What's the best way to take care of my cast iron teapot?

Caring for a cast iron teapot is very simple. Similar to the Yixing teapots, soap should not be used to clean an iron teapot. After rinsing the tetsubin cast iron teapot thoroughly with water, it should be wiped dry with a clean cloth. This cleaning method will allow the seasoned mineral coating to remain intact and protect the iron in the teapot walls from oxidizing.


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Why choose whole leaf tea bags?

Whole leaf tea bags are a convenient way to prepare tea for every day consumption without the need for special equipment and accessories that are required to prepare loose leaf tea.


The tea contained in whole leaf tea bags is identical to loose leaf tea. High quality teas are packed into tea bags containing between 1.7 to 2 grams of tea suitable for a small teapot of approximately 300ml half filled with water. More than one tea bag can be added to larger teapots to ensure that the full flavour of the tea is present. Over steeping of the tea can be prevented by the removal of the tea bag from the teapot or alternately the cup.


All the tea bags sold by The Tea Merchant have been specially selected to ensure that an exceptionally high quality tea is packed into a cloth tea bag. The cloth is either a lightweight silk or a modern fabric produced specifically for tea bags. These cloth tea bags have not been bleached and do not contain chemical residues similar to those of bleached tea bags.


Whole leaf tea bags are distinctly different to the normal commercially available tea bags, where the contents have been ground down to an almost powdery consistency to facilitate machine packing of the tea bag. Each tea bag is presented in a sealed airtight package to ensure absolute freshness of the tea.


Try our delicious range of gourmet tea bags here!



How long should I steep flower tea and whats the best way to store it?

Also known as blooming teas, these teas are hand tied floral arrangements that allow a visual as well as taste experience to be witnessed by all around the table. The most drinkable of all green teas, with numerous claimed health and vitality attributes. Steeping times on flower teas is approximately 3 minutes. Teas ideally should be decanted or drunk after approximately 5 minutes to prevent over steeping and loss of floral flavours. Each flower can be steeped three times or more. To preserve the visual effect of the arrangement flower teas can be placed in glasses once steeped and filled with cold water to be stored as a table decoration!

Which Tea should I use with a cast iron teapot?

Each of our tetsubins has been enamelled on the inside and the quality of which conforms to various testing authorities specifications. As enamelled tetsubins they are known as 'kyusa' and are used for loose-leaf teas as well as herbal infusions and fresh herb teas. Each tetsubin teapot comes with a stainless mesh infuser to perfectly steep your loose leaf tea. Many tea enthusiasts claim the tea brewed in the cast iron Tetsubin teapot tastes better than tea brewed in any other teapot! Never use detergents to wash your cast iron teapots as this will have a negative effect on the taste of your tea, simply rinse with hot water. Enjoy!

What exactly are antioxidants?

So, you've heard that tea is a great source of antioxidants...but what exactly are they?

Antioxidants are components that help to protect cells from harmful “free radicals”, known as oxidants. Free radicals occur naturally in the body as a byproduct of the respiration process and can bring about cell damage. Antioxidants help to prevent this cell damage, which can contribute to ageing and a number of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease and strokes. Green and black teas are exceptionally high in antioxidants!


Does tea have the same amount of caffeine as coffee?

We often have a lot of folks, who are worried about their daily caffeine intake, asking us this question. So here it is, short and sweet:


Green tea, as well as Oolong tea & Black tea, are produced from the herb Camellia Sinensis. They all contain the same amount of caffeine. Caffeine content in a cup of tea is 2.5% to 4%, which is about a third of that in coffee. It is claimed that 80% of the caffeine in tea remains unabsorbed by the human body. From the above you would realise that Green tea, Oolong tea & Black tea may taste different but the caffeine content is the same.


Until next time, happy tea drinking!

December 12, 2011

Read what the Gourmet Guys had to say about us at GFAW 2011

The Tea Merchant walked away with the grand prize for Best Exhibit at the Good Food and Wine Show, Johannesburg Editon, 2011. The stand was innovative and it’s bamboo structure conveyed it’s message well, perfectly complementing the products on display. The wall was filled with pitucres of tea plantations which really gave this tiny little stand great depth.

The Tea Merchant specialises in the importation, design and ranging of tea and tea related products. It was only three months ago that Carin and Belinda took the decision to enter the retail, gifting and hospitality sectors with unique product offerings, one of which also won Product of the Year for Packaging at the show. They also have a really cool website with steaming tea and everything, go check it out.

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