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Not every clay teapot could get along with Tetsubin/Cast Iron Kettle

[2013.04.22] Posted By

satetsu tetsubin

Tetsubin produced from different brands are casted from different metal combinations

Tetsubin, literally means “iron kettle” in Japanese. However it is not necessary built from 100% of iron. In Japan, every cast iron maker has their own formula to blend the iron with other minerals. As a result, the taste differs significantly from one brand to another. You may be surprise that there are some Tetsubins that could not even make water taste softer.

 

Love or hate relationship between tetsubin and clay teapot

Based on years of experience handling various brands of testubin and clay teapots, I would say that nearly 50% of clay teapots might not be able to get along with your tetsubin. It is important to understand the compatibility and affinity between your testubin and the clay teapot you choose to use.

I am introducing fine quality testubins made from Kunzan and Suzuki Morihisa through my KL shop and online shop. Tetsubin from these two brands perform very well even if you just use ordinary glass, porcelain or bone china tea ware to brew tea. You will need to carefully examine the compatibility between clay ware and testubin if you wish to brew tea in a clay teapot. In general, Suzuki Morihisa can get along with clay teapots baked from oxidation firing process, while Kunzan is more suitable for clay teapots baked from reduction firing process.

For example

Kunzan works well with these following clays.

Banko(purple), Mumyoi reduction(black), Nosaka reduction(black)

kunzan tetsubin

 

Suzuki Morihisa works well with these following clays

Mumyoi oxidation(red), Nosaka oxidation(red), Shigaraki clay and Tokoname oxidation(red)

suzuki morihisa tetsubin

 

Certain type of tea does not stand out with water boiled from tetsubin

Most tea can get along with water boiled from a testubin. In fact, it enhances the flavor and aftertaste of the tea. But there are a few exceptions. In particular, tea such as Anxi Tie Guan Yin, Wuyi Oolong and Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong.

These teas generally contain very distinctive types of natural mineral compounds, they don’t necessarily get along with various types of clay teapots. For example, all these three kinds of tea cannot get along with Banko clay, Shigaraki clay and Watanabe Tozo’s Mumyoi clay.

However, I have confirmed through tasting test, that both Kunzan and Suzuki Morihisa works very well for Anxi Tie Guan Yin, Wuyi Oolong and Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong. If you wish to use a different brand of tetsubin to brew these teas, you will need to do a tasting test before you start using it.

Anxi Tie Guan Yin

To make the perfect cup of tea, it is essential to have a right combination of tea leaves, water, kettle, teapot and tea cup. A harmonious system of compatible teawares, water and tea will enable you to enjoy the pleasure of drinking a fine cup of tea.

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