Tea lovers for generations have enjoyed the beauty and quick heating characteristics of copper tea kettles. While kettles manufactured or handcrafted from copper have been produced in the United States for decades, most cookware of this type is now manufactured in England, Portugal, India and China. Because of the high cost of genuine copper, many teapots are now copper plated stainless steel.
Solid Copper Tea Kettles
When selecting a new or used solid copper teapot, it is important that the interior lining of the pot be in good condition to avoid a metallic taste which can occur if copper is exposed inside the kettle. Most teapots manufactured from actual copper are lined on the inside with tin or nickel to avoid the metallic taste of copper.
With use, the kettle will tarnish or develop an “antiqued” look. If you prefer to keep the teapot shiny on the outside, the exterior of the pot should be regularly cleaned with a high quality non-abrasive metal polish. For quickly cleaning the most stubborn tarnish, Wenol metal polish does an excellent job and leaves a clean polished surface appearance.
Never clean the interior of a solid copper teapot with metal polish, metallic scrubbing pads, metal utensils, bleach, vinegar, or harsh cleaners as this can severely damage the interior lining of the pot. Because copper cookware is a fast conductor of heat, solid copper teapots will normally perform well on medium or lower heat settings saving time and energy.
Great care should be used to never allow a solid copper tea kettle to boil dry on the stovetop. While most kettles will be damaged by this occurrence, allowing a solid copper kettle to boil dry can severely damage the interior lining of the kettle.
A solid copper tea kettle with a scorched or damaged interior lining should not be used. Allowing a solid copper tea kettle to boil dry can also warp or otherwise damage the kettle.
Copper Plated Teapots
Many of the new generation of copper teapots are manufactured from stainless steel with a copper plating and feature rugged construction for everyday use.
To eliminate the need for polishing, some (but not all) of the new generation of copper plated stainless steel tea kettles also feature a high temperature exterior clear coat which seals the exterior copper plating to minimize tarnishing.
Because the kettle is manufactured from stainless steel, the kettle interior is easy to clean and is resistant to damage.