A kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot. Much smaller than western style teapots, the main characteristics of a kyusu are the long handle on the side located at a 90° angle from the spout, and an inbuilt strainer. The strainer takes different forms and is crucial for brewing Japanese green teas, because of how fine the leaves are.
While kyusus are mainly made from clay, we occasionally come across them made of porcelain and even more occasionally, glass.
Most clay kyusu are unglazed, or if they are glazed, then only with a very thin, clear coat. Like the Chinese Yixing teapots, the type of clay used will have a softening and mellowing effect on the taste of the tea, and over time, the kyusu itself will absorb the taste of the tea. For this reason we recommend using your kyusu only for Japanese green tea, and not using the same teapot for heavier flavoured teas such as genmaicha or hojicha, as you would for shincha, sencha, gyokuro or other “plain” green teas.
The most popular clays and consequently the main areas for producing kyusu are Banko and Tokoname.
In addition to the positive impact the clay has on the taste of the tea, one of the other advantages of using a kyusu is that the long handle makes it easy to shake every last drop of tea out of the kyusu into the cup to prevent over-steeping, which would spoil subsequent infusions.
Many people also believe that a kyusu is much easier to handle and is more gentle on the wrists of the person serving tea than western style teapots.
- Capacity: 160 ml
- Type of strainer: metal