The Japanese approach to tea is, quite literally, steeped in tradition. Truly mastering the ins and outs of the tea ceremony (which is literally considered to be an art form) will require more effort than most Westerners are willing to put in, but you can borrow a little bit of its decorum by using this near-authentic tetsubin as a serving vessel.
Made of cast iron, it retains heat extraordinarily well and can be used as either a kettle or teapot. In terms of looks, which is absolutely where this piece of kitchenware shines, a rustic rope handle complements the traditional pebbled design – it would not look out of place in a tempura restaurant.
It does include two modern innovations you’ll want to know about, though. The inside is coated with ceramic, which should prevent your tea from tasting metallic but limits the amount of heat you can apply to it. Also, a generously-sized sieve made of stainless steel fits neatly between the body and lid, doing away with the need for a separate strainer.
This isn’t the right teapot for everyone, however. If slurping down a cup between work tasks is what you’re mainly interested in, you’ll probably do better with something made out of ceramic.
If, on the other hand, you’re willing to slow down and experience teatime as a meditative or social occasion which can even incorporate a little theater, you’ll almost certainly enjoy it. If you like, you can even pair it with a matching trivet and charcoal brazier for an even more authentic display.