Best way to heat water for tea? Teflon pans are toxic!

I’m looking for the safest way to heat water for tea. As I no longer “cook,” I haven’t used my pots and pans in a long time with the exception of heating water for tea.

Last night, I forgot about the water on the stove, which then boiled, and then continued to boil until it was empty. The pan,which has a teflon coating, started to heat up and smell so terrible. This morning I did some research and learned that Teflon is super toxic at certain temperatures. In fact, groups have been lobbying the FDA for years to have warning labels put on the pans but have failed so far. There is even a warning on the DuPont website that the fumes from a heated Teflon pan can instantly kill pet birds kept in the home! Yikes! The article also included reference to a chemical called C-8 that is now in everyone’s blood stream because of the prevalence of Teflon (Stainmaster carpets, Gore-Tex clothing, Teflon pans, etc.). Several birth defects have been connected.

Anyway, this was terrifying and am now wondering what is the best way to heat water for tea. I’m certainly not going to use a microwave. Cast iron? I doubt aluminum is any good.

The most informative article I read can be found here:

Thanks for your help.


  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    I would suggest either a glass teapot with a whistle top (hard to ignore the whistle for long) or an electric teapot that turns off automatically. Our English tea drinkers out there will probably have the “perfect” suggestion. :)

  • I used my one remaining stainless steel pan for tea for ages, and always felt very comfortable with it. But my boyfriend introduced me to the Sunbeam Hot Shot:…=pd_sim_dbs_hpc_img_1

    It is fantastic! You just pour a cup of water in, press a button, and it boils the water almost instantly. A light goes off when it’s ready—I think it takes less than a minute for a full cup of water. Then you just press a button and it dispenses the water into your cup. Best of all, it turns itself off once the water hits a boil, so if you forget about it for too long, the water will just slowly lose its heat. That’s it!

    The only thing is that the water is VERY hot, so I use only about a third to a half a cup of the hot water and fill my cup the rest of the way with room temperature water before I add my mint leaves (or whatever else it is I’m using). This works great, because it takes even less time to heat the small quantity of water I use. But you may need to experiment just a little to figure out how much of the hot water you’ll need to get a cup of water at the temperature you prefer.

    I don’t know, I thought it was kind of a silly, superfluous appliance to have until we got one. But now I use it all the time and absolutely love it. It’s small, convenient, effective, and really cheap. It’s durable, too—my boyfriend’s parents had one from the 70’s that they just replaced last summer. And unlike the big hot water kettles that lots of people use, I love that it is designed for just one or two servings, so you don’t have water sitting in it all the time kind of stagnating. It’s probably not a big deal at all, but that always bothered me about the big kettles.

    Gosh, I sound like an infomercial, but I really do love this little appliance!

  • Why not just a normal stainless steel kettle on the stove or a plug in one? Just don’t let it boil all the way and drink it warm/hot as opposed to hot/hot. But as was said, just don’t let it be aluminum (they’ve tied that toxic metal down to alzheimer’s).

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