Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

What is a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu?


Kyusu, which translates to “teapot” in Japanese, is a traditional and iconic vessel used for brewing and serving tea. Originating from Japan, this teapot is specifically designed for making green tea and is considered an essential part of the Japanese tea culture.

The Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu features a distinctive side handle and a built-in strainer, making it convenient and easy to use. It is available in various materials, such as clay and porcelain, each offering unique characteristics that can enhance the tea-brewing experience.

Whether you are a tea connoisseur or a beginner looking to explore the world of Japanese tea, a Kyusu teapot is a must-have for a truly authentic and flavorful tea experience. This buying guide will explore the features and considerations to help you choose the perfect Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu for your tea brewing needs.

History of Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

The Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu is deeply rooted in history, with its origins tracing back to China before making its way to Japan. The word “Kyusu” translates to “teapot” in Japanese, and its design and brewing techniques have evolved over centuries.

The history of Kyusu can be attributed to Nagatani Soen, a Japanese craftsman who revolutionized the way tea leaves were brewed. In the late 17th century, he discovered that steaming, rolling, and drying tea leaves enhanced their flavor and aroma. To fully harness this new brewing method, he developed the Kyusu teapot, which allowed for precise control of the water temperature and steeping time.

Nagatani Soen’s innovation played a vital role in the Japanese tea ceremony and contributed to the country’s rich tea culture. Today, Kyusu teapots come in various styles and materials, including clay and porcelain, each contributing its unique qualities to the brewing experience.

Understanding the history of the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu gives us a glimpse into the meticulous artistry and craftsmanship that go into its creation. By embracing this tradition, tea enthusiasts can appreciate the beauty and functionality of the Kyusu while indulging in the rich flavors and aromas of their favorite tea leaves.

Types of Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

When it comes to Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, there are several types to choose from, each with its own distinct characteristics and features. Understanding the different types can help you make an informed decision when selecting a Kyusu that suits your tea brewing needs.

  1. Yokode Kyusu: This style is characterized by its side handle and tilted spout, allowing for easy pouring without straining the wrist. Yokode Kyusu teapots are popular for their ergonomic design and are often made from high-fired clay or porcelain.
  2. Ushirode Kyusu: Ushirode Kyusu features a handle located at the back of the teapot, making it easier to pour hot water without the risk of burning your fingers. This design is renowned for its practicality and is often made from traditional Tokoname clay, known for its ability to retain heat.
  3. Hohin Kyusu: The Hohin Kyusu is a small teapot used for brewing high-quality, delicate teas. It typically does not have a handle and requires careful attention to the brewing time and water temperature.
  4. Flat Kyusu-Style Teapot: As the name suggests, this type of teapot has a flat shape, allowing for even heating and efficient extraction of flavor from the tea leaves. It is often made from clay and is favored for its ability to deliver a well-balanced brew.

The choice of Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu type ultimately depends on personal preference and the type of tea you want to brew. Consider factors such as the amount of tea you usually brew, the material of the teapot, and the design that best suits your style. With the right Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, you can elevate your tea brewing experience to new heights.

Yokode Kyusu: Traditional Elegance and Ergonomic Design

Among the three main styles of Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, the Yokode Kyusu stands out with its distinctive side-handle design. Renowned for its comfort and practicality, this teapot is a favorite choice for tea enthusiasts, including those who appreciate the art and tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Ergonomic Design for Effortless Pouring

The Yokode Kyusu’s ergonomic shape is specially crafted to make pouring effortless and strain-free. The side-handle allows for a natural grip, ensuring a comfortable and steady pour every time. With its well-balanced weight distribution, you can confidently pour tea without worrying about wrist strain.

Generous Capacity and Built-in Strainer

This teapot often boasts a relatively generous capacity, ranging from 200 ml to 500 ml, making it suitable for both solo tea sessions and gatherings. Additionally, many Yokode Kyusu teapots feature a built-in strainer, ensuring a smooth and clean pour while effectively separating the tea leaves from the liquid.

Timeless Design and Functionality

Whether you’re a seasoned tea connoisseur or want to elevate your tea brewing experience, the Yokode Kyusu offers both elegance and functionality. Its timeless design and ergonomic features make it a standout choice for any tea lover.

Key Features to Consider

Consider these key features when selecting your Yokode Kyusu: the Japanese tea ceremony-inspired side-handle design, ergonomic shape for comfortable pouring, and a built-in strainer for an effortless and enjoyable brewing experience.

Ushirode Kyusu: Ergonomic Design and Distinctive Elegance for Perfect Tea Pouring

The Ushirode Kyusu teapot is a unique and distinct style of Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu with its own set of characteristics and features. Unlike other types of kyusu teapots, the Ushirode Kyusu features a back-handle design, which sets it apart from the more common side-handle Yokode Kyusu.

Functionality and Comfort

One of the key characteristics of the Ushirode Kyusu is its functionality. The back-handle design allows for a secure and comfortable grip, making pouring hot water into the teapot easy without straining your wrist. This makes it an excellent choice for those who prefer a more ergonomic and user-friendly teapot.

Larger Capacity

Another standout feature of the Ushirode Kyusu is its capacity. These teapots often have a slightly larger volume than Yokode Kyusu teapots, ranging from 300 ml to 700 ml. This makes the Ushirode Kyusu perfect for tea lovers who enjoy hosting tea sessions or brewing tea for larger groups.

Sleek and Elegant Design

In terms of design, the Ushirode Kyusu boasts a sleek and elegant appearance. Its back handle adds a touch of uniqueness and sets it apart from other types of Kyusu teapots. Many Ushirode Kyusu teapots also feature beautiful and intricate hand-painted designs, adding an aesthetic element to your tea brewing experience.

Overall, the Ushirode Kyusu offers a combination of functionality, capacity, and design. Its back-handle design, larger capacity, and unique aesthetic make it a standout choice for tea enthusiasts looking to add a touch of elegance to their tea sessions.

Porcelain Teapots: Timeless Elegance and Clean and Pure Tea Tasting

Japanese Tea Cup Gracious Set

Porcelain teapots are known for their elegance, durability, and ability to enhance the flavors of teas. Porcelain’s smooth and non-porous nature makes it an ideal material for brewing tea, as it does not absorb any of the flavors or aromas from previous brews. This ensures a clean and pure taste with every step.

Meticulous Craftsmanship and Design Variety

A wide range of handmade porcelain teapots are crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Some collections include various styles and designs, allowing you to find the perfect teapot to suit your personal taste and brewing preferences. Whether you prefer a classic and minimalist design or a more intricate and decorative one, porcelain teapots are sure to impress.

Versatility for All Tea Types

Porcelain teapots are a popular choice among tea enthusiasts due to their versatility. They are suitable for brewing all types of tea, from delicate green teas to robust black teas. The material also retains heat well, ensuring your tea stays warm for longer.

Aesthetic Appeal for Tea Rituals

In addition to their functionality, porcelain teapots are also a beautiful addition to any tea set. The smooth and glossy finish of porcelain gives it a luxurious and refined look. Whether you are hosting a tea gathering or simply brewing tea for yourself, handmade porcelain teapots are sure to elevate your tea experience.

The Tokoname Clay Teapot: Enhancing the Flavor of Green Teas

Tokoname Ware Japanese Tea Pot

The Tokoname Clay Teapot is a popular type of Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu that’s highly sought after by tea enthusiasts. Made of clay, these teapots are known for their exceptional quality and ability to enhance the flavor of green teas.

Clay’s Interaction for Enhanced Aroma and Flavor

The clay used in Tokoname teapots is rich in minerals, which interact with the tea during the brewing process. This interaction helps extract the tea leaves’ full aroma and flavor, resulting in a more robust and satisfying cup of tea.

Unique Variations with Distinct Features

There are various variations of the Tokoname Clay Teapot available, each with its own unique features. For example, the Tokuta Marugata Kyusu is a classic round-shaped teapot that is perfect for brewing all types of tea. It has a smooth and elegant design that adds a touch of sophistication to your tea rituals.

Convenient Built-in Metal Strainer

Another popular variation is the Tetsuhachi Kyusu, which features a built-in metal strainer. This eliminates the need for a separate tea strainer, making it convenient and easy to brew tea. The metal strainer ensures that no leaf particles escape into your cup, resulting in a smooth and enjoyable tea drinking experience.

Perfect Choice for Green Tea Lovers

If you are a fan of green teas and want to elevate your tea experience, the Tokoname Clay Teapot is a must-have. Its clay material and unique features make it the perfect choice for brewing and enhancing the flavors of your favorite green teas.

Handmade Kyusu: Exquisite Craftsmanship and Authenticity

Japanese Tea Pot Miyama: Authentic Craftsmanship Made In Japan

The Handmade Kyusu is a remarkable teapot that combines unique features and exquisite craftsmanship. Made by skilled artisans, these clay teapots are a testament to traditional techniques and dedication to quality.

Meticulous Craftsmanship and Clay Selection

Each Handmade Kyusu is meticulously crafted with precision and care. The clay used is carefully selected for its quality and ability to enhance the tea brewing process. The result is a teapot that not only brews a delicious cup of tea but also exudes a sense of authenticity and charm.

Diverse Styles and Designs

There are various styles and designs available, each showcasing the beauty and elegance of the Handmade Kyusu. From the classic round-shaped teapots to the more modern and sleek designs, there is a teapot to suit every taste and preference. The attention to detail in the craftsmanship is evident in the intricate patterns and delicate handle designs.

A Piece of Art and Tea Ceremony Tradition

When you choose a Handmade Kyusu, you are not only getting a teapot but also a piece of art and a connection to the rich tradition of Japanese tea ceremonies. These teapots are a testament to the skill and mastery of the artisans who create them, ensuring a truly authentic and enjoyable tea drinking experience.

Elevate Your Tea Rituals

Experience the beauty and craftsmanship of a Handmade Kyusu and elevate your tea rituals to a whole new level. With their unique features, exquisite craftsmanship, and connection to tea ceremony traditions, Handmade Kyusu teapots offer an authentic and enriching tea experience.

Tea Types and Infusion Times

Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

When using a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, it’s important to understand the different types of tea and their corresponding infusion times to achieve the best flavor and aroma. Each tea type requires a specific infusion time to bring out its unique characteristics.

  • Green teas, known for their freshness and vegetal flavors, typically require a shorter infusion time of around 1-3 minutes. This ensures that the delicate leaves don’t become bitter or astringent.
  • Black teas, on the other hand, benefit from a longer infusion time of 3-5 minutes to fully extract their bold and robust flavors. This allows the rich notes to develop without becoming overpowering.
  • Oolong teas, which range from light and floral to dark and toasty, have an infusion time of 2-4 minutes. This versatile tea category requires a bit of experimentation to find the perfect balance between flavors.

When it comes to traditional teas that pair exceptionally well with the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, Oolong and Pu Erh teas top the list. Oolong teas, with their complex flavors, can fully unfurl in the Kyusu’s small space, resulting in a concentrated and flavorful brew. Meanwhile, the earthy and fermented notes of Pu Erh teas can shine through their multiple infusions, thanks to the Kyusu’s ability to brew successive batches.

To get the best results, don’t be afraid to experiment with dosage, steeping time, and brewing temperatures. Adjusting these variables allows you to tailor the infusion to your preferences and truly enjoy the nuances of each tea type. So go ahead and explore the world of tea with your Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, discovering new flavors and enjoying the perfect cup every time.


Filtering the Tea Using Metal and Clay Filters

One of the key features of a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu is its built-in filter. This allows for the easy separation of tea leaves from the brewed liquid, resulting in a smooth and clean cup of tea. The type of filter can vary depending on the design of the kyusu, with popular options including metal filters and clay filters. 

Metal filters are often found in yokode kyusu, which are teapots with a side handle, and they are known for their durability and effective filtration. Clay filters, on the other hand, are commonly used in ushirode kyusu, teapots with a back handle, and they provide a more traditional and authentic touch. Both types of filters effectively prevent tea leaves from escaping into the cup, ensuring a hassle-free brewing experience. 

Additionally, some Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu come with removable tea strainers that can be detached for easy cleaning and maintenance. With a well-designed filtering system, Kyusu teapots make it convenient to brew loose leaf teas without the need for an additional straining device.

Metal Filter

A metal filter plays a crucial role in the functionality and convenience of a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, especially for those new to the world of tea. It is often found in clay teapots designed for beginners, such as the red tokoname kyusu.

Straining Tea Leaves for a Smooth Brew

The primary purpose of a metal filter is to strain the tea leaves, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable brew. Unlike traditional teapots that may require a separate tea strainer, a metal filter is built directly into the teapot, eliminating the need for additional tools.

Handling Teas with Smaller Leaf Particles

One of the key advantages of a metal filter is its effectiveness in handling teas with smaller leaf particles. For example, fukamushi tea, a type of Japanese green tea with finely ground leaves, can be used with ease in a Kyusu teapot with a metal filter. The filter prevents any leaf particles from escaping into the cup, resulting in a consistently clear and flavorful infusion.

Convenience and Simplicity for Beginners

For beginners, the inclusion of a metal filter in a clay teapot like the tokoname kyusu provides an added layer of convenience and simplicity. It ensures a hassle-free brewing experience, as the leaves stay contained within the pot, making it easy to clean up afterward.


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Clay Filter

On the other hand, clay filters, carved directly into the teapot, are favored by Japanese tea connoisseurs. These filters provide a more authentic and traditional brewing experience. They allow for more control over the flow of tea and offer a unique aesthetic appeal. However, they require additional care and maintenance to prevent clogging and ensure optimal performance.

Authentic and Traditional Brewing Experience

Clay filters, found in teapots preferred by Japanese tea connoisseurs, offer an authentic and traditional brewing experience. The use of clay aligns with the historical and cultural roots of Japanese tea ceremonies, enhancing the overall tea appreciation.

Control Over Tea Flow

One of the advantages of a clay filter is the ability to have more control over the flow of tea. The carving and design of the filter allow for precision in adjusting the speed and strength of the pour. This control contributes to the customization of the brewing process and the desired tea flavor.

Unique Aesthetic Appeal

Clay filters add a unique aesthetic appeal to the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu. The intricate carvings and patterns on the filter showcase the craftsmanship and artistry of the teapot. The visual beauty of the clay filter enhances the overall tea brewing experience and adds a touch of elegance to the teapot.

Care and Maintenance

It’s important to note that clay filters require additional care and maintenance compared to metal filters. To prevent clogging and ensure optimal performance, regular cleaning and occasional inspection of the filter are necessary. Proper handling and storage of the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu with a clay filter also help maintain its longevity and functionality.

Ultimately, the choice between a metal filter and a clay filter comes down to personal preference and the desired brewing experience. Metal filters offer convenience and simplicity, while clay filters cater to those seeking a more traditional and refined tea experience. Consider your own preferences and brewing style when selecting a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu.


Preparing Loose Tea Leaves in a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

When it comes to preparing loose tea leaves for brewing in a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, the process is simple yet delicate. Follow these steps to ensure a flavorful and enjoyable tea experience.

  • Measuring the Right Quantity of Tea Leaves

First, measure the appropriate quantity of tea leaves according to your desired strength and the size of your teapot. Using 1 teaspoon of loose leaves per 8 ounces of water is generally recommended. Adjust the quantity based on your preference and the capacity of your Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu.

  • Preheating the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

Next, preheat your Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu by rinsing it with hot water. This helps to ensure an even and consistent brewing temperature. Discard the rinsing water before proceeding to the next step.

  • Placing the Tea Leaves 

Gently place the measured tea leaves into the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu, taking care not to crush or compact them. The loose leaves should have space to expand and release their flavors during brewing.

  • Infusion Time and Tea Types

Infusion time varies based on the type of tea you are using. Green teas typically require a shorter infusion time of around 1-3 minutes, while black teas may need 3-5 minutes. Oolong teas fall in between, with an infusion time of 2-4 minutes. Follow the recommended infusion times for each specific tea type to achieve the best flavor and aroma.

  • Enjoying Multiple Infusions

One advantage of using a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu is the ability to enjoy multiple infusions from the same batch of tea leaves. After the first infusion, pour the tea into small cups and continue with subsequent infusions, gradually increasing the infusion time. This allows you to experience different flavor profiles and nuances with each steeping.

  • Pouring and Serving Techniques

To properly serve the tea, hold the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu by the handle and pour the tea into each cup in a circular motion. This helps to ensure an even distribution of flavors. The size and design of the spout also play a role in controlling the flow of the tea.

By using the appropriate quantity of loose leaves, following the recommended infusion times, and mastering the pouring and serving techniques, you can truly appreciate the beauty and flavors of different tea types in a Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu.

Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu Care and Cleaning

Caring for and cleaning your Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu is essential to maintain its quality and longevity. Here are some important steps to follow:

  1. After each use, rinse the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu with only hot water. Avoid using soap or putting it in the dishwasher, as this can affect the taste and aroma of your tea.
  2. Gently scrub the inside of the teapot using a soft brush or sponge to remove any remaining tea residue. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as it may damage the delicate surface of the teapot.
  3. Rinse the teapot with hot water again to ensure all traces of tea are washed away.
  4. After washing, it is crucial to let the teapot air dry fully before storing it. Placing it near a heat source, such as a stove top or microwave, can lead to cracking or damage.
  5. To prevent any potential clogging or odor, it is advisable to store the Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu with the lid off, allowing proper ventilation.

By following these care and cleaning guidelines, you can ensure that your Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu remains in excellent condition, ready to brew your favorite teas with their full flavor and aroma intact.

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese teas now in stock!!

** Curious about the Plant Based Japanese Cooking Club? ** Learn more here!


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