One of the first things I bought when I moved out and on my own was this adorable yellow tea kettle to match my very “Friends-feeling” yellow kitchen. To be honest in my 20s I didn’t drink tea and I had close to ZERO use for this tea kettle, but because it was the perfect shade of yellow to match my sunny little kitchen I HAD to have it. This was long before ceramic tea kettles were easy to find.
I actually JUST retired that yellow tea kettle this year when the final piece holding it together gave way. It had moved with me three times after my first yellow kitchen and although my kitchens were never quite that sunny yellow gain, it always had a home on top of our stove.
This year as I went on the hunt for a new tea kettle, I was amazed at just HOW many different options there were out there. I also learned a valuable lesson in search terms — a teapot is definitely NOT a tea kettle — and vice versa.
I found in my search that not only are there different styles of teapots and tea kettles, but there are also a variety of different materials these staples are made from. Ceramic tea kettles, stainless steel just to name a few. As I started to see brightly colored tea pots and tea kettles I began to wonder if the paint and coating used was truly safe.
And so it began my search for a natural and non-toxic tea kettle and teapot. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you my top pick for ceramic tea kettles and the best teapots you can find — all toxin free. I’m also going to share with you some great options for tea that is organic and ethically sourced — all free from plastic and pesticides.
TOXINS FOUND IN TEA KETTLES & TEAPOTS
Aluminum: Aluminum in the kitchen, especially in items that get heated to a high temperature, just like tea kettles, should be avoided. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s as well as toxicity to the nervous system. Another study points to aluminum causing negative effects on bone development. And because aluminum is a metal, it can easily leach it’s way into your food and beverage from whatever medium you’re cooking with. (Information about aluminum leaching). Research was also done on aluminum cookware that showed it contained lead, cadmium and arsenic due to the fact that it was made with recycled aluminum.
Coated Kettles (Cast Iron or Ceramic): Be extra cautious of what you’re purchasing when it comes to enameled cast iron. ESPECIALLY those bright colored ones — they can contain lead and cadmium in the glaze. You want to make sure you’re purchasing from a high quality company that doesn’t import their products. Finding a company that manufactures in the US and is third party tested for lead and cadmium is key. (STUDY) Lead poisoning can lead to kidney and brain damage as well as anemia. It’s also harmful to unborn babies and their developing nervous system.
Cadmium is also damaging to the kidneys as it accumulates in the body just like lead and has to be filtered out It can lead to osteoporosis, nephrotoxicity (deterioration of the kidneys) as well as an increased risk of lung cancer. It has also been linked to immune system suppression in kids. (STUDY)
Nickel: A lot of people, myself included, have a sensitivity to nickel. Oftentimes it can cause an allergic skin reaction when it touches the skin. A scientific study showed that nickel leached into water when boiled in a tea kettle that had a nickel coating rather than stainless steel. Nickel consumption aggravates the skin allergies of affected individuals. They also found that filtered water, which is more acidic in nature, actually leached MORE nickel from the teapot. A study also showed that inhaling nickel compounds has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. (STUDY)
Brass Fittings & Lead Solder: Brass fittings in kettles and teapots often contain lead, as does solder that is made of lead. Lead in contact with water can leach into the water, allowing you to consume it. Lead poisoningWhen you’re looking for a tea kettle or teapot, you’ll want to make sure there are no fittings on it that are brass and you’ll also want to make sure there’s no lead solder. (LEAD STUDY). This is the exact reason that I love one-piece tea kettles like Xtrema’s option.
Lead poisoning can cause kidney and brain damage as well as anemia weakness, especially in children. It can also be extremely toxic to unborn babies, in which case it causes damage to the baby’s developing nervous system. (CDC information on Lead)
Plastic: We know that plastics are a definite no-no in the kitchen and that our bodies can become really affected by their toxins; especially when ingested. Any tea kettle that has plastic in it and gets heated to a high heat should be avoided. Phthalates and Bisphenol are both in plastics and are both serious toxins that can disrupt the endocrine system and should be avoided.
Exposed Coils and Elements: Exposed coils and elements are often made of nicke, which as we know is hazardous in terms of our health. Coils can also contain lead and chromium, which has a similar reaction in our bodies as nickel: aggravated skin allergies and are the main culprit here for those who have sensitivities.
A word about imported tea kettles and teapots: While sometimes finding something imported can mean finding a really great, high quality product, you do have to be careful. In the USA, we have FDA rules and regulations about the amount of lead that’s allowed in our products. Other countries, like China have much more lenient regulations regarding this, so be cautious when you’re buying.
If you get my email newsletter, you know that a few weeks ago I shared a site called Import Yeti. You can search through their database to see where companies are importing their products and ingredients from, which can help you while you’re searching for toxin free products.
MATERIALS FOUND IN THE BEST TEAPOTS AND TEA KETTLES
Glass: Glass is one of the best teapot options out there. There’s very little that is done to add toxins to glass at this point, and so finding a borosilicate glass tea pot or tea kettle will ensure that there is very low thermal expansion, which prevents the glass from breaking under high heat.
Stainless Steel: You’ll want to make sure you’re finding a stainless steel that is labeled as 18/8 (this means it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel) or less. This is considered a high quality stainless steel. You can also find stainless steel with no nickel, which if you have allergies is probably best. (Study about stainless steel tea kettles that contain nickel and chromium)
Ceramic Tea Kettles: As always, this is something you’ll need to look into before you buy it. Ceramic tea kettles come in all forms and some are not as healthy as others. I personally LOVE Xtrema Brand cookware, and they just released a ceramic tea kettle that is completely safe and non-toxic. Make sure you’re finding a ceramic tea kettle or tea pot that is one piece ceramic and coated with a lead-free, cadmium-free glaze.
Cast Iron: Plain old cast iron is a great option when it comes to finding the best teapots and tea kettles. It retains heat extremely well and the added benefit of some iron in your water and tea should also be noted. Make sure you’re finding a cast iron tea kettle that doesn’t have any sort of coating on it to ensure it is free from lead and cadmium.
Enameled cast iron: This is another tricky one: some enameled cast iron tea kettles and teapots do in fact contain lead and cadmium. The trick here is to find one that is made and manufactured in counties that regulate the amount of lead and cadmium in their products. Essentially ,you want to avoid enameled cast iron that is imported from China as they don’t have strict regulations on their lead and cadmium levels in glazes and colorings.
TOP PICKS FOR CERAMIC TEA KETTLES AND NATURAL TEAPOTS
Xtrema Ceramic Tea Kettle: My absolute top pick, is the ceramic tea kettle by Xtrema. It retains heat really well and let’s be honest, it’s beautiful! If you’re picky about the taste of metal that can leach into water, then this is a great option. You can also use my coupon code: HHOTB to get 15% off of their ceramic tea kettle.
Susteas Stainless Steel Tea Kettle: Made with surgical steel that is 18/8, which is generally hypoallergenic and has very small amounts of nickel and chromium. Every exposed surface is stainless steel so there’s no leaching into your water.
Sun’s Tea All glass Teapot: This one is ALL glass with a glass infuser and has absolutely no metal or plastic parts on it. For that reason alone it’s beautiful! It is made with borosilicate glass which means you can heat it safely.
ETHICALLY SOURCED AND ORGANIC TEAS
Loose Leaf tea is the best option if you’re looking for something that is organic and ethically sourced. It’s also a much more eco friendly option as you can reduce waste due to packaging. However, some brands have started making more eco friendly pre-packaged tea bags.
Below are my top shopping picks for ethically sourced and organic teas to go along with your best teapot or maybe a ceramic tea kettle: