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futanashi kyusu - lidless Japanese teapot


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futanashi kyusu

futa = lid

nashi = without/with no

kyusu = teapot

Dan at Yuuki-cha.com thinks I may have the first lidless kyusu in North America, and maybe outside of Japan.

I had emailed Dan about a nice, inexpensive kyusu (side-handle) teapot, asking for some detail on it, which he provided. Then I explained that I was looking for a teapot to use for roasty Japanese green teas like hojicha, so that the flavor did not create a problem for the unglazed pots I use for sencha. He thought that was a good idea, but said that he uses a lidless kyusu for hojicha and genmaicha.

I had never heard or seen such a tea pot, so he trudged through a long series of somewhat skeptical emails from me. He had received one of these a while ago as a sample, but could not figure out what to do with it. The manufacturer apparently presents them as good for Japanese green teas in general, which seemed doubtful. Then one day he brewed genmaicha in it, and it filled the air with the aroma. Now it's all he uses for hojicha and genmaicha. It's not on the Yuuki-cha website yet, so he sent photos, and I had more questions and he sent another photo clarifying the appearance.

Since the futanashi kyusu was even cheaper than the one I was originally interested in, and a sale was going on, I had Dan ship one with another kyusu I had ordered. When the open kyusu arrived he had included a complimentary bag of a very aromatic organic hojicha for it's first brew, so I tried it out that evening. Standing in front of the kyusu while the tea was brewing was a different experience...the aroma filled the air. I had brewed another aromatic hojicha in a glazed kyusu with the lid off a couple of times after Dan told me about this open, lidless design, but it trapped the aroma largely. I had to stick my nose within two inches of the lid opening to get much aroma. But the open kyusu design lets the aroma waft into the saurrounding air. Dan says in smaller Japanese rooms the aroma literally fills the room.

Here are links to the photos of this kyusu, used with permission.

Several views of the open kyusu.

And since those photos really did not show the complexity of the glaze well, here's the follow up photo Dan sent in order to clarify the unusual drip glaze with a smooth surface on top and a rougher texture about halfway down the body.

Now to try some genmaicha in it soon.

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Here are links to the photos of this kyusu, used with permission.

Several views of the open kyusu.

And since those photos really did not show the complexity of the glaze well, here's the follow up photo Dan sent in order to clarify the unusual drip glaze with a smooth surface on top and a rougher texture about halfway down the body.

Now to try some genmaicha in it soon.

Those links just bring me to gmail.

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A little trawling in Japanese leads me to believe that these are a fad, oops, I meant a recent development.

One explanation I found was that a small amount of tea made with generously cut leaves can force the lid off in a conventional small teapot...a problem which is easily resolved by doing away with the lid!

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Hmm. I own a lovely ceramic (glazed) kyuusu whose lid was tragically smashed to smithereens in a kitchen accident a few months ago. At the time I was heartbroken, since it was my favourite pot for my non-sencha Japanese teas as well as several non-Japanese types.

To think it's now fashionable! Thank goodness I didn't throw it out. Genmaicha, you're going out again tonight! :biggrin:

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A little trawling in Japanese leads me to believe that these are a fad, oops, I meant a recent development.

One explanation I found was that a small amount of tea made with generously cut leaves can force the lid off in a conventional small teapot...a problem which is easily resolved by doing away with the lid!

Right. I can't imagine this catching on as a general use teapot. But for the roasty teas, it works. My guess is that this will have a short life and be discontinued, going the way of all fads. Unless it gets marketed specifically for hojicha and genmaicha and the manufacturer can sell enough to justify keeping it available.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have used this teapot for a while and think it is great for houjicha and genmaicha. Not necessary, of course if you have a glazed kyusu that you use for all Japanese green teas, but a nice option. This way I keep these potent teas away from unglazed pots that are reserved for such as sencha, kukicha and gyokuro.

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I agree, Helen, it is kind of weird, though nice to have the aroma while brewing, and I would not put anything else in it. Another plus is that it's more attractive than the simple glazed kyusu it replaced. I assume it's not really catching on in Japan as a general green tea use kyusu...or maybe even for the roasted teas. Someday perhaps I'll pit it against an inexpensive unglazed kyusu, but I am content with this for now.

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