How to Clean a Tokoname Teapot
Our Tokoname teapots are handmade by master potters and are stunning pieces of teapot design. For best tea steeping performance it is essential that your teapot is cleaned after every use.
Cleaning a Tokoname teapot is easy – simply rinse the teapot in warm water when using it for the first time to remove any little bits of clay, dirt or dust that may be lodged inside.
After that, each time that you are finished steeping tea in your teapot, drain any remaining liquid and remove the tea leaves. Rinse the teapot with warm water to clean the inside. After rinsing, turn your teapot over and let it safely air dry on a kitchen towel on your countertop.
This is how we handle our Tokoname teapots at home. Many of our teapots have been in use for years and simply rinsing them has kept our teapots quite clean and in good steeping condition.
A few more things to consider:
- NEVER put teawares in the dishwasher or the dish strainer.
- DO NOT SCRUB the outside of your teapot with an abrasive cleaner or cleaning pad which can leave marks and ruin a lovely design. A soft, damp cloth and gentle rubbing should remove any stains that might develop on the outside.
- Tokoname teapots are un-glazed teawares, which means there is no overglaze used. The reason that this is considered beneficial is that the clay will interact to some degree with the tea, mellowing or underscoring the flavor.Different types of Tokoname clay are used by traditional potters to express their artistic vision and to give some of their teapots an ‘aesthetic feeling’. Some clays are smooth while some are gritty. Teapots may be wood-fired or electric-kiln fired. Various teapots have been given seductive contours or shapes on an otherwise plain surface while other pots are carved or decorated by hand utilizing traditional patterning techniques.
But all Tokoname clays are hard and dense. The most well-known clay is black or red in color, light in weight and thin-walled. Because of the dense nature of these clays, these teapots will not absorb tea flavor as Chinese Yixing teapots sometimes do.
- While these teapots are used in Japan for green teas such as Sencha and Gyokuro, most other plain teas such as Chinese green, yellow, and black teas, and oolongs seem to steep well in Tokoname clay. You might give the teapot a sniff after steeping Pu-erh or other Heicha just in case certain of these teas want to react with the clay.
- Avoid using strongly perfumed or flavored teas such as Chai, Earl Grey, Mint, Rose, etc in your Tokoname teapot as these teas will leave residual flavor in your teapot. Traditional Jasmine teas may be problematic, too, from the high degree of natural floral scenting they receive.