Iron in clay pots

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Kale
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:56 am

Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:52 am

How does the iron in certain clays effect the tea or their performance?
I know that some factory pots (I think white label Hongnis) have some iron mixed in. Is that what makes them of “lesser” quality than older hongnis?
Does it effect the tea?
Also, many modern potters often mention about their teaware how much iron is mixed into the clay (5% or 3%). Is this relevant to the effect of the clay on the tea? In what way?
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tingjunkie
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Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:24 am

All Yixing clays have a certain amount of iron in them, I believe. When there's enough to form a visible shiny black dot on the clay, I guess some might consider that an "impurity" and therefore not as good as early F1 pots that did not show black dots. That being said, I have several pots withe the iron dots that all make tea wonderfully.

As far as the effect of iron on tea, I would have to guess it's a similar effect to using a cast iron tetsubin, but far less dramatic. In my experience, a tetsubin will make the water weightier with a fuller mouth feel, but will also round out the higher notes of a tea and punch up the base notes. I'd assume it's the same effect in a clay teapot, but much less noticeable than the effect of a tetsubin. I'm sure others have a more scientific approach to the topic though.
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tealifehk
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Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:16 am

tingjunkie wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:24 am

As far as the effect of iron on tea, I would have to guess it's a similar effect to using a cast iron tetsubin, but far less dramatic. In my experience, a tetsubin will make the water weightier with a fuller mouth feel, but will also round out the higher notes of a tea and punch up the base notes. I'd assume it's the same effect in a clay teapot, but much less noticeable than the effect of a tetsubin. I'm sure others have a more scientific approach to the topic though.
You're right on! Iron bonds with certain compounds in tea and precipitates them, so it can reduce bitterness as well.
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