Friday, June 19, 2015

Does Material of Teapot Affect the Taste?

Yakishime pot can brew better tasting tea

Yakishime is a type of ceramic. It is baked in a high temperature without any glaze. Tokoname and Banko wares are best example of this product. I have written “Tokoname teapot can brew more delicious tea than teapots made of other materials” in a past entry. Lately, I found an interesting site that explains about the theory. It’s the site of FOOD ANALYSIS TECHNOLOGY CENTER ( and they mention three causes. I’ll introduce the summary in the next paragraph.

Temprature, Iron and Texture

When comparing the four materials; yakishime, porcelain, glass and aluminum, yakishime has the most modest thermal conductivity. When brewing, it keeps the water warm to encourage extracting substances more.  
The clay often used on Tokoname or Banko ware is rich in iron. The iron adsorbs the bitter substance, catechin. It is considered that polyphenols like catechin has a functional group and they are easy to compound with the teapot’s surface with iron.
In the physical aspect, unglazed clay has some texture comparing with the smooth surface of glass and aluminum. The clay has a greater physical absorption of the bitter taste.

Still Wondering

So, the article says that yakishime pots encourages extracting more substances and adsorb bitter taste. That is the reason that it can brew good tasting tea. However, I find some contradictions between this theory and the data from my previous post. I still don’t understand all functions completely. I just wanted to introduce one of opinions regarding teapots’ material that I found. Anyway, both the theory and the data saying that yakishime teapots has advantage. Actually many people experienced it in the survey. This time, I’ll test it myself how effective it is.

The conditions:
Fine Sencha: 2g
Water: 27ml 70C
Time: 1min
Vessel: Left; Yakishime, Right; Porcelain

Potential of Yakishime and Porcelain

I was absolutely appalled by the result. The difference was obvious. The tea brewed in yakishime had a rounded fullfilling flavor with rich umami. The tea with porcelain was washy. I could not find the rich umami that I found in yakishime. The bitter taste exceeded the umami. The result might differ depending on the conditions, but I found that the difference in this test is almost like I was trying the teas from two different grades. I knew it as a knowledge that yakishime can brew better tasting tea. Also, I’ve been actually using both yakishime and porcelain pots at home so I’ve been vaguely conscious of it. However, I’ve never compered them in the same condition at the same time. I was not aware it has such difference. I can definitely recommend yakishime pots for people who enjoy premium green tea. A yakishime pot can make your tea one rank better.


  1. It is interesting that your experiment gave such definite results! I should try someday.

  2. Now I've decided to finally buy a Tokoname pot! :D

    1. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog! I can’t explain the logic but I actually experienced that yakishime pot worked better.

  3. I fully agree with you, having been gifted with a Tokoname a year ago, I am always reaching for it instead of my glazed ceramic ones. In fact the tea can sometimes be distasteful in the glazed pots by comparison.

    I love the black one you show, it is beautiful!

    1. Oh, you do use a Tokoname pot! The taste changes by the material of pot. It’s quite interesting, isn’t it?
      The black pot is going to be a new item in my shop.

  4. That will be a great addition to your offerings!

    It took my brain a while to understand it was the teapot that was making the same tea I loved in the tokoname kyusu not very good in my ceramic pot. I thought it was the different proportion of the teapots but was very careful in my measurements and temperatures (following your testing examples) and over and over the same thing.

    Do you think a glazed cup would affect the tea made in a Tokoname kyusu?

    1. Hi, Lin-san,
      Unfortunately, I don’t know about it. However, some people say that a combination of different material yakishime wares affects to the taste of tea. A good combination enhances the taste, but if the combination is not good, it might ruin the flavor. But in your case, it is not a combination of yakishime cup and pot. It’s a glazed cup. I believe that most of glossy glazes is glassy material. I don’t think that it has much negative effect. I’m sorry that I don’t have any certain answer.

  5. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!

  6. Hello dear, I am really enjoying a lot your post, this is so good. Thanks Aljaz

  7. I'm so inspired. I thought it didn't matter what kind of material was used as a vessel when making tea. I couldn't have been more wrong. Thank you for opening my eye. Can't wait to read on.

  8. Do you sell these different types of tea pots? I am interested in purchasing.

  9. This is very cool. I love all your things and information.

  10. Hello! Does this apply to the bowl used to whisk Matcha? Can I use any bowl to whisk Matcha or should I use a bowl specifically made for whisking Matcha?

    Thank you!

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