After I mentioned my problems with the tetsubin, Dogma suggested to me that I should bake it to get rid of the funny smell. I did…. and it worked. I could smell the chamomile or whatever it was that was lodged in the pot, and now, when I boil it, no more nasty smell. I tried the water today…. tasted fine!
There’s some rust in there, and the shape of the tetsubin is such that scraping them all out is not easy. I’m still wondering if there’s something I can use to get rid of it without harming the metal too much — maybe some sort of acid (vinegar, say?). Then again, it will probably rust again. The piece, though, looks much nicer now than when I first got it, when it was covered in some sort of gunk. The downside to the baking is that much of the paint that was on the bottom was probably baked off — a lot flaked off, exposing the bare metal. I have a feeling it’s going to be a little more susceptible to rust from now on, so I jus thave to keep it dry as much as possible and hopefully slow the process of rusting.
Next step is to see if it works well as a tea making device. I still need to heat water first using something else, or put this tetsubin on the stove to heat up the water. The alcohol burner works well keeping the water hot, but really isn’t enough to boil – takes far, far too long.