Posted by Tea Selector: Mr. Taro Ishihara on 13th Dec 2016
I've wrote about the basic knowledge of Japanese Kyusu teapot last time (parts names and types, origins) and I would like to let you know how to care of Kyusu this time.
Have you experienced that the flavor of Japanese tea was once tasty but it's not as good as before now?
Perhaps the causes may be 'spots of Kyusu' or 'spots of tea strainer'.
I would like to introduce you how to care of it with using Tokoname teapot (Shudei - Red clay) Japanese kyusu.
1. Disinfect in boiling water would be the basic care. Let's do sun-drying time to time.
Basic care of Kyusu is disinfect in boiling water.
When you make tea, please try no to put tea all at once, first of all you can pour some hot boiling water in a Kyusu and let it sit for 1-2 min.
This is for disinfecting the inside of kyusu in boiling water and getting rid of the tea grounds and the fragrance that was used last time that may be left a little in kyusu. Because of this, please make sure not to put a lid on it.
After using kyusu, please wash it throughly with water and take all of fine tea grounds out of it, and air-drying it by having it upside down. Please make sure that it has no water left.
Depending on how often you would use it, but it is recommended to sun drying and let it be exposed to sun or wind time to time.
2. How to care tea strainer
Mainly there are 2 types of tea strainer as shown as below;
- ceramic tea strainer
- stainless tea strainer
For the tea strainer, there are the type that you can remove from kyusu, cannot remove from kyusu or attach later (a tea strainer is sold separately), but it's important to keep it clean anyway.
Basically how to care a tea strainer is same as kyusu (disinfecting in boiling water) but if it has a quite heavy tea stain, after let it dry you can clean it with a brush. You should use a brush that would match with your kyusu and something that is not that hard. What you would need to be careful when you do so, since 'ceramic tea strainer' is made delicately, please do not rub it roughly with a brush and poke holes with any sticks like a toothpick etc. I recommend you to deal with it carefully as it may be a cause of damage.
Also, if it's tough to get rid of tea stain, it's also OK to use 'BLEACHING DETERGENT COMPOSITION FOR DISH' to remove it. After you used it, please make sure to disinfect it in boiling water so it will have no bleaching detergent.
By using kyusu for a long time, you can see some unique texture and glaze on kyusu. Not only how it looks like and convenience, especially the low-temperature firing Shudei kyusu of Tokoname, we say that kyusu itself would be covered with the tea fragrance and bitterness and they will make the taste of tea better.
*Please note that you may not see this effect on any porcelain kyusu.
The more the kyusu is used, 'the character' would come out that is Kyusu in Japan.
Please kindly take good care of kyusu and cherish it for a long time.
I will write again.