Tetsubin are traditionally heated over a charcoal fire. In the Japanese art of chanoyu, the special portable brazier for this is the binkake (瓶掛). (See list of Japanese tea ceremony equipment). Tetsubin are often elaborately decorated with relief designs on the outside. They range widely in size, and many have unusual shapes, making them popular with collectors. A relatively small tetsubin may hold around .5 litres of water; large ones may hold around 5 litres.
The historical origin of the tetsubin is not certain. At least one authoritative Japanese source states that it developed from the spouted and handled water kettle called tedorigama that was already being used in chanoyu in the era of Sen no Rikyū (1522–91). During the 19th century, infused tea became more popular and tetsubin were considered primarily status symbols rather than functional kitchen items.
There is also a kind of relatively small cast iron pot that resembles a tetsubin but is glazed with enamel on the inside in order to lend itself to making brewed tea, and is referred to as an iron kyūsu (急須) or teapot. Most often, however, ceramic is used for making kyūsu. Kyūsu often come with a tea strainer that fits inside.
The prefectures of Iwate and Yamagata are best known for producing tetsubin as well as iron kyūsu.
Read more about Tetsubin: History
Other articles related to "tetsubin":
... It is not clear when the first tetsubin pots appeared in Japan, but many believe that the popularity of the tetsubin pot grew alongside sencha, a form a leaf tea ... As more people drank sencha, the popularity of the tetsubin teapot grew ... The tetsubin teapot is most probably not an original design, but rather shaped by other tea pots around at the time ...
... Tetsubin (鉄瓶) are iron pots having a pouring spout and handle that crosses over the top ... They are used for heating and pouring the hot water during certain tea ceremonies ...