Tokoname is a city located in central Japan and of the six ancient kilns in all of Japan, Tokoname is said to be oldest and largest. Tokoname region in Japan has a global reputation for its long history in the pottery business and its famous clay which support the claims.
Since the Edo Period ( 1603-1867) Tokoname has been a famous pottery centre for high-quality, artistic pottery and teaware.
The reason why the Tokoname Yaki teapot is so favourable amongst tea enthusiasts is because of the way it sweetens the flavour of the tea, giving it more a pleasant and smooth taste.
Why tea tastes better in a Tokoname Teapot?
Because clay is the material that is used to make the teapot, it is recognised to intensify the umami of the tea. This is because the clay used to make the teapot is infused with iron-rich minerals that enhance the umami notes in green teas by interacting chemically with tannins.
More specifically, this teapot separates the flavours individually and allows the drinker to taste each distinct note of the tea.
A Tokoname Kyusu Teapot. Renowned for its fast-drying, durable, nutrient-filled red clay,
Tokoname pots are ideal for tea consumers who are looking to extract the most out of their green teas. Tokoname Yaki pots are usually finished with an unglazed surface. In the instance of a Tokoname teapot, the porous surface of the pot allows the liquid to be absorbed in the pores giving the tea a unique flavour.
Many people attempt to make their tea in a western style teapot. Although you can do this if you know exactly what you are doing, you will find it a lot easier if you use a teapot that was designed with green tea in mind.
What are the key features of a Tokoname Japanese teapot?
They have built tea strainers to prevent the tea leaves from entering your teacup.
The strainers are made of clay or stainless steel. The clay inbuilt strainers will be of two styles:
Sasame clay strainer
This filter is of a flat and wide shape together with numerous tiny holes on its surface. Despite the filter is made of clay, it is practical to brew tea of mostly tiny leaves like the Fukamushi Sencha. Contrarily, this design tends to retain some water as it has less drainage efficiency compared to other types of filter.
Clay Ball-strainer style
The ball shape filter has the features of both the direct hole filter and seramesh/sasame, but it’s drainage attribute is better than the sasame filter and it’s chance of leaves chocking in the filter (direct hole design) is reduced. However, if you brew the Fukamushi sencha with leaves that are too dusty, it may sometimes get chocked.
Stainless steel mesh filter
The filter is made of a stainless steel mesh that varies in shape. Regardless of the shape, however, this filter performs excellently as any tea is suitable. The water flow is fast enough even for tea with lots of tiny leaves. Though, quite a number of people may think that the stainless steel mesh spoils the taste of tea, nonetheless, the water kettle, water treatment system, tap and many other materials which are made of stainless steel have already contributed to the effect on water even before getting in contact with the teapot.
How to take care of a Japanese teapot
Take care to wash the inside with warm water after each use while the outside should be cleaned with a soft cloth. Try to avoid using detergents that can spoil the seasoning the teapot.
Let the teapots dry in the air.Wipe with a soft, dry cloth to give the teapot a shiny shine and make it even more pleasing to the eyes.