As a lover of all things tea, the teapot is a necessity in my life. I have often found myself collecting teapots while also looking for the perfect teapot. I own many teapots: glass, porcelain, clay, but by far my most praised teapot is my 44oz Japanese cast iron teapot also known as a Tetsubin.
The Tetsubin has been around for hundreds of years, originally developing from spouted water kettles with handles. Testsubin were used originally to brew Japanese Sencha. This was considered more formal than the powdered green tea Matcha, commonly used in the tea ceremony. It is believed that the Tetsubin rose in popularity as more people began enjoying Sencha as an informal way to enjoy tea.
My Tetsubin has taught me many things about enjoying and preparing tea. As it keeps tea hot for over an hour I was able to slow down and enjoy tea, either by myself or with a group of friends as we discussed the day’s events. My Japanese teapot has been a steady companion through many late nights of studying and school work. The most important thing I learned from using a Tetsubin is proportion, using the right amount of tea in comparison to the amount of water. Before I bought my Tetsubin I only used very small glass and clay teapots. I would only use 1 teaspoon of loose leaf to brew a pot of tea and it was always good. When I started using my 44oz Tetsubin I foolishly continued to use 1 teaspoon of loose tea. It took weeks of drinking “delicious” watered down tea before I had realized my mistake and increased the loose leaf used. Another important lesson my Tetsubin has taught me is proper maintenance of a teapot. After months of owning my teapot and only rinsing it out with water, I noticed discolored rings at the bottom of it. I grabbed some wet paper towels and went to work, realizing that grime had been building up in my teapot because I wasn’t cleaning it properly. Needless to say, I always wipe my teapot with a paper towel and make sure it is completely dry before putting it away.
Teapots: we all use them, but we don’t’ always realize how much we can learn from them. My Tetsubin has taught me valuable tea lessons that will be improving my brewing for years to come.