Among Japanese connoisseurs, the Kyusu teapot, especially Tokoname ware, is the must-item to make a Japanese green tea.
Tokoname ware called Tokoname Yaki in Japanese, which has been produced for a long time mainly in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture.and also known as the largest production of Kyusu teapot in Japan.
Kyusu teapot made of Tokoname ware is selected as an important intangible cultural property. Not only green tea but also Tokoname ware Kyusu is indispensable for Japanese culture.
Today, I am going to introduce Tokoname Kyusu and the important tips to clean it.
What You Should Know About Tokoname Yaki
As the name suggests, Tokoname yaki is pottery produced mainly in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture.
Tokoname is one of the cities on the Chita Peninsula and is also popular as the city where Chubu Centrair International Airport is located.
Tokoname yaki has a long history (since the 12th century) and ranked in one of the six pottery crafts in Japan. Moreover, since the Edo Period ( 1603-1867) Tokoname has been a famous pottery center for high-quality, artistic pottery.
The Vermilion Color
Tokoname Yaki is used to called “Akamono”(赤物) which means red articles because Tokoname yaki is an impressive vermilion color. Because the rich in iron oxide, and it turns red after fired. This clay has excellent water resistance, so it is especially ideal for the Kyusu teapot.
Tokoname yaki is generally non-glaze pottery, but recently there are various colors and styles of glazed Kyusu teapots in addition to vermilion.
Since the firing temperature is high, it sufficient strength even for tableware used in daily life.
Tokoname Kyusu Has The Best Tea Steeping Performance
Now, it is time to talk about why Tokoname Kyusu teapot is the best for best tea steeping performance.
Make Mellow Green Tea Taste
The tea brewed in Tokoname-yaki Kyusu will be mellow and tasty because iron oxide in the earthenware reacts with the tannins in the green tea, and the astringency and bitterness will be mild resulting in a mellow taste.
Besides, the Kyusu teapot made without glaze can make more mellow taste because it absorbs extra components in tea.
The Lid Fits Very Well
It is very important that the lid fits really well to make good green tea.
When you buy a cheap Kyusu teapot, the lid often will not fit properly.
Like Tokoname Yaki, Kyusu teapots produced by potters have the perfect lid fits.
In the pottery process, there is “Futasuri”(蓋すり), which is rubbing the lid into the main body.
By rubbing the lid into the body, the lid will fit perfectly. Thus, the airtightness inside the Kyusu will increase and brew green tea leaves sufficiently keeping the water temperature.
How To Clean A Tokoname Teapot
As I mentioned before, Tokoname Kyusu lasts longer if it will be under good maintenance. Do you think you just OK to throw it in a dishwasher before going to sleep???
Normally, Tokoname teapots are very delicate and not dishwasher-safe.
It is the special utensil to make the relaxation time, let’s take care of the Tokoname teapot with special thanks.
For the first use, rinse the Kyusu teapot with warm water. To let the earthenware absorb the water makes it firm and stronger.
In Daily Use
In daily use, rinse a teapot with warm water and keep inside clean each time. Be sure there are no remains inside. Better not to use dish soap to avoid the fragrance of a soap transferred to the teapot. Wash it with water only.
Turn the teapot and the lid over and air dry them. Air-dry the inside of the Kyusu completely. If you continue to use it without drying it completely, it can cause the bacteria to grow.
You don’t have to be so careful of green tea-stain if you clean the teapot carefully. The tea astringent itself (the green stain) has an antiseptic effect.
Don’t forget to clean the spout. Run water from the tip of the spout and clean the inside.
Especially brewed leaves tend to remain at the bottom of the spout, so use water pressure to wash away.
Soak the Kyusu teapot in the water for at least 1 hour, and leaves will come off. Rinse it off thoroughly and dry well.
The Special Care
Although daily maintenance is very simple and easy, Tokoname Kyusu will become dirty after a long period of use.
Special care should be taken when the stain of green tea is severe and slimy, or when the taste of green tea is bad and it smells.
Due to its unique shape, you may feel hard to wash it. When doing the special care, use a straw brush and scrub gently. Do not use the metal brush for Tokoname teapot.
Speaking tea strainer of Tokoname-yaki Kyusu, there are two types; one is removal and another one is a built-in. If your teapot is the latter, the part is thin and fragile, so you need to scrub very gently not to break it.
How To Bleach Tokoname Teapot
In Japanese green tea connoisseurs, some of them remain green tea stains (Chashibu, 茶渋 in Japanese) on purpose to add rich flavor.
However, from a hygienic point of view, you can bleach the Tokoname teapot if it’s really bothering you.
With Use Chlorine Bleach
There is some opinion to use Chlorine bleach for delicate Tokoname teapot, but it will lead the best result to remove stains instantly.
Prepare a large bucket enough to soak the Kyusu teapot all the way and make a solution according to the direction on the bottle. Soak the teapot for 30 minutes.
With Baking Soda (Environment & Human Friendly)
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda per 1 Litter of water in a large enough pot to fit in a Kyusu teapot.
Do not use an aluminum pot and Teflon-processed pot.
Heat the pot on the stove over medium heat and boil for about 1 minute once starting boiling. Leave it on for about 30 minutes after turning off the heat.
Wash the Kyusu with a soft sponge and rinse it fully.
Find Your Favorite Tokoname Teapot
Since Tokoname Kyusu is handmade by potters, distribution is limited and sometimes takes time to be stocked next. Don’t hesitate to buy it if you find one.
Morimasa Tokoname Kyusu
Made in Tokoname, Japan.
A ceramic Kyusu with a stylish flat shape in the traditional molding techniques.
An authentic simple Tokoname Kyusu finished up with smooth texture and design.
With a capacity of 300 ml, which is the perfect size to make green tea for one or two people at a time.
A big lid has stability and easy to handle.
The tea strainer is fine mesh stainless steel.
Not only for Japanese green tea but also for black tea and Chinese tea.
Yamakiikai Tokoname Black Kyusu, Cherry Blossoms
Made in Tokoname, Japan.
It’s the black modern style of Tokoname Kyusu teapot with gorgeous cherry blossoms and the gold brushy line.
A handmade big built-in tea strainer shaped a dome is good for making Japanese green tea.
It is the best size for 2 – 3 people.
Made in Tokoname, Japan.
The handle is designed to hold easily and to pour smoothly with one hand.
Tokoname-yaki built-in ceramic tea strainer called “Sasame” and “Ceramesh” is one of the charms loved by tea dealers and connoisseur, which supports from Asamushi steeping to Fukamushi steeping.
Unlike the stainless steel tea strainer, the tea leaves can be opened fully, so the flavor and aroma increases.
This Kyusu is recommended for those who are concerned about the metallic odor.
Hokuryu Dark Brown Wide Ceramic Strainer
Simple but appealing its artistic design by the master potter “Hokuryu”.
It has all Tokoname Kyusu charms such as unglazed surfaces, thin and light body. Besides, the perfect design for drip-free pouring and a comfortable handle.
Its round body makes good heat convection for brewing tea leaves.
It is also suitable for black tea, roasted green tea, and bancha green tea which brew with high-temperature water.
The wide “Cera mesh” tea strainer without clogging is the widest version of the most elaborately made tea strainer for the brewing performance.
With a capacity of 290 cc, which is the perfect size to make green tea for one or two people at a time.
If you want to enjoy delicious tea easily, please try Tokoname Kyusu. Tokoname Kyusu has a lot of designs, you can find your favorite item.
Tokoname ware is one of the oldest pottery in Japan, and Tokoname Kyusu made by potters to carry traditional but touch with modern style, and the essential item to make great green tea and luxury time. By using the special teapot, you can deepen your attachment.