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Tsutsumi Teapots

1.2L Cast Iron Kettle. Traditional Nambu Tetsubin

1.2L Cast Iron Kettle. Traditional Nambu Tetsubin

Regular price $380.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $380.00 USD
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A typical cast iron kettle has an enameled interior, which makes maintenance easy, but it does not elute iron and cannot be expected to improve water quality. This kettle does not have an enameled interior. The traditional Nambu ironware technique is called "kama-yaki". This method involves heating the ironware to a high temperature ( generally until glowing red ). This annealing method alters the metal and as a result creates a surface that prevents extreme rusting and corrosion. The exposed iron surface of these kettles will interact with the water and alter its chemistry. Traditional Nambu Ironware is revered for its ability to "soften" water. Boiling water in these beautiful cast iron kettles will soften the water and improve your tea experience.

*Before Using for the first time

It is recommended to boil tap water or bottled water 3-4 times to make a "yuaka" (hard water coating). The calcium in hard water will create a thin and natural coating on the inside of the kettle that will help prevent rust.

To do this, fill the kettle up to about 80% and bring the water to a boil without the lid on. Let the water simmer for 20-25 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the water cool a little before you put the lid back on, and empty the kettle. Repeat this process 3-4 times.

*Care Instructions

After each use, empty out all remaining water inside of the kettle and place over a low heat to dry it out completely. If the kettle cools down and water is left in it for many hours, or days, it can cause rusting. If some rusting occurs on the inside of the kettle, it is not uncommon and definitely not harmful to your health. There are ways to address the rusting. Traditionally, green tea is boiled in the kettle for about 30 min, and then left to cool down. Once the kettle is completely cool, it is put aside for 1-2 days with the boiled tea still inside. It is the tannins in the tea that will remove the rust and help prevent/slow down the development of additional rust.

. Do not wash with detergent.

. Do not wash using a sponge or scrubber.

. Wipe off excess water on the exterior parts, as discoloration and rusting can occur.

. If the gas flame reaches the body of the kettle, that part is likely to discolor.

. Used over an open flame, the base will gradually turn white.

*This cast iron kettle comes from Morioka City, Japan.


Named “tetsubin” in Japanese, this type of teapot goes back to the 17th-century. Made in Morioka city and Mizusawa city, both in the Iwate prefecture, the kettle is part of the Nambu Tekki category of ironware, which refers to all cast iron products crafted in the former Nambu area. Nambu Tekki itself has origins in the Nambu Kama kettles and ironware, which date back to the Sengoku period, which lasted between 1467 and 1600. Even today, these teapots are almost exclusively crafted in the Iwate prefecture by skilled artisans who use the same traditional techniques.


To even gain the title of “traditional craftsman”, the artisans have to train for ten years. Every tetsubin is crafted by hand through a process that involves many steps. First, the craftsmen make sand, clay, or dry molds by hand, shaping the material and adding ornamental work. A time consuming process, this stage helps to create the products’ distinctive patterns. Designs range from the Arare dot pattern to the Hada texture and the intricate animal or floral motifs. Then, the craftsmen pour molten iron into the molds.

The finishing of the kettles involves heating up the cast iron to a certain temperature and applying a natural lacquer coating made of different materials such as the sap of the Urushi tree, green tea, etc. Polishing the lacquer on the embossed surfaces adds the last finishing touch. This step also creates a contrast between the matte surface of the “raw” iron interior and the glossy accents on the exterior.

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