Brewing with Cast Iron Pots – Yay or Nay?
During this video, Zhuping discusses an often asked question “When should I use cast iron pots?”
It is interesting to note that, in China, it would be extremely difficult to find cast iron pots although historically they have been used for the purposes of cooking. In such cases, large pots are used to heat the water in. They are often referred to as unglazed cast iron pots, or raw iron pots. In Japan, it is customary, even to this day, that porcelain and ceramic vessels are used for brewing tea. In short, this is likely a recent western marketing notion! Zhuping notes that she had not seen a cast iron pot until she came to the states.
If you happen to notice a glazed cast iron pot in tea stores, it is highly likely that the representative will expound on it being ideal for brewing tea or something similar. As described in the video, green, yellow, and white teas should NOT be brewed in cast iron pots if you do use them. It is essential that they are brewed at a lower temperature. In fact, they are happiest around 185 degrees and perform better in glass vessels since they allow the heat to escape. Add to this that you can easily view your leaves and whether they adhere to their plucking standard, and glass vessels clearly become a more ideal vessel by comparison.
In front of Zhuping are the following materials: ceramic tea pot, porcelain gaiwan, yixing pot, glass pot, and pint glass. Any of these vessels will do. In fact, you’d be better off brewing in a coffee mug than you would a cast iron pot!! For those who find it odd to drink directly from something like a pint glass or a coffee mug wherein tea leaves can freely float about, add a filter to your repertoire to solve the problem. If you want to learn more on brewing tea in different vessels, check out our how to brew your tea in various tea ware.