea Set are also becoming more diverse, various and colorful. At the same time, its processing tend to be perfect. In addition, The Cast Iron Tea Set is very popular in Europe, the United States and southeast Asia. As its perfectly blended with the"Chinese Gongfu tea culture" based on historical background with modern health concept of "iron": An iron pot with the style of simplicity and elegant plus a cup of sweet tea plus an iron powder added, which is undoubtedly a Cast Iron Tea Set with the concept of "environmental protection - green - health."
Take Care of Cast Iron Tea Sets
1. The surface of Cast Iron Tea Set mainly adopt archaize processing layer coated with full color or silvery, bronze polishing and etc. As its need about 300 degrees treatment after archaize processing layer, the layer may have the phenomenon with mild floating color. So in the process, please pay more attention to point as following:
a. Can't use hard objects to rub its surface, otherwise, the coating color would be damaged.
b. The color of the coating own a heavy metal content detection qualified certificate, issued by International testing center SGS and INTERTEK. It is absolutely harmless to the human body.
c. The coating color of teapot will be more solid and brightness, if you could wash it with ten times and then dry with a soft cloth.
2. Black enamel technology is adopted in processing the inside of Cast Iron Tea Set, which not only has the effect in anti-rust and also have a few of benefits as following:
a. In the process of boiling or brewing tea, iron teapot could breaks down the elements of Fe2 +, which is doublet to increase the carrier of human hemoglobin, providing iron to the human body people needed. Very suitable for the anemia crowd with iron deficiency.
b. If you could use Cast Iron Tea Set in long-term, which can adjust central nervous, achieve smoothing effect, and also balance the endocrine system.
Where to buy the Best Cast Iron Tea Set?
Every cast iron tea set is worth collecting, especially when it's as beautiful as our selection! At Umi Tea Sets, you can find stunning Japanese cast iron tea sets, each more beautiful than the next.
From minimalistic and simple tea sets to Dragon designs and induction cookers, there's something for everyone. After all, our goal is to make tea-making the authentic experience it should be.
Check out our collection of traditional cast iron tea sets here!