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QingHuan Chinese Tea House

QingHuan Chinese Tea House


Friday, 30 October 2009


To all loving readers and visitors,

In this article, I am going to talk about various kettles with different types of materials. 

As far as stovetop kettles are concerned, there are of a variety of materials you can choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

·    Copper

Copper kettles conduct heat much better than stainless steel. However, it is softer in nature and much easier to be tarnished. Moreover, special cleaning solutions are required to prevent the copper from getting scratched.

·    Aluminum

Aluminum tea kettles are almost as energy efficient as copper, but they are expensive. No doubts, they are highly resistant to stains and scratches. They are also durable and suitable for outdoor use.
If you are brewing tea at home, this may not be good choice because of health issues. For safety precaution, this is the one to avoid for regular boiling.

·    Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular kettles because of its attractiveness and easiness to maintain its cleanliness. However, they are relatively poor conductor as compared to aluminum ones, as such they need longer time to heat up. Price wise, they are much cheaper and can be considered as one of the wise alternatives as they are value for money.

Watch out for the handles because they tend to get hot and are not easy to lift up from the stove.

·    Glass

Glass kettles are attractive as they come with variety of shapes and much easier to clean. They are also my choice because I can visualize the state of the boiling water especially for my favorite Pu'er tea. To obtain the best taste of Pu'er tea, the water must not be over boiled because it will harden the water. This will affect the tea leaves not being well absorbed in the water. When the bubbles prop out from the bottom of the kettle, you should lift up the kettle and start to brew Pu'er tea.

Extra care need to be taken so as not to boil them too fast, as sudden change in temperature may cause the glass to shatter. In fact, we shouldn’t heat a glass kettle directly from the stove. It is advisable to place a piece of metal such as a metal trivet to diffuse the heat instead.

Needless to say glass kettles are fragile and extra care need to be taken when cleaning and transporting.

·    Cast iron

Cast iron kettles are also a popular choice. They are heavier but more durable apart from its nature of being excellent in preserving heat.

Normally, cast-iron kettle is coated with enamel inside, and care is required when cleaning so as not to cause the enamel being peeled off which will lead to rust.

If you get a cast iron kettle, you need to dry it out thoroughly in between use so that it doesn’t rust. After you have used it for a while, a layer of minerals will build up, making the kettle less likely to rust.

Cast-iron kettle will take longer to boil water than other made of materials type, but they keep the water hot for a longer period than others.

Some cast iron kettles have plain iron finish, but other come encased in different shades of enamel. But be aware that enamel is prone to chipping.

Would boiling water from different type of kettles ultimately affect the taste of tea?

The answer is in a resounding Yes. For average tea drinkers, the quality of the water has much greater effects than the kettle itself.

Glass kettles have the advantage of least affecting the taste of the tea, similar to the stainless steel types.

Some claimed that electric kettles, especially cheap and made of plastic, can make water taste like plastic.
For obvious reasons, this type should be avoided.

Whereas Copper type has been known to make water tastes metallic. To overcome this issue, you may get stainless steel kettle with a copper base bottom.

Some connoisseurs prefer to use silver kettles. They are expensive, but the water quality is light and fresh. This is especially true for kettles with thin metal. This precious metal type can be hot to touch, and it doesn't retain heat well because of its nature of being the best conductor of heat. As such, they are excellent fit for light oxidized teas such as white tea, green tea and the Sheng (raw) Pu'er tea.

Whereas the cast iron kettles produce water that is more suitable to be used for the heavily oxidized teas such as black tea, oolongs, red tea and the Shou (ripe) Pu'er tea.

How about the size of the kettle?

After you have decided the type of tea kettle, you should get the appropriate size suitable for your needs.
If it is used primarily for oneself, then a small kettle is the best choice. On the other hand, a larger kettle would be more appropriate if it is used to serve a group of drinkers. In short, the key is very much dependent on the number of drinkers you serve at one time and how frequent.

What Kind of Sprout and Handle?

Some kettles have very wide sprouts to facilitate the refill water process. However, if you are using a small tea pot, it is more appropriate to get a kettle with a small and well-defined spout so as to give you better control over the hot water. Spilling boiling water on your hand may be painful!

Always look for kettle with a heat-resistant handle such as wooden handle. It is much easier to pour water for your tea because you don’t have to worry of being hurt when you lift up the kettle.

Do you need the whistle type?

It depends very much on individual preference. Some people like kettles that whistle when the water reaches the boiling point. Others find them obnoxious.

You may appreciate those with whistle as a safety feature especially for those absent-minded people so as to prevent them from accidentally boiling the kettle dry.

If you do not need such a reminder and used it mainly for tea sessions, then obviously you do not need the whistle type. However, if you have big budget, then you may opt for those expensive kettles that have whistles that produce musical sound instead of shrill, so as to have more fun.

With the above guidelines, I am sure it will assist you to select the appropriate type and size of kettle for your use.

James Oh

Saturday, 24 October 2009


My dear loving readers and visitors,

In this article, I am going to give some basic facts on the tea kettle.

Hope you find it useful.

How to buy a tea kettle? Electric versus stovetop. What are the pros and cons of aluminum, stainless steel, glass, copper, silver and cast iron kettles?

To get the most out of your favorite tea, you need the right tools. Needless to say tea kettle is of no exception. Tea kettle, unlike tea pot is generally placed on the stove when boiling water.

Today there are many types of kettles available in the market. But how do you know which one to pick? Is it really worth to spend more to get an expensive model, or will a cheaper model meet your needs equally well?

In this article, I am going to give you some useful tips that can help you get the right tools. Read on to learn more about how to choose a tea kettle.

Stovetop Versus Electric Kettles

Ask yourself, Which type you prefer?

Advantages of Stovetop Kettles

They are more classical and you may find the old-fashioned stove-top models.

It is more attractive, easy to use, and you do not need a power point. Hence, it is more convenient and suitable to be used outdoors such as gardens. 

For those who want to keep tea-making ritual intact, then boiling water on the stove is a better choice.

Advantages of Electric Kettles

The advantages of using electric kettles are that they boil water much faster and are more convenient.

Moreover, some electric kettles have built in water filters which help to remove hard deposits from the water. Electric kettles are also a better choice for those living in dormitories, where there are no stoves available to boil a late-night cup of tea.

Some electric kettles are equipped with temperature-control features where you can stop heating the water   before reaching the boiling point. This is great for those green and white tea drinkers.

For those who have a busy lifestyle, then electric tea kettle is a much better choice.

In my forthcoming article, I will provide more details of this topic.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Saturday, 3 October 2009


Very happy day to my loving readers and visitors,

In my preceding article, I wrote about the tea pot and its characteristics. Since it is still fresh in your memory, I am going to give you some pointers as how to properly use and care for tea pot in this article:-

- have several teapots, for different occasions or to serve different types of tea, so as to reflect its class and characteristics

- always wash the teapot by rinsing with either warm or hot water. Do not use soap. After a period of use, the unglazed teapot will become shiny/glaring when it is rubbed with a soft and clean cloth.

- avoid using aluminum or enamel; aluminum may discolor the tea; chipped enamel may effect the flavor of the tea

- ceramic or bone china teapots retain the heat best

- check the glaze inside the pot for cracks and crazes

- check the handle for finger and knuckle room to avoid burns

- look for a hole in the lid to allow air to ensure the smooth flow of the tea from the pot

- a lug should be part of the lid to hold it in place so the lid doesn’t crash into the cups as the tea is pouring out from the pot.

- avoid using detergent inside a teapot as this will affect the taste of the tea

- remove tannin stains inside the teapot by filling and soaking the pot over several hours with a solution of hot water and four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda – rinse thoroughly.

Please share with me some of your experience as how you take care of your tea pot. I believe that it is always worth to share our experience so as to enrich our experience.

Stay tuned and look forward to hearing from you,

James Oh




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