When people buy cast iron teapot, one of the first questions they ask is;
Can you use cast iron teapot on Stove? The simple answer to this question is NO. Why? Because most cast iron teapots have an enamel coating, which means that when on a stove, the enamel might crack and leak iron into your tea, which will interfere with its flavor. Besides, when enamel cracks, your teapot will begin to rust.
Cast iron teapot is made by pouring molten iron into casts and molding the results. This teapot works on induction thanks to its magnetic nature. However, it is also brittle and can warp when exposed to excessive heat. On top of this, it can rust when exposed to too much moisture, especially when it has cracks on its coating.
A less-serious problem of cast iron teapot is that it leaches iron into your tea, especially when the enamel layer is chipped due to scratches or excessive heat, thereby interfering with its flavor.
To combat most of these drawbacks, cast iron is sometimes layered with enamel. The enamel coating protects the teapot from rust and leaching iron into tea. However, this enamel is brittle, and thus high thermal temperatures will cause cracks and chips, especially in poor-quality enamel. This is the main reason you should not use cast iron teapot on a stove.
When to Save or Throw Away a Burnt Cast Iron Teapot
If you accidentally or unknowingly put your cast iron teapot on a stove and the inner enamel layer gets chipped or damaged, there are a few things you can do before you decide if it is worth being used for brewing tea or for decoration.
As we mentioned earlier, most of the cast iron teapots have an enamel coating that prevents iron from leaching into your tea. This is the main reason they should not be placed under direct heat.
Once burnt or scorched, a teapot may lose its functionality since it may start interfering with your tea flavor. If it is not overly chipped or burnt, give it a thorough cleaning and then fill it with tea leaves and boiling water. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes before discarding the tea. Rinse the teapot with warm water. The tannic acid in loose leaf tea reacts with rust and iron on the chipped area to form a natural seal. However, this will only happen if the coating is not overly damaged.
If the teapot is beyond repair, get a new one and use the older one as a decoration in your kitchen. There are many teapot options in the market at the moment; you just need to spot the right replacement.
So, What Is the Safest Method of Using a Cast Iron Teapot?
Traditional Japanese cast iron teapots not only offer a better way of serving tea but can also double as a decorative piece. To make the most of this vintage teapot, here are a few tips that will help you brew loose leaf tea the right way.
As mentioned earlier, most of the cast iron teapots made for the western market have an enamel coating on their Interior and thus can be used to brew different types of loose leaf tea.
Let’s generally talk about brewing loose leaf tea in a cast iron teapot;
- Warm your teapot by adding warm water. This reduces chances of the enamel surface getting thermal shock and also prevent instances of lowering your water temperature
- Pour out the warming water and place the right amount of your preferred loose leaf tea in the infuser or pot
- Pour hot water to the teapot and cover the teapot with a lid
- Allow your tea to steep for a few minutes before you sieve and drink it
NOTE- Never use your teapot to boil water for your tea. Your teapot should only be used for brewing tea.
How Do You Keep a Teapot Hot?
If you don’t intend to serve your tea immediately after brewing, use a teapot warmer. A teapot warmer comprises a raised housing for a tea light candle. They produce gentle heat, which helps keep your tea warm.
Are There Health Benefits of Using Cast Iron Teapots?
No. There is a belief that a traditional cast iron teapot releases some iron into your tea, thereby improving its flavor. However, virtually all the modern cast iron teapots come with an enamel coating. This means that it doesn’t leach any iron into your tea.
Therefore, there are no health benefits associated with steeping tea in cast iron teapots, but there are several benefits that cast iron teapots offers, which we will look into in the next point.
Related Article: Everything About the Japanese Cast Iron Teapot (Tetsubin)
Why Should I Use Cast Iron Teapot to Steep My Tea?
There are many reasons to use cast iron teapot;
Preferred majorly because of their visual appeal rather than practicality, cast iron teapots can act as a great ornament and add to your décor. These teapots come in different shapes and colors and feature various decorative elements. You can get some with unique design elements including dragons, elephants, bamboo, blossoms, etc. Their unique design makes drinking tea experience amazing.
- Great steeping method
Although you should not set cast iron teapots directly on your stove, you can steep your tea in them. You just need to add loose leaf tea into your pot and fill the teapot with hot water about 2/3 full. Your tea will steep with a few minutes and should be ready to be served.
Some teapots do not have an enamel coating, which means they absorb some of the flavors in tea. Therefore, you may want to designate teapots for different teas to avoid mixing the flavors.
You probably have a ceramic, stoneware, glass, bone china, or Zisha clay teapot that is missing a handle, lid, spout, or is chipped. With cast iron teapot, it can survive virtually anything, except being placed on direct flame.
If taken good care of, you can use a cast iron teapot for many years without it chipping or getting broken. These teapots are easy to wash up with warm water.
When you use a cast iron teapot to steep and serve tea, you will be carrying on a tradition of steeping tea the right way. Cast iron teapots enable you to appreciate every aspect of preparing and enjoying tea.
If you are an avid tea lover, you should get one or two cast iron teapots. These teapots offer a great tea preparation and serving experience.