8 Best Japanese Cast Iron Teapots (2022) Reviewed

Last Updated On : June 2022
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What Is the Cast Iron Teapot?

Hello there, fellow tea lover!

Are you looking to up your tea game by purchasing a new cast iron teapot? 

There are as many teapots as there are different types of tea. So picking the best teapot for your circumstances is challenging!

If you’re having trouble deciding what to get, you’ve come to the right place! 

We’ve done the research, and based on our expertise and experience with all things tea, we’ve come up with a list of the best cast iron teapots for different categories.

We hope this post is helpful for you!

By the way…

We’ve also prepared a guide about the nuances of choosing a cast iron teapot. It’s towards the end of this article, so make sure not to miss it!

For now though, let’s jump into our top picks!

What is the Best Cast Iron Teapot?

  1. Iwachu Japanese Cast Iron Teapot - Best Overall

  2. TopTier Japanese Cast Iron Tea Kettle with Infuser - Runner Up

  3. Nambu Ironware Oigen Tetsubin Kettle - Maromi Arare - Best Tetsubin

  4. HwaGui Cast Iron Teapot - Best Traditional Teapot Without Enamel

  5. TOPTIER Cast Iron Teapot - Diamond Design - Best Modern Design

  6. Cuisiland Dragonfly Cast Iron Teapot Set - Best Value

  7. Old Dutch Cast Iron Kyoto Teapot - Best Budget

  8. Sotya Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot - Honorable Mention

1. Iwachu Japanese Cast Iron Teapot

Best Overall

This luxurious teapot is our number one pick for several reasons. The first one is its quality.

This cast iron teapot is manufactured by Iwachu, a traditional Japanese company with over 120 years of expertise in Nambu ironware. It is based in Morioka in the Iwate prefecture.

This region in Japan has over 400 years of ironware experience using traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation. This type of iron work is what Nambu Tekki is, and Nambu Tekki cast iron teapots are considered amongst the best in the world.

So rest assured that you will be getting a quality piece with this teapot, with the potential to last decades if you take good care of it.

We also love its beautiful traditional design with a rough surface, making it seem like an antique that is several centuries old. This particular piece features gold and black colors, with maple leaves engraved along its surface.

By the way, if you don’t like these colors, check their amazon store for different colors and designs.

This teapot has an enamel-coated interior to prevent rust. Although other teapots with enamel are stovetop safe, this one isn’t.

And that’s okay in our eyes, because you have to be very careful when boiling water with an enamel coated teapot, even if the manufacturer claims it’s stovetop safe. This usually means using your teapot on low fire only. This also decreases the lifespan of your teapot.

This Iwachu teapot also includes a stainless steel infuser, and can hold up to 22 oz of water.

The only con about this teapot is its price. But in the long run we deem it a good investment as cast iron teapots using Nambu ironwork can last decades.

However, if this is out of your budget make sure to check our other teapots in this list. We have selected something for everyone!

Iwachu Japanese Cast Iron Teapot

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Pros:

  • Beautiful timeless designs
  • True Nambu Tekki (Nambu Ironwork) - Traditional Craftwork of Japan
  • Enamel coating helps prevent rust
  • Includes stainless steel removable infuser
  • Very high durability

Cons:

  • A bit pricey

2. TOPTIER Cast Iron Teapot

Runner Up

We have selected this cast iron teapot as one of our top picks for several reasons. This teapot is stovetop safe, it's sold at a reasonable price, and there are many colors and 2 designs to choose from. This teapot offers a lot of bang for one's buck.

However, despite the manufacturer stating it’s stovetop safe, we recommend keeping the fire low when using this on the stovetop because it does have an enamel coated interior. Exposures to very high temperatures will definitely decrease the lifespan of any enameled teapot!

We also like its versatility: it comes in 6 different sizes, from a personal size at 11 oz (325 mL) all the way to a gigantic 54 oz (1,600 mL) size!

Just make sure you get the correct size though. Getting a teapot that is too small will not be practical, whereas a larger one could be wasteful since you would need more water to submerge the infuser, and thus more tea for every infusion.

You can choose from 14 beautiful designs and colors. The embossed leaf drawings and dreamy colors will add to the calming sensation that you’re looking for with your tea.

Other reasons to buy these teapots include their ergonomic fold-down handle (it does not get hot), their stainless steel infuser with extra fine mesh to keep pesky tea leaves away, and their eco-friendly non-toxic paint.

  

In terms of cons, the tea infuser is a bit too narrow - the tea leaves need as much space as possible to maximize the flavors and benefits that make it into your drink.

TOPTIER Cast Iron Teapot

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Pros:

  • Stovetop safe
  • Many colors and designs
  • Stainless Steel infuser with extra fine mesh
  • Enamel coating to prevent rust
  • Eco-friendly and non-toxic paint

Cons:

  • The tea infuser is a bit too narrow.

3. Nambu Ironware Oigen Tetsubin Kettle

Best Tetsubin

This beautiful rounded black Japanese kettle is the only true tetsubin in our list. It uses Nambu Tekki ironware, and is manufactured by Oigen, a Japanese company based in Oshu City, Iwate prefecture.

Oigen has been producing traditional Nambu ironware for 160 years, spanning five generations.

By the way, Nambu Tekki ironware has over four centuries of tradition and history. It requires precision work by skilled craftsmen, and a very lengthy process such as baking the ironware several times in charcoal fire. Recently (well, relatively speaking, in 1975), Nambu Tekki crafts are deemed Traditional Craftwork of Japan.

So you know you will be getting the real deal with this kettle.

And as you may have guessed, true Nambu Tekki Tetsubin don’t come cheap!

But if taken care of properly, they are claimed to last for over a century!

And taking care of it you should, because this is a true Tetsubin, meaning there is no enamel coating inside. In other words, it should be thoroughly dried after every use to prevent rust from forming.

Also, tetsubin are used to boil water. So it does not come with an infuser!

So you may want to purchase a tea infuser if you opt to get this amazing Japanese kettle! Or learn how to make loose leaf tea without an infuser!

Nambu Ironware Oigen Tetsubin Kettle

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Pros:

  • Stovetop safe
  • Beautiful timeless design
  • True Nambu Tekki Tetsubin - Traditional Craftwork of Japan
  • No enamel coating means higher potential durability

Cons:

  • No infuser
  • Requires a bit more maintenance
Japanese Cast Iron Teapot

4. HwaGui Cast Iron Teapot

Best Traditional Teapot Without Enamel

We have selected this teapot because of its durability and beautiful traditional design.

You see, it lacks an enamel coating, which has its pros and cons.

In terms of benefits, a lack of enamel coating means you won’t have to worry about it flaking off and making it into your tea, especially when you use it as a kettle over the stovetop. Other Japanese cast iron teapots that have enamel, although considered stovetop safe, require you to be careful and use low heat only.

With this one, you could use one of Elon Musk’s flamethrowers if you wanted to heat your water. Well, the handle and cord won’t last, but you get what we mean. You don't have about enamel coming off.

As flaking enamel is the most common point of failure for cast iron kettles, a lack of enamel means this teapot has the potential to last much longer than others if you take good care of it.

This brings us to the disadvantage of not having an inner enamel coating: taking care of your teapot becomes more important and a bit more time consuming.

With this teapot, you will need to make sure you fully dry the interior to prevent rust from forming. So don’t leave old tea leaves or old tea inside this teapot overnight…we are all guilty of this!

This Japanese cast iron kettle comes in three different sizes: 20 oz (600 mL), 27 oz (800 mL) and 41 oz (800 mL). 

It has a very pleasing black quintessential minimalistic design. The handle can be folded and is wrapped in rope to insulate your hand from the heat.

The tea infuser is made of stainless steel and features extra fine mesh to prevent leaf bits from making it into your drink. This infuser is wide, leaving ample space for the tea leaves to roam around and release all their flavors and benefits!

Note: if you are getting this teapot and decide to change the decide, make sure you check whether it has enamel coating or not. Some different sizes do...

HwaGui Cast Iron Teapot

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Pros:

  • Fully stovetop safe
  • No enamel coating - this teapot has the potential to last decades
  • Many sizes to suit every need
  • Wide stainless Steel infuser with extra fine mesh
  • Beautiful traditional design

Cons:

  • Lack of enamel coating means you need to ensure this teapot is fully dry after every use.

5. TOPTIER Cast Iron Teapot - Diamond Design

Best Modern Design

Despite its budget price, it does not mean that this teapot has a boring design.

In fact, its design is among the most interesting we’ve come across. It is diamond shaped, and is adorned with little triangles whose shape is highlighted with gold painting.

In addition, at the time of writing, this cast iron teapot comes in 6 colors and 3 sizes - so it should meet most people’s preferences.

This Toptier teapot features enamel lining, which helps prevent rust and makes maintenance a breeze.

It’s also stovetop safe but as with other enamel lined teapots make sure you use it on low heat only, or else you risk damaging the enamel.

In terms of cons, the tea infuser is a bit narrow, which can prevent the tea leaves from flowing freely.

Another con is that the tea cover and handle can get very hot, especially if you are infusing black teas which need boiling water and longer steeping times.

TOPTIER Cast Iron Teapot - Diamond Design

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Pros:

  • Stovetop safe
  • Elegant design in 3 colors and 3 sizes
  • Stainless Steel infuser with extra fine mesh
  • Enamel coating to prevent rust
  • Eco-friendly and non-toxic paint
  • Good price

Cons:

  • The tea infuser is a bit too narrow.
  • Handle and cover can get quite hot
  • Not as durable as more premium teapots

6.  Cuisiland Dragonfly Cast Iron Teapot Set

Best Value

Well, first of all, this is a cast iron tea set that is cheaper than many of the teapots in this list.

This makes perfect as a budget choice, or as a gift for that person who likes tea but still uses tea bags and ugly mugs to make and drink their tea.

This tea set includes a 37 oz cast iron teapot, 4 matching tea cups that can hold 3 oz, and a cast iron trivet to protect counter surfaces or your dinner table…while in style!

Despite its low price, this tea set features a gorgeous dragonfly design and a flattened shape. You can find this tea set either in blue with black or green with black.

The enamel coating helps prevent rust, and makes this tea set more practical as you won’t have to make sure every nook and cranny is perfectly dry.

Despite the enameled interior, it’s stovetop safe, but as with all enamel coated teapots, we recommend using on low heat only. 

The stainless steel infuser uses extra fine mesh and is wide, which is perfect for brewing tea.

In terms of cons, the flattened shape means it’s wider than other cast iron pots - so if you have small cupboards it may not fit. But you could also leave it out as a decoration piece, it’s beautiful to look at!

Cuisiland Dragonfly Cast Iron Teapot Set

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Pros:

  • Stovetop safe
  • Beautiful and unique flattened dragonfly design
  • Wide stainless Steel infuser with extra fine mesh
  • Enamel coating to prevent rust
  • A tea set for the cost of a teapot

Cons:

  • Takes more storage space than other teapots

7. Old Dutch Cast Iron Kyoto Teapot

Best Budget

The main highlight of this Old Dutch teapot is a gorgeous design at a bargain price!

This teapot is available in “greek wine” or tangerine colors. It is also only available in one size, which is 26 oz.

It should be noted this teapot is NOT suitable for stovetop use

Although other enamel lined cast iron teapots in this list are stovetop safe, this one isn’t, and this is likely where the cost cutting went.

Which we don’t mind, since with all enamel teapots, it’s preferable to use them to only brew tea to lengthen their lifespan.

So don’t boil water using this teapot; instead, use an electric kettle and pour hot water into it to brew tea.

This teapot comes with a stainless steel infuser with mesh that is fine enough to prevent tea leaves and debris from making it into your tea. It is also wide enough as to not restrict water flow through the tea leaves.

Old Dutch Cast Iron Kyoto Teapot

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Pros:

  • Beautiful designs
  • Low price!
  • Enamel coating to prevent rust

Cons:

  • Not stovetop safe

8. Sotya Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot

Honorable Mention

Although this teapot is similar in many aspects to others from this list, we could not resist including due to its beautiful "white summer" and dark green colors! We also love the cherry blossoms design along its surface, making it the perfect teapot to welcome the spring!

The black handle wrapped in cord adds a nice finishing touch to the design.

This cast iron teapot has inner enamel coating. Despite this, it is stovetop safe provided you boil water using low heat only.

The stainless steel infuser basket is perfect for tea brewing since it’s wide and thus allows plenty of room for the tea leaves to be surrounded by water and release their flavors.

Drinking tea should be a pleasure with iron tea kettles such as this one!

The only downside is that this teapot is a bit pricey, especially if you get it in white!

Sotya Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot

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Pros:

  • Stovetop safe
  • Beautiful traditional cherry blossom design in 3 colors and 3 sizes
  • Wide stainless Steel infuser with extra fine mesh
  • Enamel coating to prevent rust

Cons:

  • Arbitrarily pricey outside the US
  • Issues with handle cord not included in some instances

What to Look for in a Cast Iron Teapot?

Enamel Coated Interior

Cast iron teapots may have an enamel coating in the interior which helps prevent the formation of rust.

However, many enamel-coated teapots are not stovetop safe. So make sure to check the manufacturer instructions before you put your precious teapot on the stove, or else you risk ending up with enamel flakes in your tea!

Ouch!

There are some cast iron teapots with enamel coating that are stovetop safe. But only if you use them on low heat.

In general though, we recommend that any enamel-coated teapot be used to infuse tea only. In the long run, even for the stovetop safe ones, the heat of the stove will degrade the enamel and shorten the lifespan of your teapot.

Non-enamel Coated Interior

If your cast iron teapot does not have enamel coating it is a true tetsubin or Japanese kettle.

With these, you can safely boil water on the stove or even using open flame sources such as wood or gas stoves.

The catch is that the lack of enamel increases the chances of rust developing. But if you thoroughly dry your teapot after every use, non-enamelled teapots have the potential to last longer than their enameled counterparts.

This is because the enamel coating is one of the most common points of failure. By opting to skip the enamel, you remove this point of failure.

Another advantage is that the water comes into direct contact with the iron (instead of the enamel). The iron enhances the taste of the water and thus your tea, especially with delicate Japanese green teas such as sencha or gyokuro.

The Tea Infuser

Some true tetsubin (no enamel coating, intended to be used as kettles) do not come with an infuser. So watch out for that.

The infusers should be made of stainless steel, with very fine meshing to prevent tea leaves going into your drink. They should also be as large as possible (especially in width), to allow the hot water to circulate properly around the tea leaves.

Aesthetics

Teapots are great for gifts and personal collections. They can also serve as kitchen decoration so their appearance is an important factor.

The appearance of your cast iron is very important - these are supposed to be contemplative items.

Value for money

The cheap products are not always the worst and not all of the expensive ones are the best.

If your teapot is expensive, make sure it comes from a reputable manufacturer. The best ones tend to be from the Iwate prefecture, in Japan, which is famous for its traditional ironwork (Nambu Tekki).

Cast Iron Teapot Maintenance Tips

  • Carefully follow the cleaning and storage instructions.

  • Remember: rust needs oxygen and water (or humidity) to occur. Try to minimize these at all times when storing your teapot.

  • Keep the stove heat on low when using enameled cast iron pots on the stovetop, even if the manufacturer says it’s stovetop safe. In fact, we go as far as recommending against using any enamel coated teapot as a kettle. Using them as such will reduce their lifespan.

  • Never heat your teapot when empty!

  • Never use sponges, brushes or other abrasive materials when cleaning your enamel coated teapot. Instead, clean them with warm water and a soft cloth. Then try them thoroughly.

  • Do not use soap or detergent.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Tetsubin?

A Tetsubin is a Japanese cast iron teapot without enamel lining that is used as a kettle.

What is the difference between a cast iron teapot and a tetsubin.

The main difference is that Tetsubin do not have enamel lining and thus can be used as kettles. However, many people use cast iron teapot and Tetsubin interchangeably.

What are the benefits of using cast iron teapots?

The benefits are:

  • Iron is almost unbreakable and thus has very high durability
  • Cast iron has excellent heat distribution
  • Cast iron retains heat well
  • Cast iron teapots can be a source of iron if you use them every day.
  • Cast iron teapots tend to have beautiful designs, which enhance your tea making experience.

How do you clean cast iron teapots?

Don’t use soap dishwashing detergent when cleaning your cast iron teapot. Rinsing it with warm water and drying it with a soft cloth afterward is enough. It is especially important to make sure your teapot is fully dry if it does not have enamel coating. Otherwise rust my appear.

Are Japanese cast iron teapots safe?

Yes, they are safe to use as long as you follow the package instructions and the additional tips we gave you from this guide.

The main culprit that could pose health issues is the enamel. So make sure your teapot is stovetop safe if using it as a kettle. And if you do use it as such, keep the stove heat on low!

Are cast iron teapots used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony?

Yes, there is special type of cast iron kettle is used, called a chagama. These are usually put directly on a sunken hearth, located in the tea room, or on a portable brazier.

Best Cast Iron Teapots

Bottom Line

Tea lovers, we hope this post has been helpful in your quest to find that perfect cast iron teapot.

We have selected and reviewed teapots of different types and designs and at different price ranges.

Remember that ‘expensive’ does not necessarily mean ‘best’. An important consideration is the design and aesthetics of your teapot. You will be looking at it a lot! Japanese cast iron teapots can be considered an appreciative item!

Psssst! Looking for something different? Then check our best gongfu tea sets post!

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Disclaimer:

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

Sources:

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2 comments on “8 Best Japanese Cast Iron Teapots (2022) Reviewed”

  1. I've been using my My Old Dutch Internatinonal Black/Copper "Amai"teapopot for a while now using a teabag with boiling water from another teapot to brew the tea. I have not been emptying it out every day and the last few days I started noticing black fleckts of enamel in my tea and when I emptied it and rinse it out and dried it I noticed black powdery residue on the paper towel. The inside doesn't look smooth and shiny but rather coarse and gritty looking and when I rinse it again and dry it I get the black powder again on the paper towel. Is this teapot safe to use now or did I ruin it by not rinsing and drying it every day?

    1. Hello Marie!
      Thank you for writing to us! Regarding your question, one reason (and I'm guilty of this one) could be that some of the tea has caked onto the enamel.
      Could it be the residue you saw was small flakes of the caked tea?
      To find out, please try the following. The healthiest way is to use vinegar and baking soda. Add a one cup of vinegar and 4 tablespoons of baking soda to you teapot. Then fill up your teapot with boiling water. Let it rest for 12 hours and then scrub with a small cleaning brush while rinsing with fairly hot tap water (don't burn yourself!).
      The less healthy way (which I personally do lol) is using soap, water and a light scrubbing. After you try the above, can you see/feel if the enamel surface is smooth again? Also give it a visual inspection, do you see anything missing? Add boiling water and leave for a couple of minutes and pour into a mug. Do you see any residue?

      Let us know how it goes, and if you have any additional questions!

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