Light the fuse. Make it count. When making tea, it should not be like rolling up a snowball and tossing it into hell to see what happens. No, wait I have just described the year 2020! And yes, if you are a mission impossible franchise fan then you will recognize quotes from the movie (I am a movie buff, in case you have not noticed).
I recalled “Mission Impossible” because when it comes to making a great cup of perfectly brewed tea then mission impossible is exactly what the process can become when you do not do it right.
Cast iron teapots can be used for both loose tea leaves and tea bags to brew tea, with loose tea leaves, it is better to use a teapot with a removable tea infuser. So, Red Light! Green Light! Let us go and let me break the process down for you:
1. Choose your Tea
The absolute first thing to do is to choose your preferred loose-leaf tea.
It is advisable to avoid using different kinds of tea in the same pot as this can mix and confuse the different flavors.
Placing the teapot directly onto a heat source can damage it. The best thing to do is preheat the pot before using it. To do this, heat water in a different source, maybe a pan. Take this water and fill the teapot with it before tipping out the water. This will not only warm up the pot, but it will rinse it as well.
3. Measure your tea
Now that the pot is all rinsed and warm you can measure how much tea to make. The recommended amount is 1 tablespoon for every 8 ounces of water. Ladle the tea onto the tea infuser, you can reduce or increase the amount to suit how you want it but avoid over-stuffing the infuser.
4. Add Water
Boil your water. For the traditional Japanese way, you can boil over charcoal, but it is still alright to use a stove-top.
Most people prefer to boil the water in the teapot as opposed to using a different kettle or vessel then pouring it into the cast iron teapot. Make sure the stove is turned to the appropriate temperature for the type of tea you are brewing. Green tea should be prepared between 150°F and 180°F, while black tea should be prepared between the temperatures of 200°F to 212°F.
5. Steep the Tea
Majority of cast iron teapots come with a built-in strainer or tea infuser. Having poured the hot water over the tea steep the tea for approximately 2 to 6 minutes. The amount of time it will take to steep will depend on the type of tea you chose. Check the information package on your tea to see what time is right for you.
You can remove the infuser from the teapot to avoid the tea getting bitter. Pour out the tea, and if the teapot does not have an inbuilt strainer use a handheld tea strainer.
7. Clean Up
Once everyone has been served you can now clean and store the teapot. Remember not to use cold water if the teapot is still warm, rather use warm water. Thoroughly wipe both inside and outside of the teapot.
Beginners Guide: Things To Consider When Buying Cast Iron Teapots
Consider the country from which the teapot you want was made. Since cast iron teapots are traced to China and Japan, a cast iron teapot from these two countries would be deemed as of high quality. Japan makes cast iron teapots from pure iron, i.e. tetsubin.
The quality of a cast iron teapot will almost always depend on the country where it was manufactured. A good quality teapot would be made from pure iron, some manufacturers, however, do not use all iron on their teapots.
Consider how long you want your teapot to last, do you want to be able to pass it on to your children and them to their children? How long a cast iron teapot lasts will depend on the quality. Because iron is prone to rusting some manufacturers coat their cast iron teapots to prevent oxidation and rusting which could reduce its life.
What is your budget? Contemplate how high you are willing to go. A cast iron teapot made from Japan will undoubtedly have a high price. High quality and detailed design will also cost more.
As previously mentioned, teapots are now being bought for making tea just as much as for decoration. So, consider your home decor, how your preferred teapot will fit into your home. Look at your own personal taste or personality. There are plenty of designs to choose from, from simple to detailed handcrafted designs with designs inspired by nature, Japanese tradition, or important figures.
If you are looking to bring an ambiance of the traditional Japanese way of drinking tea, then you could even purchase a whole cast iron tea set to fully enjoy.
Cast iron teapots come in different sizes and shapes. It will be up to you which size you want. Will you be serving only yourself or are you looking to serve friends and family? The ‘weapon’ of choice is yours.
So by now you probably know, getting just the perfect brew of tea depends not only on the tea process of brewing but the equipment too. Cast iron teapots are renowned for their excellent and unique tasting tea. Tetsubin teapots serve as more than just teapots with their elegant designs and added nutritional value.
This mission of brewing (should you choose to accept it) should not be taken lightly because with great brewing comes great responsibility (different movie but hey, I was on a roll)!