A Tea Addict's Journal

Charcoal boiling

September 22, 2009 · 7 Comments

I tried out my brazier today, outdoors, with charcoal.  The result, I must say, is mixed.  It took a long time for the water to boil.  I think at first I didn’t add enough charcoal.  Then, it was the relatively cool temperature keeping things slow.  Then, there’s the issue of making sure the heat is funneling up to the kettle and not dispersing on to the sides, since I have a large-ish brazier.  Originally, I wanted to use it to boil water for a class on Thursday, but perhaps, I would have to resort to using an electric kettle to boil the water and then just use the charcoal to keep the water warm…..

Sigh, compromises.  I think the cold air really makes a huge difference to how long it takes to boil.  I remember even using my heating plate outside, it takes a lot longer to boil a kettle than inside.  These are the little things that reminds you how making tea in the old days took considerably more effort than it does today.

Categories: Objects · Old Xanga posts
Tagged: , ,

7 responses so far ↓

  • Maitre_Tea // September 22, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Reply

    Too bad it didn’t work out…but maybe you should buy/obtain a goose feather fan. Imen seemed to have much luck getting a fire going that way. See here: http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2009/09/goose-feather-fan.html

  • MarshalN // September 22, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Reply

    I think that works much better with Imen’s small chimney style stove than the big brazier that I’m using. She’s also boiling the water indoors, from what I understand. When it’s 15C outside and the water starts out at 10C…. it takes a lot longer.

  • jasonwitt // October 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Reply

    In the old days I imagine they also often had big fires. They’d make sure they had one available always in the house, and outside they’d have a big firepit. Cooler outside temps but hotter fire. –Teaternity

  • Brenian Strange // March 7, 2013 at 8:17 am | Reply


    I currently own a very “old tetsubin” from the “Ming Zhi” dynasty of Japan,
    I’m curious of whether I can use a “Spirit Burner” that you see in most tea shops to heat up my “tetsubin”?

    or is it better to electric heater?
    I’m asking as I don’t want to damage my “old tetsubin” since I found out it was an antique,

    and some say it’s better to use “charcoal” to heat it up,
    but from your post above,

    it seems to take quite sometime,
    I was just wondering if you had any experience with using “Spirit Burners” to heat up tetsubins,

    I really enjoy your site~!!!
    Keep up the good work!

    • MarshalN // March 10, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply

      Spirit burners will take way, way too long to heat water up. It can probably keep water warm, but no more.

      • Brenian Strange // March 10, 2013 at 10:42 am | Reply

        Will, Charcoal Burner work?
        will Charcoal burner heat up the tetsubin faster?

        anything I need to look out for using charcoal burner?

        I wanted to use another alternative to using the usual electric burner,
        is because the radiation and heat transmitted is INTENSE! sitting by it’s side doesn’t calm me down!

        or do you have other electric burner in mind you can intro me?


        • MarshalN // March 10, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply

          Yeah, the radiation heat is intense. Charcoal isn’t going to be much different. That’s just how it has to be. Spirit burner will take way too long – these things lose a lot of heat, and so if your heat unit isn’t strong enough, your water will take hours to boil.

Leave a Comment