Whenever I buy anything for myself I tend to get a bit obsessive. I search reviews, check ratings and try and learn as much about the product as possible. So, when I was looking for a kitchen table, my research led me to Amish made furniture. The one thing that really appealed to me about this furniture is the fact it is all handmade by Amish woodworkers, instead of mass produced in a warehouse.
You see, the Amish have been making wood furniture for hundreds of years and they make everything “the old fashioned way” using their hands and hand tools. The end result was a table that was far superior in its quality and durability than other tables I looked at.
So when I came across Tokoname teapots from Japan, I found that, just like Amish furniture, they were all handmade by craftsman that did things “the old fashioned way.” As soon as I learned this I needed to find out more.
What the heck does Tokoname even mean?
Tokoname is actually the name of an ancient Japanese kiln that is still used today. In Japan, there are 7 ancient kilns that exist throughout the country; Tokoname, Seto, Echizen, Shigaraki, Tanba and Bizen. Of these, Tokoname is the oldest dating back to around 1,100 A.D.
The Teapots are handcrafted in the kiln
In the most basic sense, a kiln is where ceramics are heated and crafted. When it comes to teapots the artists take a single block of clay and form them by hand into beautiful teapots.
The reason why I like them so much
While having amazing craftsmanship is fantastic, the teapot also needs to be functional. This is where the Tokoname teapots really shine. The top four reasons I love these include:
- The Bowl – The bowl is the biggest part of the pot where you place the tea and water. Most of the Tokoname bowls of are made in an almost elliptical fashion, making sure there is plenty of room for the tea leaves to expand and the water to circulate. This is really important for optimal flavor.
- The Screen – Traditionally, each teapot has a fine mesh screen in it. If you have ever brewed Japanese Green teas you know that sometimes the tea can become quite broken up and escape most tea strainers. The small mesh on the strainer helps to keep these small broken pieces in the pot and out of your cup.
- The Handle – The side handle of these pots help keep your hands cool when pouring tea from the hot teapot. They are also ergonomically shaped because the ends are larger than the base. And, in my opinion, the side handle is much easier on your wrist than a traditional teapot.
- The Size – While Tokoname teapots come in different sizes, I find that they usually are large enough for one large cup of tea. And since a lot of times I am preparing a tea for myself, it is the perfect size.
When it comes to certain things, like Amish furniture or ceramic teapots, nothing is better than a high quality handmade product. When it comes to Tokoname teapots, not only is the craftsmanship unsurpassed, but the teapot is also extremely functional.
P.S. – We have a shipment of Tokoname teapots coming in direct from Japan, but they will not be here until mid January. The good news is we have a small amount in stock that we are giving away for free to those who join our Seasonal Tea Club. Check your email on Monday for details!