Pour some water in the kettle, turn on the stove, grab your tea leaves and place a few tablespoons directly in this authentic Japanese teapot. When the water is at the right temperature, pour it over the leaves and place the cover on the pot. Then sit on your patio with a good book, or at the table with a few close friends. You're about to be transported back in time to 17th century Japan. Sit back and enjoy your freshly brewed tea leaves like never before.
**Our Tetsubin fills with 16oz of water and comes with an insignia on the side to prove authenticity and quality.
An Exploration of the Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot
Drinking tea is a time-honored tradition. In some countries, it is more like an art form and a part of everyday living. Depending on where you are from, your way of drinking and preparing tea could be vastly different from how your neighbor prepares and drinks it.
The preparation of tea can be considered a spiritual practice. It can be a healthy part of a meditation routine. The tools you use to make your perfect cup of tea is just as important as how you prepare it. The method and type of pot you use to make your tea can make all the difference in the taste.
In Japan, somewhere between the 17th and 18th century, by way of China, Sencha Green Tea was introduced to the culture. At this time, the tetsubin cast iron teapot became popular. Originally, tetsubin teapots were used to boil and keep water hot for use when needed, however, when loose leaf teas became a more acceptable way to make tea, these teapots became an everyday kitchen appliance, much like the coffee maker of today. Unfortunately, continue use of a tetsubin cast iron teapot can cause the pot to take on the flavor of the tea cooked in it the most. For this reason, you should choose one flavor and stick to it.
Like many items in history, the tetsubin cast iron teapot became a status symbol in the Japanese culture. The more tetsubin teapots you acquired, the more wealthy you appeared. Each teapot is decorated and adorned with elaborate designs. Traditionally, in a tea ceremony, the teapot is held in the left hand with the spout pointing to the right. By holding the teapot in this way, the intricate designs are displayed to the attendees of the ceremony. Traditional Japanese symbols such as a cherry blossom or serpent can be clearly seen on the body of these handcrafted teapots. Each symbol has a specific meaning making the tetsubin more than just an everyday teapot.
Popular Japanese Teapot Symbols
There are many symbols used for tetsubin teapots. Each symbol has a different meaning. Some of the more popular symbols are the dragon, which means power, strength, and good fortune. The dragonfly means good fortune, new beginnings, and marriage. A tetsubin with a maple leaf means spiritual growth. Learning the meanings of all the different symbols will help you purchase a teapot that means something special to you everytime you make a pot of tea.
Cleaning Your Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot
Cleaning your tetsubin teapot is much like cleaning your cast iron skillet. You do not want to use soap as it will take away the mineral coating on the pot. Rinse the pot out with fresh clean water a few times to get it free of any residue and dry with a clean dry rag. It is a simple process that will preserve your teapot for years to come.
Brewing in a Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot
To make a perfect pot of tea in your tetsubin teapot, you want to first boil water in a separate pot and use that water to rinse out your tetsubin a couple of times to make sure it is clean. Rinsing your tetsubin with hot water will not only clean your pot, but it will also preheat it for you.
Next, measure your tea. Each tetsubin is a different size and shape, so the measurement you use for your tea will vary according to the size of your teapot. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of tea to every 8 ounces of water. Tetsubin teapots that come with strainer baskets may need a smaller amount of tea to provide the tea room for expansion.
If your tetsubin comes with a strainer basket, you will place the tea leaves in the basket and place the basket inside the tetsubin. If your tetsubin does not have a strainer basket, you will place your tea leaves inside the actual teapot. Now, you want to boil water in a separate pot. Once the water is the right temperature, you want to take the boiling water and pour it into the tetsubin over the tea leaves and let it steep for a few minutes. You want to get the temperature to about 175° to 185° F.
The final step is to decant the entire pot of tea to prevent over-extraction. Most tetsubins come with a strainer built in, however, if yours does not, it is suggested that you use a handheld strainer or other type of strainer to decant the tea.
With your tetsubin completely empty, use warm water, as to not crack the pot, rinse the teapot out a number of times to get it completely clean, and dry with a clean rag. You are now ready to enjoy your fresh cup of tea.
Though the art of tea making and drinking came to Japan by way of the Chinese tea culture, it has now become a grand tradition in Japan, the United States, and other prominent countries. The tetsubin cast iron teapot is a must have for any home where tea drinking is a regular occurrence. With proper care and usage, a tetsubin cast iron teapot can be a part of your home's tea tradition for many years to come.