Daily Care for Nambu Tekki Cast Ironware | Tea kettles and teapots



Nambu Tekki is a traditional Japanese ironware founded in the Tohoku region during the Edo period (1803-1868). The origin of the craft can be traced back to the Nambu domain, an area now known as Iwate prefecture. It is said to have started when the tea adoring Nambu feudal lord invited craftsmen from Kyoto to develop iron tea kettles in the area. The Nambu Tekki craft thrived in cities like Mizusawa due to the wealth of natural resources available - including iron, sand, clay and lacquer.

About Nambu Tekki Cast Ironware

Nambu Tekki is renowned for its durability, heat retention and austere design. The iron is subject to various processes to prevent rusting, such as baking the ironware in charcoal to create an inner oxide film and further coating the surface with urushi lacquer. The Nambu Tekki craft has officially been certified as a Traditional Craftwork of Japan and it continues to be revered for its enduring beauty and practicality. Today, a wide range of contemporary and induction compatible designs are available to suit the modern day kitchen.

Instructions for Care

To ensure long lasting use of Nambu Tekki ironware, please follow the steps below for daily care:

Before First Use

Rinse the kettle or teapot with lukewarm water 2-3 times before first use.

Seasoning Method for Iron Tea Kettle

A cast iron tea kettle (tetsubin) must be seasoned before use. Following the above steps, fill the kettle with water and bring to boil under medium heat. Discard the water and repeat the same process three times.

Daily Care

  • Wash gently and handle with care.

  • Do not use washing detergent or place it in a dishwasher.

  • The pot or kettle may break or chip if it is dropped.

  • Please refrain from using the teapot to boil water.

  • Do not boil the kettle without water as this may damage the inner enamel coating.

  • For long-term storage, wrap the ironware in newspaper and store in a cool, dry place.

  • It is recommended to wipe the outer surface with a cloth dipped in sencha to give it a unique gloss.

Over time, red and white spots may adhere to the iron. This is called ‘yuaka’ - consisting of a thin film formed through the calcium and minerals found in the water. These formations are not harmful in any way and serve to deepen the taste of water and prevent rust.

After each use, rinse with water and remove any excess moisture with a dry cloth to prevent rust.

Up to a certain degree, rust is healthy as it contains iron and poses no problem to the body if the water is clear.
If the water turns red or gives off a metallic taste, use a soft brush such as a tawashi to remove rust.
After removing rust, boil water with a small amount of used sencha leaves. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low.
Boil for another 30 minutes. Remove from heat and leave for 10 hours. The antioxidant properties of tannin in sencha is effective for cleaning the surface and giving a shimmer to your cast ironware. Dip a cloth in sencha and wipe the surface.