As with all unglazed ceramics, wash with warm water and a soft cloth only. Do not use detergents or put in the dishwasher. Pat the outside dry with a towel and/or leave the kyusu to air dry naturally with the lid off. If tea leaves get trapped in the filter, brush away with a soft brush, such as a toothbrush.
|Type||Black tokoname-yaki kyusu teapot with side handle|
|Origin||Tokoname, Aichi, Japan|
|Dimensions||Ø9 x 7cm|
|Production||Potter's wheel (rokuro)|
The traditional Japanese teapot, kyusu are typically made of ceramics with a side handle placed at a 90° angle to the spout for ease of pouring – however the handle can also be found over the top or in the back. Kyusu are perfect for preparing green teas and tend to be on the small side to prevent overbrewing. The size, shape and type of clay a kyusu is made from will determine what type of tea is best prepared in it. There are many different regional styles as well as kyusu made by certified master craftsmen, which are prized amongst collectors.
Pottery has been produced in the city of Tokoname, Aichi prefecture, since as far back as the 12th century, and since 1976 has been protected as a traditional craft of Japan. Tokoname was the site of the largest and oldest of the legendary Six Ancient Kilns of Japan and is celebrated for its iron-rich shudei clay that turns red after firing. When fired a second time in a reduction oven, the red shudei turns black – the other characteristic colour of Tokoname-yaki. Traditional Tokoname kyusu teapots are unglazed on the inside, allowing the tannins in the tea to react with the iron in the clay body, which is said to reduce astringency and highlight the sweetness of green teas. Another key feature of these kyusu are the perfectly fitting lids, which are ground into the clay body after firing in a technique known as suriawase.