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What is so special about the Japanese tea pot kyusu?

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Japanese tea is best brewed in a special tea pot – a kyusu. Ricardo Caicedo from tea blog My Japanese Green Tea is an avid user. “Part of the reason is tradition, but it also takes into account Japanese water volumes used.”

How do you make your tea at home?
I usually brew in a kyusu teapot, and drink in Japanese tea cups.

What is so special about a kyusu teapot?
Well, most tea enthusiasts in Japan use a kyusu teapot for Japanese tea. Part of the reason is probably tradition, but also it takes into account Japanese water volumes used, which are smaller than those used in the West.

For example, a common kyusu teapot can hold 360 ml of water, which makes 3 servings of 120 ml (4 oz) and 6 servings of 60 ml (2 oz). 120 ml and 60 ml are common tea cup sizes in Japan. If I used a Western teapot that can hold more than a liter of water, but make less tea as I do with my kyusu teapot, the result isn’t the same because since it isn’t full the water would cool quicker. I also have a small kyusu teapot that just makes 60 ml of tea. It’s just for one person.

How important is water for the taste of tea?
It’s very important. You can’t make a good tasting tea with bad tasting water, even if you have high quality tea leaves.

How important is water for the preparation of tea?
You need a good balance of tea leaves, volume of water, temperature, and time of infusion. So if you add too much or too little water, it won’t be as good an infusion.

What water do you use at home to make tea?
I use a water filter, although where I live the tap water is of very good quality.

What water filter do you use?
For the filter, it’s nothing special, really. My wife bought a commercial one a long time ago and we just use it out of habit. But as I had stated, tap water where I live is very good. It’s probably a long topic to discuss, but water does have a taste and
in general softer water is better for Japanese tea.

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