Trying to find the best Japanese cast iron teapot or tetsubin that will make tea time special? Then you’ve come to the right place…
Here’s what you can expect to find…
- What you should look for in cast iron teapots (if you’re doing loose-leaf).
- Can you use them on the stove?
- What’s the difference between coated vs. non-coated?
- Are they easy to clean?
- Our top picks for cast iron teapots
|Iwachu Tetsubin Silver and Black Goldfish Teapot||A|
|Primula Blue Floral Cast Iron Teapot||A|
|Happy Bamboo Pink Tea Set||A+|
|Iwachu Gold and Black Maple||A+|
|Sotya Cherry Blossom Cast Iron Teapot||A|
|Sotya Uncoated Cast Iron Teapot||B|
Best Cast Iron Teapots
Iwachu Tetsubin Silver and Black Goldfish Teapot
Decorated with beautiful goldfish, the Iwachu teapot is one of the smaller options on the list, measuring in at 22 ounces. Like most iron teapots, it comes with the stainless steel loose leaf infuser, which can be accessed by pulling off the lid. You can also remove the filter and simply add some boiling water and freshly squeezed lemon.
The interior is coated with enamel which is actually quite common for teapots. Because you don’t season the teapot like you would a cast iron pan, having the enamel coat prevents iron from leeching into the water, making it taste funky. It also prevents the build-up of rust. However, you still get all of the heat absorption benefits of cast iron as well as the traditional feel.
If you’re wondering what “Tetsubin” means, it’s simply the Japanese word for this style of a teapot. Iwachu teapots are actually made in Japan for the final touch of authenticity.
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Primula Blue Floral Cast Iron Teapot
As one of the more colorful options, this Primula teapot measures around the mid-range for these types of vessels, at 34 ounces. The design is meant to be reminiscent of Japanese cherry blossoms, which we thought would make tea time feel all that more traditional. As usual, the teapot includes the stainless steel strainer as well as an enamel-coated interior. The manufacturer explicitly recommends that this is not for stove-top use (but none of them are anyway).
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Happy Bamboo Pink Tea Set
If you’re making tea for two people, the Happy Bamboo pot could be a great option as it already includes two cups, a trivet, and a stainless steel filter. It can hold 18-ounces of liquid, which means that it’s the perfect size for two, but add more people to the mix and the tea, and it might be hard to share! The bamboo designs are consistent with the eastern feel of most cast iron teapots, but something about the minimalist design made it stand out to us.
Another great thing about this product is that the cups are consistent with the test sub in itself in terms of design and texture. The fact that it’s a matching set makes it look complete.
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Iwachu Gold and Black Maple
This second teapot from Iwachu is pretty much the same as the first one. It has the same capacity (22-ounces) and basic overall design. We loved this one because the leaf pattern flows onto the lid of the teapot. For us, it completed the design. Black and gold are also modern colors that look great when shown on a traditional Japanese teapot.
Speaking of the design of this pot, did you know that you don’t have to use honey to sweeten your tea? That’s right, you can use syrup, and it gives it more of a rich taste. Try it out sometime!
Sotya Cherry Blossom Cast Iron Teapot
For those looking to make tea for 4-6 people, consider this 40-ounce testubin as a potential option. It has pretty much the same features as the others, but it is decorated with cherry blossoms that we thought were nice for a tea ceremony.
The blossoms might be sort of hard to see on the initial picture, so make sure you zoom in to check out the full details in the design.
Further Reading: Enameled Cast Iron vs. Cast Iron [Important Pros & Cons]
Sotya Uncoated Cast Iron Teapot
Unlike the other teapots on this list, this Sotya 40 oz pot isn’t coated at all, which means it can handle far more heat exposure – similar to a cast-iron skillet. It’s plainly decorated but still catches the eye with a rough texture and beautiful cover.
As stated earlier in the guide, uncoated pots have a greater capacity to rust and require extra special attention to make sure they’re fully dry. Still, if you’ve got your heart set on the most authentic testubin experience, this may be a good pick-up! Ideal for the traditional user who prefers to do things without modern technology.
What to Look for In Cast Iron Teapots
Given that a cast iron teapot isn’t a piece of complex machinery, picking the best one comes down to the following criteria:
- Make sure it’s cast iron
- The size of the teapot
- The aesthetics or design on the teapot
- Whether the teapot is enameled or not
The number one criteria should always be first and foremost, but the remaining two criteria are going to vary from person to person. For the most part, you aren’t going to find many products on the market that are “bad”. Therefore the final choice for most people usually comes down to design aesthetic.
Can You Put a Cast Iron Teapot on the Stove?
A common question is whether or not cast iron teapots are safe for the stove-top. The answer is usually no. Generally speaking, you don’t want to boil a cast iron teapot on full blast or even put it on the stove at all. Rather, you want to expose it slow and gentle heat for warming.
This is traditionally done with small candles, known as tea lights, combined with a teapot warmer. Modern-day cast iron teapots have an enameled coating (similar to specific enameled cast iron cookware), and many manufacturers warn that excessive heat exposure will ruin the coating.
This video explains a bit about the history and how the “testubin” evolved to serve and steeping rather than boiling.
There are uncoated teapots available, and we’ve included one at the end of the list.Many users don’t want to deal with the hassle of evaporating all of the liquid out of the pot after each use.
However, many users swear by the non-coated ones as they can produce unique flavors from the iron.
The video below shows someone boiling water on an induction cooktop and cleaning it properly afterward.This includes doing the following:
- Make sure that the teapot is empty of water.
- Wipe down the exterior and the lid thoroughly.
- Use an air blower or another device to remove excess interior moisture (including the spout tip).
Hey, I’m Joey. I’ve been cooking since I was a little kid and love everything about it. You can find my writing about food, kitchen appliances (such as blenders) and much more. Thanks for stopping by!