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Thread: Japanese Cast Iron Kettle (Tetsubin)

  1. #1

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    Japanese Cast Iron Kettle (Tetsubin)

    Hey I know that this is a knife forum, but I am guessing that since many of us are into Japanese knives, there should be a few also interested in Japanese tea making.

    I would like to buy a cast iron kettle to boil water, and I find the traditional "tetsubin" to be very esthetically pleasing. Trouble is, all I can seem to find is either a) cast iron enameled testsubin-like teapots or b) traditional tetsubins running into the hundreds of dollars.

    I do not want the enameled stuff. I have a fine teapot; I want something to boil water in. While I may one day pay several hundreds for the work a true artisan (like I do with knives...), I am not there yet for a kettle.

    So my question is: are there some reasonably priced Japanese cast iron kettles out there? I am not expecting true craftsmanship here, but maybe some heavy duty, well constructed cast iron that wouldn't be a cheap Chinese knock-off.

    Or maybe should I save my money for a great tetsubin and get an western kettle like this one instead? Tell me what you think!

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Hi Brett_M! Generally a real traditional tetsubin will be $100+, even if you buy it in Japan. Some places carry true Japanese cast iron TEAPOTS but they aren't kettles. You have to boil the water separately. How large of a tea kettle were you looking for? Tetsubin tea kettles are really nice, and they are a lot of advantages to them.

    Few things I read on a Japanese website:

    - Non-toxic and heats/stays heated very well.
    - People say that the boiled water tastes better. One of the things that makes water taste bad are minerals like magnesium and calcium. When you boil water in a cast iron pot, the minerals stick to the walls of the cast iron pot and make what you drink taste fresher.
    - The cast iron tea kettles increase iron levels in water while boiling.

  3. #3

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    Japanese Cast Iron Kettle (Tetsubin)

    Korin,

    Yeah, I did read about the benefits of cast iron for the purpose of tea making. While I think it should be a nice addition, I am always careful not to believe the hype too quickly. An iron pot does probably change water mineral composition a little, but much is also attributable to the water used.

    It's mostly about aesthetics and convenience for me.

    I am looking for a small pot, something that can hold 2-4 cups probably. I was hoping to find something akin to what the DeBuyer is for carbon steel; a well thought and well constructed piece, factory-made, that would not break the bank.

    Is there such a company for Tetsubins?

  4. #4

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    Mari, any recommendation?

  5. #5

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    seacrh google my be..


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Brett_M View Post
    Korin,

    Yeah, I did read about the benefits of cast iron for the purpose of tea making. While I think it should be a nice addition, I am always careful not to believe the hype too quickly. An iron pot does probably change water mineral composition a little, but much is also attributable to the water used.

    It's mostly about aesthetics and convenience for me.

    I am looking for a small pot, something that can hold 2-4 cups probably. I was hoping to find something akin to what the DeBuyer is for carbon steel; a well thought and well constructed piece, factory-made, that would not break the bank.

    Is there such a company for Tetsubins?
    meybe on google

  7. #7
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    I don't know any companies that sells them in the US, but you can probably special order them from Japan. I would be really careful about buying them in the U.S. though. If its less then $80 I would be really suspicious. Also be careful with made in China cast iron teapots. I'm sure they are made in China cast iron teapots of quality, but it's also one of those things where you end up consuming some of the iron content.

    Could I ask you to PM me because I don't know how much I'm allowed to say here?

    Thanks!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Korin_Mari View Post
    I don't know any companies that sells them in the US, but you can probably special order them from Japan. I would be really careful about buying them in the U.S. though. If its less then $80 I would be really suspicious. Also be careful with made in China cast iron teapots. I'm sure they are made in China cast iron teapots of quality, but it's also one of those things where you end up consuming some of the iron content.
    You previously listed iron leeching into the water as a positive attribute, here you're saying that it's a negative attribute. Please qualify these statements with some level of scientific data.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nerologic's Avatar
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    Mari means that you want to ensure the iron is of reputable quality since you are drinking out of it. Don't want lead or mercury in there from impure iron from some cheapo factory. At lead that is my understanding, and I wholly agree.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nerologic View Post
    Mari means that you want to ensure the iron is of reputable quality since you are drinking out of it. Don't want lead or mercury in there from impure iron from some cheapo factory. At lead that is my understanding, and I wholly agree.
    I'm insinuating that it sounds like completely unfounded scare tactics and BS. I'm asking for some supporting evidence.

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