Making fake tetsubin water for cheap - just add iron egg!

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powersnacks
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:56 pm

For a while I have wondered about the "tetsubin water" phenomena. I talked with a few tetsubin users who all believe that tetsubin water is better. Even James from TeaDB claims that the water is better, but isn't able to describe it.

To find out more, I bought this iron egg on Amazon.

For two weeks I boiled two kettles at once, one with the egg and one without the egg. I alternated kettles for every steep to compare the taste.

For me, adding the iron egg has been a huge success. Nearly every tea tastes "better". The iron adds roundness and body to the tea.

As for negatives, the iron seems to slightly mute high notes. It has been a pretty easy choice to make.

I have been using the egg-kettle exclusively now for nearly 2 months! Here it is when it arrived:

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I busted out my original plastic kettle for this experiment. I read that it would be unwise to add this to my stainless steel kettle as it might cause it to rust.

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The egg does get rusty if you don't remove it from the kettle. This hasn't bothered me much.

The egg gets HOT, so it's easy to forget it in there while it is cooling.

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Here's the damage to the kettle so far, looks a little uglier:

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For now I will happily continue to brew with the iron egg. In the future I will prioritize getting a tetsubin because the water makes my tea taste better.

Code: Select all

imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/zTcNsrj
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debunix
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:31 pm

Very interesting. I have been looking for something exactly like this for a long time, both for use with tea but also for other cooking, because I tend to run a bit low for blood donation standards and I hate iron pills.

But....why would it make a stainless steel kettle rust?
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pantry
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:37 pm

Interesting product. Thank you for sharing! I'd be more careful about the plastic kettle getting melted by the egg though, since iron can get really hot!
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powersnacks
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:56 pm

pantry wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:37 pm
Interesting product. Thank you for sharing! I'd be more careful about the plastic kettle getting melted by the egg though, since iron can get really hot!
I am also worried about this. In fact, I think that's the main reason I'd switch over to a testsubin (instead of just doing this forever)!
But....why would it make a stainless steel kettle rust?
Someone else will need to chime in here. From my limited understanding, the contact with iron could cause rust to form on the steel.

I happened to still have this kettle laying around so I was able to easily avoid it and also skip reading more :D
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klepto
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:12 pm

I'm anemic, so I was considering a tetsubin but probably too impatient to use it :D
The iron egg is interesting, coming from Amazon gets me the willies much like buying from Alixpress. :twisted:
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Bok
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:17 pm

Wouldn't it be easier to get a piece of iron from a scrapyard? Thoroughly cleaned of course. Or go to a thriftshop, I'm sure there'll be pieces of old cast iron around.
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StoneLadle
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Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:42 pm

Bok wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:17 pm
Wouldn't it be easier to get a piece of iron from a scrapyard? Thoroughly cleaned of course. Or go to a thriftshop, I'm sure there'll be pieces of old cast iron around.
:D :D :D

maybe the Japanese one is Tamahagone... Samurai iron for samurai steel for samurai swords... slicing up people also adds iron by way of blood to the steel....
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debunix
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:19 am

There are other options for similar items besides Amazon:
https://luckyironfish.com/

vs a scrapyard, this is designed for food so no worries about other metal contamination

vs breaking up some old cast iron....not such a bad idea. But I'm still wondering about the rust issue. Something like this might be better used in my water pitcher than in the teapot itself.
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Bok
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:31 am

@powersnacks Apart from the rust, if you enjoy the added value of iron to your water, I would on the other hand want to avoid the flavour contamination of a plastic water kettle :mrgreen:

Could it be that the rust is from the egg and attaches itself to the stainless? I'd also be concerned if the boiling egg would damage the heating elements when "bubbling" around in there.
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Balthazar
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:49 am

Agree with the rest, I'd be wary of damaging the plastic kettle and its heating element.

I've been wanting a tetsubin for quite some years now, but has never been able to justify the purchase as I'd only be able to use it in the weekends. Now with the "home office" situation looking to last well into next year that's not really true anymore. Needless to say this thread triggered a mild case of acute TAD.... Thanks!

(If only they weren't $300+ a piece)
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Bok
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:14 am

Balthazar wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:49 am
Agree with the rest, I'd be wary of damaging the plastic kettle and its heating element.

I've been wanting a tetsubin for quite some years now, but has never been able to justify the purchase as I'd only be able to use it in the weekends. Now with the "home office" situation looking to last well into next year that's not really true anymore. Needless to say this thread triggered a mild case of acute TAD.... Thanks!

(If only they weren't $300+ a piece)
Let me help you out here, I’d say a Tetsubin is probably one of the best investment you can make for your tea experience... plenty of returns for the money! I’d compare it to a quality power tool :)
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StoneLadle
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:17 am

Totally agree with @Bok on it being a turbo unit...

So I shall get another one soon, dropped the old one hahahaha
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pedant
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:32 am

To those asking about stainless steel rusting...
Yes, it can happen, and it's a common problem.

Stainless can be very easily contaminated with "free iron" (either iron or non-stainless steel). It's as easy as touching or rubbing a piece of normal steel on a stainless surface. It can also happen from exposure to steel dust. For this reason, only tools and materials that are nonferrous or stainless can be used on stainless steel, AND they must have never been used on iron or non-stainless steel. For example, even a stainless steel scouring pad that's been used to clean a cast iron skillet can contaminate a stainless pan.

For stainless surfaces that are not constantly exposed to water, the rust resulting from surface contamination is just a cosmetic issue. But for something like a kettle that is constantly wet, it can cause pitting and eventual failure.

The issue can be fixed by grinding off the contamination or by chemical treatment (pickling/passivation).

Here's a nice summary:

http://www.sperkoengineering.com/html/Rust.pdf
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pedant
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:37 am

Also, that iron egg is probably messing up the plastic kettle because it's sitting on the heating element. It's conducting heat from the element to the plastic wall.
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powersnacks
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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:54 am

pedant wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:37 am
Also, that iron egg is probably messing up the plastic kettle because it's sitting on the heating element. It's conducting heat from the element to the plastic wall.
I believe that! For the first brew of the day, I can wedge the egg to the side. But after pouring water, the egg slides forward :lol:
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