Hello This is Shiha Tea & Comfort, Teapot Shop in Tokyo. Today we tell you basic of Japanese Teapot. We carry hand made Japanese unglazed teapots, such as Tokoname & Banko Teapots. We talk about them here.
Before Using a New Japanese Teapot (Before First Use)
Knowing Lid of Japanese Teapot （Flat lid and it is tight)
There are 2 types of lid for Japanese teapots. Flat lid and lid with inner wall. Most of Japanese teapots have flat lid. Chinese Teapots and Porcelain teapots for black tea are basically with a lid that have inner wall.
One more thing to tell you is tightness of lid to body. Lid of handmade teapots are adjusted to perfectly fit the opening of body. (This is technique of Tokoname teapots and Banko Teapots) Please see the photos below. There is no gap between lid and opening of body.
How is it possible? Lids are made slightly bigger first, then after firing, potters adjust the size of lid manually. Consequently, sealability of teapot is good, it can keep high temperature in teapots, which is good for oolong tea, black tea and other tea which require high temperature water to make perfect flavor of tea.
Please see photos below. Pay attention to the lid size, before firing and after firing.
How to Hold a Lid When Poring Tea
We, Japanese are used to use flat lid and there are many to let lid stay in position.
Standard way is; hold a teapot handle with right hand and hold lid with left hand as seen picture below (Photo 1). Left hand fingers should be put together and place it on lid (lid knob) lightly and naturally. Pay attention your left thumb is close to your right thumb (or left one on/over right one) This way look elegant.
One hand brewing is; grip a teapot handle with right hand and place the thumb on lid. This way is also often seen especially when teapot is small, when poring quickly, men seems to prefer this way.
Let me introduce my friend’s poring style (Photo 2) He is a martial artist. His way of move is like seeing martial art. One hand brewing with left hand support, the spout is facing himself. It was interesting to see. It is good to have your own style.
Tea in daily life is to relax yourself, please your loved one. You can find your own conformable style, too.
How to Wash Japanese Teapot (Unglazed)
Do not use detergent when washing, do not scrub with a scrub brush, just wash and rinse with water and make sure no tea leaves are left. Unglazed clay gives good effect to taste of tea. Detergent may affect to the clay.
Do not keep tea leaves in the teapot over night. Wash and dry completely after use at least end of day (to avoid stain, and hygiene point of view)
What Tea Leaves is Good to Brew with Japanese Teapot
Simply say, any kind of tea leaves are good to brew with Japanese Teapot. In Japan most of people use Japanese teapot to brew Japanese green tea. ( Green Tea production is more than 95 % of total tea production in Japan). And it is well known that unglazed Japanese Teapots (Tokoname, Banko) make taste of tea richer, round and more flavorful.
White tea, oolong tea, black tea are also good to brew. Shiha Tea & Comfort’s world customers tell us that they brew various kinds of tea and it is good!