Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tetsubin teapots (tet-SUE-bin)

Tetsubin (cast iron teapots) were once used for boiling water over a hearth to provide heat and humidity in cold weather.


In the mid 19th century, when infused tea (Sencha) became popular in Japan, Tetsubin gained status and became much more than simple everyday kitchen items.  Many were elaborately decorated with high relief designs or metal inlay.  Mine are quite simple, but I do like the bamboo design and blue color of this one.


One advantage of a cast iron teapot is its ability to hold heat much longer than china, glass and other materials.  Most Tetsubin are quite small because of their weight.  Many are enameled on the inside and come with a stainless steel mesh infusing basket.  Mine have a very fine mesh which is great for finer green tea leaves, such as Gyokuro.

There are many online sources to buy Tetsubin teapots.  The Stash Tea Catalog for instance.  www.stashtea.com   The Tetsubin Tea Company has a wonderful selection including an Artist Series of Tetsubin teapots.  www.tetsubinteaco.com  


A Tetsubin teapot is easy to care for.  Simply rinse it with hot water and wipe it dry after each use.  Be careful not to expose it to salt or oils and don’t use abrasive pads or harsh detergents.

Here is the last teapot in my collection.  I hope to add at least one more ornate and colorful pot with a high relief design.



Tetsubin teapots are highly collectible and are a beautiful reflection of the Japanese culture and history.


Angela McRae said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely tetsubin teapots -- and I'm glad I didn't accidentally miss reading this post! You make me want to go get one and experiment with the temperatures to see precisely how long it keeps tea hot. Oh, and I appreciate the pronunciation guide, too. I needed that!

Rosemary said...

This is a beautiful collection of Tetsubin teapots. Thanks for sharing!

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