beginner boiling pot- clay or tetsubin? glass?

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wave_code
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Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:37 am

I'm interested in getting a better set up over time for boiling both tea and water. I use a klarstein electric at the moment which is fully adjustable in temp which is great- but it doesn't insulate so well which means for making teas that need consistent high temps I have to constantly be running back to the kitchen to re-boil. Living in an apartment charcoal is out (I would only have time for this maybe once every couple weeks anyway), so I need something that will work well with an electric/ceramic burner. I have a gas stove but the whole point is for me to not have to stand in my kitchen all day. So, seeking some advice...

Can chaozhou pots be used with electric stoves? While obviously meant more for boiling water, anyone have any experience seasoning them and using them for boiling tea?

I like that tetsubins also seem to have a positive effect on water but are a bit less delicate (at least in terms of cracking or getting damaged while moving). I know there are tons of cheap cast iron "japanese teapots" with infuser baskets and nasty waxy/plastic linings and stuff sold everywhere, but are there any cheaper tetsubins that anyone recommends for starting out? I don't want to really invest in anything too pricey without having some experience first to ensure it works in my set up, and also to get a bit of experience caring for one before taking up caring for a nice artisan made pot.

While there are other options like ceramic kettles, chinese traditional medicine pots, or high-temp glass pots which can be used directly on a burner for starting out at least for water, if I'm looking to boil tea I figure if there is just the cooking pot and the cup with no teapot in between using the right vessel gets more important. I mostly boil kyobancha and similar roasted teas, but also the leftovers of my nicer blacks and hei cha.
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There is no self
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Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:08 am

wave_code wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:37 am
I'm interested in getting a better set up over time for boiling both tea and water. I use a klarstein electric at the moment which is fully adjustable in temp which is great- but it doesn't insulate so well which means for making teas that need consistent high temps I have to constantly be running back to the kitchen to re-boil. Living in an apartment charcoal is out (I would only have time for this maybe once every couple weeks anyway), so I need something that will work well with an electric/ceramic burner. I have a gas stove but the whole point is for me to not have to stand in my kitchen all day. So, seeking some advice...
For heating kettles/pots, you might want to have a look here: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=698
.m.
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Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:20 am

For boiling tea, i'd get a small pyrex glass pot as a starter, such as Corning Vision, they often can be get cheaply in salvation army type second hand stores (at least in France and in Canada).
For boiling water, both ceramic kettle and a tetsubin are good options. You can get a decent one for about 100euro on ebay or yahoo.jp if you keep looking. In Vienna, you might also be able to find a some good vintage ware for cheap if you look around second hand stores.
Generally speaking, ceramic kettles for boiling water are often quite porous and not suitable for boiling tea.
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Shine Magical
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Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:13 pm

Why don’t you just move the electric kettle into the same room you’re going to have tea in?
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wave_code
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Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:15 am

Not really possible - the way the wiring is in my place moving things like that back and forth is a big hassle. My partner makes coffee in the kitchen and I use it while cooking a lot, so there it stays. Also having a dedicated pot like a tetsubin is appealing just in its own right :) . Also- can't use an electric kettle for boiling tea.

.m. - do you think such pots would be bad for boiling because they would need to be dedicated to one type of tea, or rather that they are so porous they would wind up absorbing most of the actual flavor from the liquor?
.m.
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Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:56 am

wave_code wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:15 am
.m. - do you think such pots would be bad for boiling because they would need to be dedicated to one type of tea, or rather that they are so porous they would wind up absorbing most of the actual flavor from the liquor?
It is impossible to generalize, and you would have to try, but in many cases a kettle for boiling water can be too muting or not interacting well with tea (eg. tetsubin). I mean, they are designed to boil and improve water, not tea. What you want i think is a big teapot that can withstand heat. In the past I've been using a big yixing teapot for the purpose of boiling tea (which i dont do very often, and it is in a storage now) and i'm always very careful when heating it.
Chadrinkincat
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Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:45 pm

Get a glass kettle or large fairness pitcher. I often boil spent tea in a 250ml glass pitcher or 500ml metal dim sum pot with water from cleaning my yixing.
plamarca000
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Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:55 pm

I recently ordered one of these
https://www.globalteahut.org/sidehandle.html

They use it for boiled tea
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Baisao
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Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:34 am

@wave_code , another thing to consider with a tetsubin is that they are heavy. They feel unwieldy to me because of their mass and design. In many traditions, water is heated in a large kettle and brought to a smaller kettle made of clay. This smaller kettle is heated with more precision and poured over the tea.

The previous suggestion of a Corning ceramic/glass kettle, mentioned above, is an inexpensive alternative.

Ceramic kettles can be muting until the clay absorbs enough minerals from your water to become neutral. At least, that’s been my experience. I personally favor a 1 liter clay kettle. I have no experience with Chaozhou clay kettles and I have concerns about their quality, though the GTH kettles may be just fine.

Some Japanese ceramicists are making extraordinary clay kettles. These are what I use. They need no further seasoning than a boil with rice water and frequent use with your favorite water. Look for them on IG and auction sites.
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