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Japanese teapots

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Although tea was imported to Japanese territory in the 8th century, the production of teapots did not become widespread until the 1100s. It originated in the town of Mizusawa (now Oshu) when the samurai Fujiwara no Kiyohira acquired a cast iron furnace and made it thanks to this city. This event marks the beginning of a large production of cast iron teapots in northern Japan.

Cast iron teapots

Although the know-how required to make cast iron teapots came from China, it was mainly Japan that perfected this craft over the centuries. He also made it a fairly important part of his own culture by cultivating black teas or green teas such as matcha or sencha on numerous lands.

As seen in the introduction of Japanese teapots, it was the samurai Fujiwara no Kiyohira who allowed the development of teapot production in the 12th century. However, it was not until the 15th century that the production of teapots increased significantly. This is due to the arrival of the tea ceremony in Japan, an event which drastically increased tea consumption in the country and therefore the number of teapots needed to consume it. The increase in the number of Japanese tea lovers also increased thanks to the highlighting of the benefits of tea and its many medicinal properties and virtues.

The production of Japanese cast iron teapots experienced a second boost in the 17th century under the leadership of Prince Nanbu who also created his own collection of personal teapots. Other villages will gradually adopt this know-how such as Yamagata, Shiga, Osaka, Takaoka and many others.

If Japan has excelled in the production of teapots it is also because it has very large productions of Satetsu on its land, which is none other than the iron filings which are used in the manufacture of cast iron teapots. . Satetsu is also used to make the famous samurai swords.

The benefits of using a cast iron teapot

The main advantages of using a cast iron teapot to boil your tea and then enjoy it comes from the reaction between water and iron. When the water comes into contact with the cast iron it will be enriched with iron and subsequently the tea will take on a particular flavor which is also very beneficial for preventing iron deficiency. Then all you have to do is enjoy your delicious beverage in your cup of tea after infusing it.

Kyusus teapots

It is quite natural to think of cast iron teapots when we talk about Japanese teapots or Japanese green tea. However, as surprising as it may seem, cast iron teapots were not the most popular teapots for tea drinking in Japan. It was the clay kyusus that were used the most, a type of teapot reserved for infusing green teas in order to keep all the freshness of their fragrant aromas.

Just like those made of cast iron, they originate from China but their craftsmanship was perfected in Japan. They are composed solely of clay and the most qualitative are those produced in the volcanic regions of Japan because the mineralization of the water is better there. Thus the best kyusu are those of the city Tokoname, followed closely by those of Bizen, Shigaraki, Tamba, Seto and Echizen.

Kyusus nevertheless have a smaller capacity than cast iron teapots and are generally modeled with the handle on the side (called yokodé kyūsu ), placed at 90° to their pouring spout. However, kyusus can take two other forms. They can have the handle placed on the back (then called ushirodé kyūsu ), but also have a handle ( uwadé kyūsu ) in the same way as traditional Japanese cast iron teapots.

The benefits of using a clay kyusu

When the volcanic clay comes into contact with hot water and tea leaves, because it is highly mineralized, a reaction will take place and give a unique flavor to the tea. This is even different than that found with cast iron teapots. It's all a question of taste. 🍵

How to choose your Japanese teapot?

After having seen the main teapots that were used during feudal Japan we want to give you some advice on choosing your teapot. Indeed, generally speaking, as well as in our own collection of Japanese teapots, we can only see that there is no shortage of choice. While in the past you just had to choose between kyusu and cast iron teapot, today new materials such as glass or even silver have appeared and therefore it is not always easy to make your choice.

As for the material, we have already seen previously the main advantages that could be there, such as having good thermal conductivity as well as preventing iron deficiencies for cast iron teapots or even have a particular flavor to green tea in the clay one. When it comes to shape, color or even patterns it will mainly come down to your own personal taste. Do you prefer to give a little modernity to your tea break by drinking it from a porcelain, ceramic or glass teapot or perhaps you are of the old school and prefer to drink tea according to tradition in a cast iron teapot or a kyusu? Only you can find the answer because it is simply a matter of taste. Especially since tea is above all a detox drink with a tasty taste but above all a personal drink because preparing tea is an opportunity to have a little good time before tasting the tea that suits us, that these are black tea, red tea, white tea or even earl gray tea. In any case, if you properly store your bag or grams of tea in a tea box you will have no trouble fully enjoying its flavors and consequently your tasting moment.

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