Iced Teapot (1,000ml)


Author Karen Kletter   (United States)
Review This Iced Tea Pot comprised my third order from Hibiki-an, so I'd first like to write a few words about the transaction itself.
I placed my order for this pitcher last Thursday evening and received an immediate confirmation. 43 MINUTES LATER, I received notice that my order had been shipped. It was in my mailbox the following Monday afternoon. Words, at this point, fail me.
This pitcher is yet another example of a very well-designed offering from Hibiki-an. Given that it holds a liter, I have to admit--at the risk of sounding heretical--that I purchased it with the intention of cold-brewing bancha, which is much more appropriate for washing down meals (and much more in line with my budget) than the fine teas brewed in the traditional way that I like to savor a cup at a time (think beer as opposed to wine--both are valid and have their place). And that's exactly what I did--I measured a liter of water, froze it as cubes, and added it to 15g of leaves (amount suggested by the manufacturer) as per one of Mr. Yasui's iced tea techniques (keep in mind that all that ice won't fit in the pitcher at once--you'll have to keep adding it as the ice in the pitcher melts). Somewhat time-consuming, but voila! We're not talking about anything as delicious as Hibiki-an's fine senchas (imagine, if you will, how they'd taste cold-steeped in this pitcher!), but it's great--robust, sweet without any bitterness, and MUCH better than any of those Ito En Teas's Teas in plastic bottles that are becoming ubiquitous in NYC delis (I should know--I've tried them all). I'm going to try overnight brewing in the refrigerator as well to determine if there's any difference in taste.
As to the pitcher itself, it's great. I really had no interest in an iced tea pitcher, but the idea grew on me and I'm glad it did. The company that produces it has been manufacturing high-quality borosilicate glass objects in an environmentally friendly manner since 1921. The instructions included are only in Japanese, but one can pretty much infer them from the drawings (I had a Japanese friend translate the fine points--all you need to know is 15g tea leaves to 1 liter of water). The pitcher can be used for hot brewing as well; the maximum temperature for the two-part filter/lid (which, BTW, is very easy to clean) seems to be 120C.
The filter is very fine and extremely effective; nothing gets through but the tea. As was observed in a previous review, the cap oxygenates the tea as it's poured--it's quite wonderful to see that beautiful green liquid gushing into a glass. What wasn't mentioned, however, is that the spout is almost drip-proof, hence no mess. It's not quite as good as the spout on my Hohryu kyusu (which, BTW, renders its little plastic extension superfluous--wonderful attention to detail), but it's darned close.
If you're a fan of iced green tea, or think that you might like to give it a try, I highly recommend the purchase of this pitcher. I suspect that it would be great for cold-brewing other teas and tisanes as well. I'm quite sure that it's going to get a lot of use, hence I can justify the cost. It would make a great gift for a tea lover and, in fact, I'm thinking of picking one up for my parents as well now that I've gotten them into the daily green tea habit.

(Comment from Hibiki-an)
I think that below steps is also good iced Houjicha brewing way with this Iced Tea Pot.
1) Place Houjicha (Bancha) tea leaves into this Iced Tea Pot.
2) Pour boiling water
3) After cooling it a little, fully chill the tea in the refrigerator
Would you once try with above way too? We hope that you will try to brew Iced Japanese tea by various ways and enjoy it.
Very bad...Bad...Very bad...Ordinary...Good... 5 of 5 Stars!
Date June 09, 2007

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