Cast iron kettles or teapots have made their way into modern kitchens in a way no other utensil has. The marketing behind these tea making machines has been spot on, and the tea making wave is at its peak. So to those who haven't had the pleasure, cast iron teapots originated from China and have been on demand throughout the face of the earth. So what makes them this accessible? One, they are made from durable metal. These utensils can outlive almost everything in someone's kitchen and still go on stronger for years and years.
The material that makes them so unique is the type of iron used. It also makes for excellent thermal insulation, which is essential in making good grade tea. Its heat distribution qualities make it identical to a thermos since it keeps the drink at a constant temperature for a long time.
Much as the teapot is durable, it helps to keep it under care to give it some longevity. When cleaning the teapot, it helps to use specific techniques that are different from regular utensils. Most cast iron pots are sold with a protective coat to prevent rusting. The following steps will come in handy when it comes to iron teapot maintenance and care.
Cleaning a cast Iron Teapot
As stated earlier, the cast iron teapots require a different technique when it comes to cleaning it. The cleaning makes it longer lasting hence making you get the most out of it.
- Before you get to cleaning teapots, make sure that it is empty and give it time to cool off. This time allows the metal to shrink back to its original side and therefore makes for an easy wash.
- Rinse the teapot with some lukewarm water, and do not add any detergent or dishwashing soap while doing this.
- Avoid using rough pads while trying to clean the teapot. You don't want any scratching going on because once the inner coating gets exposed, rusting will be imminent and eventually destroying the teapot.
- When done rinsing, wipe the pot with a soft clean cloth. Make sure you get every part, especially the inside of the pot. You then proceed to wipe the outside of the teapot. Get to the shoulder and undercut parts ever so gently.
- Put it in an upside-down position somewhere that it can get a light breeze and allow it to air dry.
- During cleaning, some water can make bring in some rust. Specs of rust are imminent. The rusting can, however, can be remedied through a soft brush. Use it sparingly and gently. You want to keep the crust glowing.
- Fill the teapot with boiling water to the brim and add some tea leaves. Cover the teapot with its lid and let the tea leaves steep out for about half an hour. Get rid of the tea leaves and pour out the water from the pot. The tanning that is in the tea reacts with the rust forming a natural seal and prevents it from happening again. If you do this often, then you have yourself a lifelong kettle.
These other tips will come in handy while cleaning a cast iron teapot:
- Make it a habit to wash iron teapots through hand wash. Avoid habits like throwing it in a dishwasher. Dishwashers don't possess the type of care that human hands can give. Skill is critical to get every piece of surface clean and water-free.
- Dry the teapot thoroughly on both the inside and outside before storage. Make sure that not a speck of water gets left on the pot's surface. This exercise help in preventing rust formation.
- Avoid having the pot close to things such as oil or salt. These two are the most corrosive items found in most kitchens. Grease also tends to leave unattractive marks on the pot that can become permanent stains.
- NEVER leave the water or even the steeped tea leaf in that given pot for a very long time. The inner side of a particular teapot stains when little or no care is applied. It might also cause dulling of the inside an eventual breakdown of the protective coating.
- Also, avoid putting the iron pot in a microwave or on a gas stove.
Tips on Using The Cast Iron Tea Pot
Since we have tackled the maintenance aspect of your cast iron teapot, let's see how we can make proper use of the pot. Essentially the teapots primary use is brewing tea. You shouldn't use it for any other sort of cooking. The method administered is not different from using any other type of teapot. It is as follows:
- You need to pour some hot water, not necessarily boiling water into the cast iron teapot halfway. Cover the top with its lid and put it aside. The heat keeps the pot warm.
- You then boil some water. It will be used to make tea. When it comes to a boil, empty the cast iron pot.
- Add some tea leaves into the cast iron teapot and pour in the boiling water right onto the tea leaves.
- Cover the pot with its lid and leave the tea leaves steeping for approximately 5 minutes. Different sorts of tea have varying steeping times. Just look up instructions that come with the tea pack for more information on how long to steep the tea.
- Once the steeping's done, you can then pour the brew into teacups.
If it is your first experience with an iron teapot, you need to season it to get rid of any odors from it. To induct it into your cookware, you need to put some boiling water together with some tea leaves then pour the tea out. Do not use the teapot over an open flame. This is not a kettle, so make sure you don't expose it to open fire.
Always keep the pot in a cool, dry place. Having it at room temperature is recommended when it is not actively on duty.
With the proper care and maintenance, your pot will give you lifelong tea service. It will also retain its allure and beauty, making it an excellent present to hand down generations as an heirloom.