Mar 20th, '17, 20:21
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Going to Morioka

by eldritchtree » Mar 20th, '17, 20:21

I couldn't find this information anywhere on the net so I thought I would ask here: I am going to be in Morioka as part of my tour of Tohoku. I love tea and I've been salivating over cast iron kettles--everything you all say here is so positive--and I would very much like to get one. Online, I am seeing prices like $300 but I was wondering whether anyone knew the answers to the following questions:

1. Would it be possible to get a small tetsubin for around $150? If not, what do you think the price range would be for a decent tetsubin? I know they can go for thousands but I don't have that kind of money.

2. Is there anywhere in particular I ought to buy it from? Would tea specialty shops be more expensive? Department store? Directly from manufacturer?

I know that's a small budget for a tetsubin but I was hoping it would be possible to get perhaps a 0.5 liter one.

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Mar 21st, '17, 05:08
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Re: Going to Morioka

by kyarazen » Mar 21st, '17, 05:08

yes, possible. that budget is already decent for a usable tetsubin. you dont have to get the inflated/bubbled price ones.. even a kunzan or a artisan made iwachu is good performance. get one that has a steam reduced interior.. and make sure it is not urushi coated

not all tea specialty shops carry tetsubin. you can visit the iwachu museum or related etc, but in japan prices are always well "pegged", that is department store price is same as prices at other places. there are very good tetsubins.. even high end ones in department store

0.5L is slightly uncommon, that size usually goes towards iron kyusu, and kyusu's are a nono.. inside tend to be coated. i have seen 0.4-0.5L tetsubins but rare. usually 800ml onwards are more common, and handles better, you dont have to boil too high a height in the tet
eldritchtree wrote: I couldn't find this information anywhere on the net so I thought I would ask here: I am going to be in Morioka as part of my tour of Tohoku. I love tea and I've been salivating over cast iron kettles--everything you all say here is so positive--and I would very much like to get one. Online, I am seeing prices like $300 but I was wondering whether anyone knew the answers to the following questions:

1. Would it be possible to get a small tetsubin for around $150? If not, what do you think the price range would be for a decent tetsubin? I know they can go for thousands but I don't have that kind of money.

2. Is there anywhere in particular I ought to buy it from? Would tea specialty shops be more expensive? Department store? Directly from manufacturer?

I know that's a small budget for a tetsubin but I was hoping it would be possible to get perhaps a 0.5 liter one.

Mar 21st, '17, 09:14
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Re: Going to Morioka

by eldritchtree » Mar 21st, '17, 09:14

Thank you so much for your answer! I will check for the urushi--can't have anything getting between the water and the iron!

This is very relieving. Now I can budget in money for sleep. :D

Mar 21st, '17, 22:34
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Re: Going to Morioka

by xabi » Mar 21st, '17, 22:34

eldritchtree wrote: Thank you so much for your answer! I will check for the urushi--can't have anything getting between the water and the iron!

This is very relieving. Now I can budget in money for sleep. :D
Wow it seems like Mr. know-it-all has been to Morioka :lol:

I have been to Morioka several times, and visited all the famous workshops. My advise is that, with a budget of $150, you save your money and wait until you can afford a more expensive tetsubin. Otherwise, you will regret it after some years.

The price for an entry (half hand-made) tetsubin from a workshop like Kunzan may be around $250 and $300. You can visit their workshop in Te-zukuri Mura (手づくり村 in Japanese, http://tezukurimura.com/main/ for their website). At the same place, there are other (smaller) workshops. Kunzan's operation is a bit industrial like (compared to others like Koizumi or Suzuki), and you can see that reflected in their products, but it should be fine if you don't go for something at the lowest end of their catalog.

Concerning Urushi, Mr. Know-it-all was probably referring to the lacquer that is applied by some makers (like Iwachu). Those are not intended to be used as kettles, but as teapots and the lacquer is not urushi. Urushi (a natural lacquer used in Japan for many products, not just iron ones) is applied to Nanbu tetsubin on the outside (the inside is baked with charcoal to give it an anti-rust treatment known as Kanakedome). In other areas, like in Yamagata, some tetsubin makers fully painted with Urushi their products (inside and outside). However, this layer will wear down over time ,and you will get your water iron interaction in the same way (it may take a bit longer but it may not be as prone to rusting as the Nambu products if left unused for some time). Anyway, the difference between Nambu and Yamagata tetsubin is sometimes just a matter of taste, as in the long run, they peform equally well.

Just my two cents. :D

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Mar 22nd, '17, 12:13
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Re: Going to Morioka

by kyarazen » Mar 22nd, '17, 12:13

eldritchtree wrote: Thank you so much for your answer! I will check for the urushi--can't have anything getting between the water and the iron!

This is very relieving. Now I can budget in money for sleep. :D
kunzan has been coating their satetsu kettles interior with urushi. other than that the regular ones have reduced interiors. i have the regular one and the satetsu one at my teahouse.. :P think the regular one was like $180 and the satetsu one was $780, both same mold. the regular one is very well received. the satetsu one still has some urushiol odour despite boiling ginger, tea and many other feeble attempts. perhaps if i use the satetsu one more often i might have a higher chance of becoming a sokushinbutsu :D

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Mar 22nd, '17, 13:02
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Re: Going to Morioka

by jayinhk » Mar 22nd, '17, 13:02

Slightly OT but I'll be in Tokyo next month--any chance I can get a decent tetsu there? I don't mind buying a used one. :)

Mar 22nd, '17, 20:13
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Re: Going to Morioka

by xabi » Mar 22nd, '17, 20:13

kyarazen wrote:
eldritchtree wrote: Thank you so much for your answer! I will check for the urushi--can't have anything getting between the water and the iron!

This is very relieving. Now I can budget in money for sleep. :D
kunzan has been coating their satetsu kettles interior with urushi. other than that the regular ones have reduced interiors. i have the regular one and the satetsu one at my teahouse.. :P think the regular one was like $180 and the satetsu one was $780, both same mold. the regular one is very well received. the satetsu one still has some urushiol odour despite boiling ginger, tea and many other feeble attempts. perhaps if i use the satetsu one more often i might have a higher chance of becoming a sokushinbutsu :D
LoL :o

Maybe Urushiol intoxication is what explains the longer lifespan of Japanese people
and many Korean and Chinese people living in areas where urushi lacquer is often employed not only in teaware but also in many kinds of kitchenware...

Keeping in mind your well-documented opinions, thoroughly supported by scientific evidence and careful investigation at "your" teahouse, I will remind myself that I may be becoming a sokushinbutsu mummy everytime I drink Miso soup from my favorite urushi-lacquered wooden bowl :mrgreen:

FYI, even if Kunzan and other tetsubin makers apply urushi on the exterior of a regular tetsubin, when the artisan does this operation, after baking the interior to reduce it, there is some nonnegligible chance that urushi also spills into the tetsubin. BTW, it may be also mentioning that the underlid is also urushi lacquered in the regular (Kunzan) models, and steam cools down there, becomes liquid, and drips back into the tetsubin while water is boiled.

So, yes, just as you claimed, Dr. Chiarazen, we may be all dying from urushiol intoxication...
:shock:

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Mar 22nd, '17, 23:03
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Re: Going to Morioka

by kyarazen » Mar 22nd, '17, 23:03

hah! you are missing the point here. it is the quality and state of urushi curing and specifically to the items procured. :lol:

there is also a couple of urushiol/iron plugs in most tetsubins and that is generally well cured due to the blend/paste formulation but surface coating of anything with urushiol quickly forms a outer shell barrier that slows the underlying curing, all the more when coated inside the tetsubin.

most lacquer wares dont undergo boiling or such constant heat treatment, but you are right, somewhere down there, repeated boiling/heating leads to urushiol breakdown and may allow for better iron/water contact. where the compounds go.. well.. its up to one's preference :lol:


xabi wrote: LoL :o

Maybe Urushiol intoxication is what explains the longer lifespan of Japanese people
and many Korean and Chinese people living in areas where urushi lacquer is often employed not only in teaware but also in many kinds of kitchenware...

Keeping in mind your well-documented opinions, thoroughly supported by scientific evidence and careful investigation at "your" teahouse, I will remind myself that I may be becoming a sokushinbutsu mummy everytime I drink Miso soup from my favorite urushi-lacquered wooden bowl :mrgreen:

FYI, even if Kunzan and other tetsubin makers apply urushi on the exterior of a regular tetsubin, when the artisan does this operation, after baking the interior to reduce it, there is some nonnegligible chance that urushi also spills into the tetsubin. BTW, it may be also mentioning that the underlid is also urushi lacquered in the regular (Kunzan) models, and steam cools down there, becomes liquid, and drips back into the tetsubin while water is boiled.

So, yes, just as you claimed, Dr. Chiarazen, we may be all dying from urushiol intoxication...
:shock:

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