Benefits of Tetsubin (Cast Iron Kettle)
2. Add Flavor
Cast iron kettles are not lined with enamel which increases the health benefits of tea and gives it a mellow and sultry flavor.
3. Better Heat Distribution
Unlike other cooking utensils, a cast iron kettle takes no time to heat water and maintains the heat longer. Heat is evenly distributed in a tetsubin that helps to develop the flavor throughout the kettle.
Tetsubin (Cast Iron Kettle) is Different from Cast Iron Teapot
When we use the term "tetsubin", it only means an iron kettle that is used to boil water. Tetsubin is a utensil made by the Japanese in the 16th century. The interior of the Nanbu Tetsubin is either bare iron or coated with Urushi, no other glazing or enamel is used. Recently in the 20th century, several cast iron teapots have been introduced both in online and overseas markets.
The interior of these cast iron teapots is coated with glazing or enamel. These teapots are meant for brewing tea and are totally different from Cast Iron Kettle (Tetsubin). These so-called cast iron teapots are made in factories either in China or Japan. Particularly, a lot of cast iron teapots are made in Chinese factories at very cheap prices.
Cast iron teapots will not get rusted due to their interior glazing and enamel coating, but they don't affect the taste of the tea at all. As the interior of the teapot is laminated, you can't heat it with direct fire or any other heating device. Direct contact with heat will produce strains, cracking, and deformations in the cast iron teapot. The difference between the coefficients of thermal expansions of iron and enamel cause these changes in cast iron teapots.
A Nanbu Tetsubin is a kettle for bowling water not for brewing tea. It is a great utensil for making tea that contains long-lasting taste and flavor. If you don't take care of your tetsubin, it will get rusted. You can pass this cooking device from one generation to the next if it is well-taken care and handled.