The Science of Why Cast Iron Teapots are hot, Hot, HOT

I finally succumbed to the trend of cast iron teapots last Christmas, when I bought one for my boyfriend as a gift. Refusing to spend too much money I found a good deal for one that came with two cast iron cups. I’ll admit that cast iron certainly makes for a cool looking teapot, but besides the look there is nothing cool about these pots, except the tea inside – and I’m not talking fashion; I’m talking temperature.

Cast iron has a high thermal conductivity, meaning the rate that the high temperature of the water transfers its energy to the teapot’s surface is relatively fast. This means that within minutes of pouring the boiling water into the pot, the outside of your beautiful tea dispenser is well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit; not something you want to touch with your bare hands.

Well, the scorching high temperatures are not the only thing you need to be worrying about when you’re trying to drink your tea. The fact that the outside of the pot is hot means that it is radiating away all of that heat that is keeping your tea warm. So, instead of having hot tea longer, it’s actually cooling it at a faster rate than your ceramic tea pot would. Well, the obvious solution to that is a tea cozy. But, who wants to cover up a gorgeous teapot they have spent hundreds of dollars on? Lucky for us another solution was made. Teapot stores provide heating plates that will not only keep your tea warm but maintain the scorching temperatures of the teapot’s surface as well. Of course this heating plate comes as an additional charge, so you can spend more money to accommodate the primary function failure of something that is already overpriced.

Now, what about the cast iron tea cups? I know I’m not the only one who enjoys holding cups bare handed. It’s not a fetish, it’s just natural. But, with cast iron tea cups you must be patient and wait for the cup to cool down enough so that you can actually touch it. And, by the time that glorious opportunity roles around your tea is lukewarm; fantastic. Hey, look at it this way: you no longer have to blow on your drink and are guaranteed something that won’t burn your tongue. Just make sure you don’t singe your fingers by touching the cup before the opportune moment.

My boyfriend and I have used that teapot a total of four times since Christmas. I bought it for him because he always enjoyed looking at them when we went to the mall. So, all logic aside, I bit the bullet and now he has one that he does not use, which I don’t blame him for.

I have absolutely no idea why cast iron tea pots have become so popular, simply for the reason that I’m assuming people still enjoy hot tea. I asked my boyfriend the very question of why these teapots have become so trendy and his reply was “Because they look cool!” Well, there you go. A tea pot that is scorching to the touch, costs hundreds of dollars, cools your tea extremely quickly, and requires additional expensive equipment to keep your tea hot.

But aren’t they just so darned good looking?

2 thoughts on “The Science of Why Cast Iron Teapots are hot, Hot, HOT

  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

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