Lacquered Wood Kyusu
Tochi Kurinuki


Original Japanese side handle teapot made of horse chestnut wood. The teapot is hand-turned and painted with a natural lacquer using a traditional method. It feautures an integrated, removable sieve made of stainless steel. 200ml
Type Side-handle teapot, yokode kyūsu (横手急須)
Volume 200ml
Recommended Fill Line Fill only up to the last third of the integrated strainer. Too much water can result in leaks despite the precise fit of the lid.
Dimensions 16 x 7cm
Weight Approx. 170g
Strainer Removable stainless steel strainer (rustproof)
Packaging Cardboard
Tea Varieties Recommended for all green teas

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A kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot used for the preparation of Japanese green tea. Fired from natural clay and unglazed on the inside, the body reacts with the tea and water to bring out certain aromas while subduing others. With the tea allowed to steep free-floating in the pot and the leaves lying across the integrated strainer when pouring to prevent them from entering the cup, the kyusu allows for a more complete extraction of flavours and ingredients. The tea should always be brewed fresh, but several infusions are customary. The side handle and the knob on the lid allow for safe handling of the teapot despite the high temperature of its contents.

Throughout history, there have been hundreds of ceramic centres in Japan, located wherever the volcanic soil was rich in clay. Some are still active today, including the Six Ancient Kilns (Rokkoyo) Bizen, Shigaraki, Seto, Echizen, Tamba and Tokoname, others such as Karatsu, Hagi, Mino, Shino, Oribe, Setoguro Ki-Seto and Kyo-yaki, as well as Banko in Yokkaichi, which specialises in tea ceramics in particular.

Kyusu differ according to the composition of the clay, which varies from region to region, the firing method, the handmade production steps taken, the decoration and glazing techniques as well as the overall quality, which can range from delicate to deliberately coarse. The clay as well as chosen firing technique determine the character of the kyusu, i.e. which types of flavours are lifted or subdued. Therefore, tea lovers often have different kyusu of different qualities at home in order to optimally prepare all their favourite teas. Among the finest and most valuable kyusu are those made by artists famous for their special talents in manufacturing, decoration and unique natural clay production as well as for their perfected firing techniques.

Led by the most highly awarded masters, the hierarchy of craftsmanship includes studios that still draw on the reputation of past masters, young and wild studios and family-run micro-enterprises which produce the bulk of everyday ceramics. Vintage kyusu are important collector's items made entirely from now exhausted deposits of the highest quality natural clay of the respective region, achieving tea infusions of an incomparable calibre.


For the care of high-quality Japanese ceramics, please use low-limestone, soft water for all preparations and cleaning steps.

A kyusu should first be warmed with warm water before the actual tea preparation so that the clay can react better with the tea leaves. Only then are the tea needles put in with a wooden spoon. Depending on taste, variety and quality, 1-3 heaped teaspoons per person are recommended. Advanced connoisseurs usually prepare the tea much stronger than beginners, who are less accustomed to the intense taste and bitter substances.

Now pour the water carefully and slowly over the leaves, ideally from a yuzamashi (vessel for cooling the water after boiling) of the same or similar clay and firing. For better results, fill the water only to the top third of the sieve. During the brewing time, please close the lid.

To pour, hold the kyusu with one hand so that the thumb rests on the knob. Make sure that the small opening on the lid is at the same level with the spout. Then pour the tea slowly into the cup in several puffs and drink it fresh. If several cups are being filled, they should be poured in small steps one after the other to achieve an even result for all cups. At the end of the pouring process, carefully but firmly jerk the kyusu downwards repeatedly with both hands to extract the last, particularly rich drops from the tea.

Then leave the kyusu closed for the next infusion. After the last infusion, remove the tea completely from the kyusu and rinse it vigorously with water only. Do not scratch or otherwise clean the inside. Finally, rinse the inside and outside of the pot with low-limestone, soft water in order to avoid detrimental limescale deposits. Briefly rub the outside with a clean cloth, then leave the kyusu open to dry completely.


Cleaning the Outside:

Clean only with water and a soft cloth. If dirty, wipe with infused green tea.

Cleaning the Inside:

Rinse only with clean water. Do not scratch or otherwise clean. During use, the kyusu accumulates patina on the inside, which should not be removed.

After using tap water containing limestone, rinse the kyusu inside and out with low-limestone, soft water, in order to avoid the deterioration caused by limescale deposits. Then wipe the outside with a clean, soft cloth.

It is advisable to use only the recommended similar tea types in the same kyusu in the long term (see the tab on tea types). The kyusu, which is unglazed on the inside, develops a patina in combination with the respective tea, which improves and intensifies the taste over time. For this reason, too, when preparing the tea and during the cleaning, it is best to use soft, low-calcium water (similar to natural mountain spring water) rather than tap or bottled water containing limestone.

Product Details

This wooden kyusu was made in one of the most traditional craft workshops for high-quality wood and lacquerware. The noble wood of the Japanese horse chestnut was carefully turned by hand and naturally lacquered. This kyusu is suitable for accentuating the bitter aromas of strong green teas such as sencha, tamaryokucha and kamairicha.

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