Green tea has a long tradition in Japanese culture and is deeply incorporated into people’s daily life. Still common today, the ancient practice of the Japanese tea ceremony involves a ritualistic preparation of green tea, while of course Japanese people drink and enjoy green tea in a less formal way throughout the day. But whichever way you’re enjoying the drink yourself, the kyusu teapot is the perfect daily companion for brewing Japanese tea.
Kyusu (急須) are traditional Japanese teapots mainly made of fired volcanic clay of very high quality. The word kyusu simply means teapot, even though in common usage kyusu usually does refer to a teapot with a side handle.
They originally came from ancient China and have been naturalized into Japanese culture over the centuries for the preparation of Japanese green tea. Kyusu are usually smaller than a western teapot, around 100-300 ml (3-10 fl. oz) is common. It is said that every Japanese home owns at least one kyusu teapot.
The green tea leaves are brewed loose in the pot with plenty of room to develop their aromas and flavors. The spout incorporates a clay or metal filter to retain the tea leaves when pouring.
The most luxurious kyusu teapots are produced by hand, with mineral-rich clay that often comes from volcanic regions. Despite their sometimes high prices, green tea enthusiasts swear by the taste they impart to the tea. Moreover, a kyusu takes on a patina over time: the tea brewed in it gains in quality. These traditional Japanese teapots are therefore highly appreciated for the positive (but rather light) effect they have on the flavor of green tea.