Coffee will always have a special place in the hearts of many but tea is soothing and refreshing in an entirely different way.
Part of the magic of tea happens during the brewing process. The aesthetic of your teapot can bring as much joy as the warmth, flavor, and fragrance of the tea itself.
If you’re searching for a teapot that will elevate your tea experience to nothing short of meditative and honorable, a cast iron teapot is for you.
What makes the best cast iron teapot? The best teapot of any material depends largely on personal preference. However, an interior enamel coating for easy cleaning, a large enough size to brew tea for two people, and extras such as an infuser or teacup set are all characteristics to look for. Tetsubin styles are especially popular.
In this article, we’ll share the pros and cons of using cast iron teapots as well as how to use and maintain them. Of course, we’ll also give you some tips to help you choose the right cast iron teapot for you and detailed reviews for the 9 best cast iron teapots.
Why Use a Cast Iron Teapot?
Modern cast iron tea pots are, in most cases, modeled after traditional Japanese tetsubin. Tetsubin tea kettles were originally designed to be used with charcoal stoves which are quite uncommon in most North American households today.
The design and appeal remain, however, and modern cast iron teapots have seen a few upgrades to make them more appropriate for so-called Western tea drinking habits.
Cast iron is a brilliant material to use for tea in the sense that it is a metal that retains heat well, making it possible to keep your tea at a nice, warm temperature for much longer than a conventional teapot. It is also quite durable.
Unfortunately, iron is prone to rust when it’s exposed to moisture, which is not as great for regular tea drinkers. However, many cast iron pots available today have an enamel coating that prevents rust.
This enamel is usually only on the interior of the pot, allowing the exterior to retain its traditional aesthetic appeal. The enamel may not be ideal for constant high-temperature use, however. So it’s common to boil the water in a standard water kettle or water pot and then use the teapot to brew and serve the tea.
Many teapots will also come with an infuser basket, allowing you to brew authentic loose leaf tea as easily as conventional teabags.
Aside from being very visually intriguing, the main benefits of cast iron teapots are that they’re very durable and long-lived and can keep your tea warm for longer periods of time.
Are Cast Iron Teapots Safe?
Cast iron is one of the oldest materials used for cookware of all types. It is almost universally considered safe. The metal is non-toxic and doesn’t leech heavy metals or any other undesirable compounds into your food or drinks.
Some experts even encourage the use of cast iron as a way to increase the iron content of your diet, if only in minuscule amounts.
Though rust is a drawback of cast iron, it isn’t considered dangerous to your health unless it has also been exposed to potentially dangerous bacteria that may cause tetanus.
If you use your cast iron teapot for camping, you will want to be extra careful to keep it rust-free. Most people prefer not to use rusted cookware, but it’s easy enough to prevent and fix if it happens.
Are Cast Iron Teapots Worth it?
We’ve established that cast iron teapots are durable, aesthetically pleasing, and safe, but are they good at what they do?
When compared to ceramic tea pots, cast iron will keep your tea warmer for longer, even without a tea cozy. It will also stay more evenly heated. If you do decide to add a bit more boiled water to extend the life of your tea, it will disperse the heat more evenly and quickly warm up all the liquid.
Additionally, while a ceramic teapot might break and a stainless steel pot can warp or discolor, with the right care, a good cast iron teapot can last your entire lifetime, and probably through the generations as well.
On the flip side, cast iron is much heavier than both stainless steel and ceramic, so these teapots are generally smaller in size.
Cast iron teapots are ideal for one or two people having tea, but if you’re serving a larger group, to handle the amount of liquid necessary to share, you may need to opt for a ceramic teapot instead.
How to Choose a Cast Iron Teapot
If you’re excited to choose your cast iron teapot, there are a few important features you’ll want to consider when you’re shopping:
- Size: Cast iron teapots are most often small, designed to brew enough tea for 2 people. However, if you have strong hands and enjoy entertaining, you can find some in larger sizes, sometimes holding up to 40 ounces.
- Design: Traditional Japanese teapots are beautifully designed. They are as artistic as they are functional. Consider your needs when you’re shopping, and decide whether you’d be happier with a simple cast iron teapot perfect for campfires, or if you want a work of art to display as well as to serve from.
- Interior coating: It’s been mentioned a few times already, but having the inside of your teapot coated with enamel can make it easier to clean and maintain, though it’s not as traditional.
- Extras: Some teapots come with infusers or as part of a set with tea cups or a serving platter. Decide what might be important for your household before you make your final decision.
9 Best Cast Iron Teapots
Now that you know what to look for and what features matter most to you, let’s look at some of the best cast iron teapot options out there:
|1.||TOPTIER Japanese Cast Iron Tea Kettle||Best overall, with infuser|
|2.||TOWA Workshop Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot||Best traditional tetsubin made in Japan|
|3.||Sotya Tetsubin Japanese Tea Kettle||Best pure cast iron teapot|
|4.||TOPTIER Japanese Cast Iron Diamond Teapot||Creative modern design|
|5.||Old Dutch Cast Iron Saga Teapot||Best large capacity option (101 oz)|
|6.||Juvale Cast Iron Tea Kettle Set||40 oz capacity offers teatime for 2|
|7.||Coogou Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot||Best cast iron tea se|
|8.||Hwagui Japanese Cast Iron Teapot||Safe for stovetop and wood stoves|
|9.||SUSTEAS Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot||Can be used to boil water|
Tea time is personal and intimate, even when you share it with someone. So the right teapot for you is equally personal. That’s why we’ve included a review of each.
You can get to know these top teapots better and see if one on this list is the one you’ve been waiting for.
1. TOPTIER Japanese Cast Iron Tea Kettle
Toptier wins the top position in our collection of incredible cast iron teapots. There are simply so many options to choose from, but this one brand has options for a wide variety of people. Plus, it’s just a high-quality teapot, stunning in functionality as well as design.
With 2 main designs to choose from, you can also pick from 7 different capacities and 14 unique colors. The craftwork is stunning and the interior is coated with enamel to make it easy to clean and rust-free.
- Interior coated with enamel and stovetop safe
- Removable, extra-fine stainless steel infuser
- Choice between 14 colors and 7 capacities ranging between 21–54 oz
Biggest Drawback: The manufacturer clearly states that the fully-loaded capacity isn’t the ideal recommended capacity. The 22 oz pot will pour best if filled to just 17 oz and the 54 oz model should be filled to a maximum of 45 oz.
They are straightforward in their recommendations but it does feel a bit disappointing to not be able to fill your teapot to capacity. If you can go up one size and still get your capacity needs, however, this may not be an issue.
2. TOWA Workshop Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot
Not all cast iron teapots truly live up to their Japanese tetusbin heritage but this teapot is as authentic as it is beautiful.
The design is very traditional and unlike many enamel lined teapots, this one is approved for use on your stovetop or even over small fires. Although it may seem too beautiful to take camping. When not overfilled, it pours smoothly and evenly.
- Enamel lined interior to prevent rusting
- Easy to clean, removable fine mesh filter for loose leaf tea
- Choose from 13 beautiful designs with variable capacity
Biggest Drawback: While this teapot is approved for stovetop use, it should always be kept on low heat, keeping your tea warm rather than using it to boil water on high heat. The enamel will chip, crack, and wear if it’s subjected to high temperatures. However it is good enough quality to withstand lower temperatures without damage.
3. Sotya Tetsubin Japanese Tea Kettle
The enamel coating on many cast iron teapots is useful for cleaning and rust protection but it also compromises some of the inherent values of using pure iron.
This teapot from Sotya, however, doesn’t have an enamel coating. You will have to be somewhat more careful about cleaning and drying the interior, but you’ll also enjoy the potential health benefits of added iron in your diet. Pure iron is also a lot more durable and this pot can be used in direct heat without damaging the quality.
- Pure cast iron with no enamel coating allowing direct access to the iron ions
- Includes removable mesh tea strainer
- Choose from 11 colors and 5 unique size capacities
Biggest Drawback: The handle is made of cast iron as well as the pot. This adds to the beauty of the teapot but if it becomes unattached to the teapot it can be nearly impossible to reattach. It seems logical to assume that if it’s hard to get on it will be equally difficult to get off but somehow this does happen occasionally and it’s difficult and frustrating to deal with.
4. TOPTIER Japanese Cast Iron Diamond Design Teapot
Another cast iron teapot from Toptier has made our list because it is a stylish modern redesign of a classic teapot. You get all the benefits you’re searching for in a cast iron teapot, but the design is also creative and unique.
This lovely option adds an unexpected dose of style and modernity to your daily tea practice. Equally modern is the enamel coating and the fact that it is considered fairly stovetop-safe (though likely only at lower temperatures).
- Interior coated with enamel and stovetop safe
- Removable, extra-fine stainless steel infuser
- Choose from 8 colors and 3 size capacities
Biggest Drawback: Traditional teapots are designed with function in mind whereas this modern vessel was clearly designed with style in mind.
It is not as functional as a true tetsubin in that it doesn’t pour as nicely, does not have as comfortable of a handle, and may not keep your tea as hot as a traditionally designed cast iron teapot would. If you’re not already used to the traditional design, however, you probably won’t notice any of these minor downgrades.
5. Old Dutch Cast Iron Saga Teapot
This is not the same Old Dutch that makes your beloved chips but rather a trusted distributor of artisan-made products. Shopping with this company promises higher respect for craftsmanship and traditional designs.
These teapots are true tetsubins, elegantly designed to extract the full flavor from your tea leaves and maintain even heat distribution as you slowly sip your warm beverage. They have that classic beauty to match their excellent quality.
- Interior is coated with porcelain enamel for easy cleaning
- Stainless steel tea infuser included
- Choose from 4 designs and 4 size capacities, up to an impressive 101 ounces
Biggest Drawback: The instructions could be better with this teapot. There is a lot of confusion about how it can be best used, which is, like most enamel-coated teapots, not on woodstoves or over direct, high temperatures.
There are a few instances where the marketing hints that cast iron is durable in these types of uses, which is technically true, but the enamel-coated cast iron will break down. Read the instructions carefully and understand how your teapot works.
6. Juvale Cast Iron Tea Kettle Set
The design is more Dutch than traditional Japanese, but the cast iron is beautifully crafted, with 2 cast iron teacups and a cast iron trivet to complete the set.
It can hold up to 40 ounces in the unique rounded body, though as with most teapots, especially of the cast iron variety, it’s best not to fill quite to maximum capacity. It is the perfect size for a tea party for 2.
- Interior and spout coated with enamel
- Includes tea strainer, 2 teacups, and trivet
- Holds up to 40 ounces
Biggest Drawback: The handle does not have any protection so it does get hot to touch. You will want to use a potholder or some other form of protection to keep yourself safe while pouring your tea.
7. Coogou Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot
Cast iron teapots are less likely to come as a set than more conventional ceramic or porcelain options.
If you’re searching for a set and were hoping to have it in cast iron, this might be the solution for you. It comes with 4 teacups and a trivet for resting the hot pot on. Plus the entire set is beautifully decorated with your choice of 3 traditional Asian designs.
- Enamel coating on the interior
- Includes 4 teacups, serving trivet, and a removable mesh strainer
- Choice of 3 unique, traditional designs
Biggest Drawback: Similar to an earlier teapot on our list, there is some misleading information used in the marketing. Pure, raw cast iron can indeed leach healthy minerals into your tea but this enamel-coated teapot will not. It will keep your tea warm and ready to serve in style though.
8. Hwagui Japanese Cast Iron Teapot
Hwagui is one of the largest and most reliable suppliers of Japanese-style cast iron teapots, ensuring their products are actually made with high-quality Japanese cast iron.
The company is also so confident that their products will meet or exceed your expectations that they offer an unconditional return policy. We love to see manufacturers standing behind their products. It seems this well-made teapot is worth that guarantee.
- Pure cast iron, with no enamel, is safe for use on your stovetop and wood stoves
- Includes stainless steel loose leaf tea strainer
- Available in 3 sizes, up to 41 oz
Biggest Drawback: Being pure cast iron does increase the likelihood that your teapot will rust if you aren’t prepared to care for it.
The smallest size from this brand is surprisingly tiny which makes it even more difficult to clean and dry properly after every use. So if you’re not used to being very diligent, we recommend opting for a larger size or an enamel coated option.
9. SUSTEAS Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot
This is a basic, traditional tesubin cast iron teapot. It is a simple, reliable design that has been proven throughout history to be effective, so you shouldn’t need to worry about this kitchen investment.
There is only one design and size to choose from, but if you have trouble with decision overwhelm, you can skip directly to this product and save yourself undue anxiety. It has all the classic benefits of a pure cast iron teapot.
- Pure cast iron, no enamel, can be used to boil water
- Includes removable loose leaf tea strainer
- 29-ounce capacity
Biggest Drawback: There are not a lot of care instructions provided. If you opt for this pure cast iron teapot, you’ll want to look up care instructions and be sure to always keep it well rinsed and dry after each use (see our below section ‘How to Clean a Cast Iron Teapot’ for help).
How to Use a Cast Iron Teapot
Using a cast iron teapot is about as straightforward as you might expect it to be. Brewing tea in a cast iron teapot isn’t so different from using a more conventional teapot. There are only a few unique points of consideration.
Here are just a few steps that you’ll want to follow:
- Boil your water separately rather than placing your cast iron teapot directly on the stove to initially heat the water.
- Add your tea to the pot, either in a tea bag or as loose leaf tea in a designated strainer basket.
- When your water is the correct temperature for the type of tea you’re brewing, pour it over your tea leaves or bag. Allow it to steep according to the directs on your tea.
- Remove bag or leaves when it has steeped long enough.
- Serve your tea.
- Clean and dry your teapot when you’re done using it, every time.
Leftover tea will stay warm in your teapot for up to an hour, though it’s generally best when you drink it within half an hour or so.
How to Clean a Cast Iron Teapot
As you know by now, many modern cast iron teapots have an enamel coating on the inside which makes cleaning easy. However, the steps for cleaning will be the same whether the interior is coated or not.
Once your cast iron teapot is empty, simply follow these steps to clean it:
- Pour out any remaining liquid and remove any tea bags or loose leaf infuser, which should be washed separately.
- Boil water in another pot or kettle.
- Pour the boiling water into your empty teapot and swirl it around carefully, but thoroughly.
- Pour the boiling water out of the pot through the spout to ensure the entire teapot has been well rinsed.
- Take an absorbent cloth and dry the entire teapot, both inside and out. Leave the lid off for a while so any remaining moisture can dry quickly.
Unless your teapot has been rusted, you shouldn’t need to season it or even clean it with anything but water. Just be sure to carefully rinse and dry it after every use.
Will a Cast Iron Teapot Rust?
Yes, a cast iron teapot can rust if it’s not well cared for. If you follow the instructions above and always rinse and dry your teapot after use, it should stay rust-free.
If your tap water is hard it can cause your cast iron cookware to rust more quickly, so you may want to consider using filtered water.
If your teapot does show signs of rust, you should be able to use a bristle brush to gently scrape away the rusty bits. If this isn’t enough, you can also try using baking soda.
Once your teapot is rust-free, steep some tea and use it as a rinse for your pot. Don’t drink this scratch batch, but use it to seal the cast iron once again. This is very similar to how oil seasons a cast iron skillet.
Pour out this brew and rinse and dry your teapot as normal before using it for a fresh, drinkable brew.
Can You Put a Cast iron Teapot on the Stove?
You can heat a solid cast iron teapot on the stove, yes. If your teapot has enamel coating, the interior it is best not to use it over direct heat. Over time the heat will cause the enamel to crack and chip, compromising the quality of your teapot.
Can I Boil Water in a Cast Iron Teapot?
If you have a solid cast iron teapot you can boil water in it, yes, though it’s not ideal. I
t’s always best to boil your water separately as adding boiled water to your tea leaves inside the cast iron teapot will brew a more pure, pleasing flavor. Water boiled in cast iron develops an off-flavor.
If your cast iron teapot has an enamel coating you should never try to boil water in it, as it can not withstand these higher temperatures.
Up Next: The 5 Best Teapot Warmers