The Japanese have spent many centuries perfecting the art of growing high-quality tea, and what better way is there to enjoy it than with an authentic Japanese tea set? Here we have reviewed a Japanese tea set and the famous cast-iron tetsubin kettle.
Before getting into the reviews, we will first cover the items included in a typical tea set and their functions.
- Items that make up a Japanese tea set
- A review of the best Japanese tea sets and components
Items that make up a Japanese tea set
The items included in a set aids in the preparation and serving of tea. Items include the following…
Matcha tea whisk
The tea whisk, known as a chasen in Japanese, plays an essential role in the preparation of matcha tea. It mixes the matcha powder, water, and air and allows for oxygenation. By whisking, you not only mix everything, but you also create a froth that releases the natural aroma of the tea.
How to use
Step 1: First soak the whisk in a bowl of lukewarm water for a minute. By doing so, you will soften the tines which allow for more flexibility, thus helping to prevent the tines from breaking while whisking.
Step 2: Vigorously whisk the tea in a zig-zag motion for 30 to 40 seconds until nice froth forms on the surface. Also note, while whisking, do not let the tines hit the bottom of the bowl as they might break. It’s best to whisk just below the tea surface.
Step 3: Immediately rinse the whisk in water after use. Then allow it to air dry by letting it stand upright on the flat side or by placing it over a kusenaoshi (ceramic whisk keeper). But whatever you do, never let it dry while laying on its side, because the tines will bend out of shape.
The tetsubin is a tea kettle and is normally made from cast iron. Being made from cast iron is very beneficial as it provides extra strength and durability. Also, the material releases iron into the water, which makes the water taste softer and sweeter. Another benefit is that iron absorbs chlorine from the drinking water.
Instructions: Before using a cast-iron tetsubin for the first time, boil 5 to 10 grams of tea with it for 10 minutes. The tea leaves will react with the iron from the pot to coat the interior with a layer of tannin, which eliminates the iron odor and prevents the kettle from rusting. Pour the tea water out and repeat the process three more times or until the water is clear. Also, don’t forget to empty the kettle after every use and do not pour over 70% capacity water into the pot to prevent spilling boiling water. And do not clean the inside of the tetsubin with cleaning detergents or brushes.
The tea bowl is known as a chawan and is most commonly made from ceramic, but can also be clay. They are primarily used for making tea in, but can also sometimes be used to drink from.
These bowls, although they come in different styles, never have handles. Bowls with long and wide rims are used in the summer because it allows for the tea to cool faster, while narrower and tall bowls are preferred in the winter because it keeps the tea warmer for longer.
Other items used in conjunction with the chawan are a chashaku (teaspoon) and a chakin (hemp cloth). The chashaku is used to scoop matcha powder into the chawan, while the chakin is used for wiping the chawan clean after someone has drunk from it.
The best Japanese tea sets & components
Umami matcha Japanese tea set
The Umami matcha Japanese tea set makes the perfect gift for that special someone because it provides an authentic tea ceremony experience. The set, which is ideal for making both thick (koicha) and thin (usucha) tea, consists of the highest quality items.
It includes a bamboo whisk with 100 tines, a traditional bamboo scoop, a stylish whisk holder, and a bowl with a stainless steel sifter.
The packaging has dimensions of 8.6 x 5.1 x 3.8 inches and a total weight of 10 ounces.
Cast-iron tetsubin tea kettle
The tetsubin is an iconic item and is normally made from cast-iron like the one featured here. Not only does the cast iron provide health benefits, but it also distributes the heat evenly, which does wonders for enhancing the flavor extraction during heating.
With your purchase, you will get a traditional Japanese cast-iron tea kettle and a stainless steel infuser. The capacity of the tetsubin is 650ml and weighs 2.5 pounds.
Warranty: The tetsubin has been made in Japan by highly skilled craftsmen. If you are experiencing any problems with the product, contact the manufacturer, and they will quickly solve any issues with 100% satisfaction.