Red Tea Kettle
When talking about red tea, there are actually two varieties of tea that is meant by the term. You either mean black tea, which is a beverage made from fully oxidized leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, or the South African rooibos tisane.
The Chinese and other Asian cultures call black tea “red tea,” or more precisely hongcha, which means the same thing, to differentiate it from the traditional “black tea,” which actually refers to Pu-erh tea. The name is actually more of a description of the color of the tea than any reference to its taste or flavor.
When Westerners, on the other hand, say “red tea,” what they are actually referring to is not black tea but the South African rooibos tisane. Rooibos tea is not considered a “true” tea since it does not come from the tea plant but from an herb from which the tea variety got its name.
Both red teas are valued for their therapeutic properties. Hongcha has higher caffeine content than most other teas and has fuller, richer antioxidant content. In many recent studies, antioxidants are said to help prevent various illnesses, from the simple cold to complex disorders like cancer. On the other hand, rooibos tea is said to contain anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic effects. Studies have also shown that Rooibos tea has anti inflammatory and anti allergic properties.
Because hongcha is made from the fully oxidized tea plant leaves, they exhibit stronger flavors and characteristic tastes. They range from fruity to nutty and even berry. In that regard, they are almost like wine.
Rooibos tea are likewise highly varied when it comes to flavors. Commercial rooibos tea are sometimes sold with flavorings added in order to spice up the consumer’s taste buds.
Whether you are drinking red tea for its medicinal properties or for their unusual flavors, keep in mind that both these aspects are only brought out to the fullest if you use the right equipment – i.e. the red tea kettle.
Red tea kettles are among the most ancient kitchen utensils in the world. Some of them may even date back to a time before tea was discovered and tea drinking became the norm among Ancient Asian cultures.
Modern red tea kettles today come in a variety of styles and designs. Some of the more common red tea kettle types include the following:
- Stainless steel red tea kettles
- Cast iron steel red tea kettles
- Brass red tea kettles
- Copper red tea kettles
- Glass red tea kettles
Out of all these, the most durable is stainless steel. Brass kettles are valued as vintage items and are used more often as decorative pieces than as actual kettle to boil water for steeping tea.