With so many different shapes and styles of teapots and teacups available today, it might be difficult to pick the ideal Japanese tea set solely based on personal preferences. Additionally, over the years, as people in Japan have consumed more green tea, the shapes and sizes of teapots and teacups have changed to highlight certain characteristics of specific types of green tea. We invite you to continue reading if you want to learn about these often perplexing variations in design.
CHOOSING A JAPANESE TEAPOT
We suggest considering the following four criteria while buying for a Japanese teapot: material, shape, size, and filter type, regardless of personal tastes.
4 Basic Japanese Teapot Shapes
Japanese teapots come in four basic designs, with the exception of the handle design. If you’re familiar with Japanese teapots, you may be perplexed by the distinction between a “kyusu” and a Japanese teapot. The two are identical.
Yokode Kyusu (Side-handled Teapot)
A yokode kyusu’s handle is positioned on the side of the teapot, allowing you to put your thumb on top of the lid and prevent it from falling off while pouring.
Ushirode Kyusu (Back-handled Teapot)
On the rear of the teapot, you’ll find the handle. The form of this teapot was inspired by a Chinese teapot. This teapot is commonly recognized to be used for Chinese or English tea types, although it may also be used for other kinds of tea.
Dobin (Top-handled Teapot)
At the top of a dobin teapot, you’ll find the handle. The handle is often made of a distinct material, such as bamboo.
Hōhin (No Handle Teapot)
The hōhin does not have a handle. Because of this, you must hold the cup-shaped teapot in your hand, which limits its usage to low-temperature green tea only.
Japanese Teapot Sizes
When looking for a teapot, it is vital to select the correct teapot size for your chosen tea.
For example, if you enjoy gyokuro by yourself a lot, it’s a good idea to invest in a hohin. If you and your family like hojicha after dinner, consider investing in a big dobin.
It is feasible to brew sencha in a vast teapot with a dobin handle, but bear in mind that the water temperature may be difficult to regulate, resulting in uneven steeping.
CHOOSING A JAPANESE TEACUP
All you need now is the ideal Japanese teacup to bring out the tea’s flavour and fragrance.
There are no hard rules or standards in place for Japanese teapots, but there are none for Japanese teapots. However, since each tea type is steeped differently to emphasize its distinct characteristics, it’s worth learning about the many varieties of Japanese teacups available.
Japanese Teacup Materials
Teacups are available in three different materials: porcelain, clay, and glass.
Although coffee cups from other countries are manufactured in Japan, Japanese porcelain teacups are highly popular in the country. They’re thin, light, and available in a range of forms and sizes.
Clay teacups, which are also quite popular in Japan, offer a more traditional Japanese appearance with their fiery glaze. This style might be described using the Japanese term “wabi-sabi.”
Ice-cold green tea on a hot summer day is best served in a glass teacup.
Japanese Teacup Shapes
However, the vast majority of teacup forms seem to be classified into one of three basic categories.
Teacups with Tapered Sides
Teacups of this shape may improve the fragrance of green tea, and they’re a good choice for gyokuro and sencha.
Teacups with Straight Sides
This shape’s formal appearance is designed to keep the tea at a consistent temperature. As such, it’s an excellent choice for hojicha and genmaicha, which need a higher steeping temperature.
Teacups with Lids
While a teacup with a lid may keep the heat in for longer, its primary purpose is to add beauty to your tea service when serving green tea to visitors.
Considering the Teacup’s Color
The colour of the teacup is determined by your preferences, but there is one last factor to consider. Because the colour of the tea when poured into a cup may affect its visual hue, the colour of the teacup inside matters more than outside. As a result, if you want to show off the vivid colour of green tea, you might want to purchase an additional set of white teacups.