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How to take care of your teaware

How to take care of your teaware

 

Japanese teaware are beautiful, delicate pieces. To be able to use them for as long as possible it is important to take good care of them, initiate, clean and store them properly. Let it be a ceramic tea bowl, porcelain teacup or bamboo tea whisk, they all have different needs in regards of the proper way to handle them. Read on to find out more about the handling precautions of these teaware.

 

TEA BOWLS

Japanese tea bowls (chawan) are used to prepare and drink matcha. The cleaning of these bowls might seem self explanatory, but there are a few things to keep in mind and pay attention to, especially in the case of rakuchawan, that is a very delicate kind of tea bowl in need of extra special care.

Chawan

Cleaning:

After using the tea bowl, rinse it gently with water. Do not put it in dishwasher or dryer. Always wash by hand!

Do not use strong dishwashing soap, only soft, organic soap.*

Avoid placing it in places with high temperatures, such as a microwave, oven or stove.

Chawan is only meant to be used for Matcha tea. If ever used for tea, do not use it for other purposes also.

 

Diswasher - x

Microwave - x

Direct warming - x

Dish soap - Soft, organic

Cleaning water temperature - Hot or lukewarm

 

*Since green tea has a strong disinfecting effect, using dish soap is not necessary.

 

Rakuchawan

Initiation:

Before the first use of the Rakuchawan, dip it in lukewarm water with a few grains of hard rice. The rice powder in the water helps seal the pores of the Rakuchawan, strengthens the walls and makes it less fragile.

Cleaning:

To clean, dip the tea bowl into lukewarm water: a new bowl for one or two minutes; an older one for about 30 seconds.

Clean it immediately after use to keep it from being covered with stains and prevent damaging.*

Do not let it sit in water, for the tea bowl will fall apart!

Storage:

When not in use, dry the tea bowl with towel. Afterward – especially during wet season – put it in an airy place and keep it dry. Otherwise, the tea bowl could be damaged and/or develop a damp smell. If the smell clings to the bowl, make tea with it every day. The smell is usually gone in a week. If not, contact us or the producers of the tea bowl for advice.

 

Diswasher - x

Microwave - x

Direct warming - x

Dish soap - x

Cleaning water temperature - Lukewarm

 

*Since green tea has a strong disinfecting effect, using dish soap is not necessary and rakuchawan absorbs it if used. Also, traditionally each person has their own rakuchawan, they are not shared.

 

TEAPOTS

Teapots can be made of several different materials. The three main groups are ceramic, porcelain or glass. They are all cleaned in different ways and need different care.

 

Ceramic teapot

Initiation:

Before first use, rinse it in hot water then let it dry completely!

Cleaning:

Rinse with hot water, then let it dry completely.

Do not use dishwasher, dryer or dish soap*!

To clean built in strainer, run water backwards from the spout. Use a toothbrush or toothpick to take out tealeaves stuck in the strainer. In case of discoloration, do not use any kind of bleach

Storage:

After use, always let it dry completely, for if stored while still wet, it might develop a damp smell or mold.

 

Diswasher - x

Microwave - x

Direct warming - x

Dish soap - x

Cleaning water temperature - Hot or lukewarm

 

*Since green tea has a strong disinfecting effect, using dish soap is not necessary.

 

Non-Glazed Ceramic teapot – special instructions

Non-glazed ceramic tea pots absorb whatever we put in them, so always only prepare one kind of tea in them (green tea, black tea, roasted tea, etc). Don’t use dish soap.

 

Banko teapots - Due to its high iron content, even the oil from our fingers can leave a mark. Simply clean the marks off with a dry cloth.

 

Hand-painted Porcelain teapot

Cleaning:

Rinse with hot water.

Do not use dishwasher or dryer! It might damage the glaze.

In case of discoloration, do NOT use bleach! If absolutely necessary, use sodium bicarbonate to remove tea spots.*

 

Diswasher - x

Microwave - x

Direct warming - x

Dish soap - Soft, organic

Cleaning water temperature - Hot or lukewarm

 

*Tea spots are not dirt or filth. They do not harm the teapot or tea.

 

Glass teapot

Cleaning:

Rinse with hot water, then let it dry completely.

To clean built in strainer, run water backwards from the spout. Use a toothbrush or toothpick to take out tealeaves stuck in the strainer.

 

Diswasher - x

Microwave - x

Direct warming - x

Dish soap - Any type

Cleaning water temperature - Hot or lukewarm

 

BAMBOO ACCESSORIES

Tea accessories made of bamboo are often used in Japanese tea culture and ceremonies. These tools wear out after a while, but with the proper care they can be used for a longer time.

 

Chasen (bamboo whisk)

Initiation:

Before first use, let it set in hot water for a few minutes.

Hold it under running water before every use to have it damp.

Cleaning:

Carefully rinse it under running water. If needed, use your fingers to gently remove remaining matcha. Do not let the bamboo sit in water.

Do not use dishwasher, dryer or dish soap*!

Storage:

Best way to store is on a Kusenaoshi (chasen holder). If you don’t have a holder, keep it looking upwards. Storing it that way may cause it to “close up”. In that case, dampen it by running water and gently unfold it using your fingers. Never do that while dry!

Storing it in a too warm, dry place might cause the bamboo to split.

Lifespan:

The lifespan of a chasen depends very much on how it is handled and how frequently it is used. As soon as the ends of the straws start to break off, we recommend purchasing a new one, for the ends can even break off while preparing matcha.

 

Chashaku (bamboo scoop)

Cleaning:

If matcha powder sticks to chashaku, clean it with a dry cloth. Never use wet cloth, for the tea will start to steep into it and ruin the bamboo.

Do not use chashaku if damp! Always keep dry!

 

*Since green tea has a strong disinfecting effect, using dish soap is not necessary.

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