This water cooling pitcher is crafted from a dark rose-brown clay and is coated with a lovely, milky-white glaze. Some of the darker tones of the clay peek through the white glaze, making the pitcher appear off white or light grey when viewed in person. Pale pink ‘spots’ known as Gohonte are scattered across both outside and inside of the pitcher. These spots are the result of a reaction that occurs around pinholes in the glaze during the kiln firing process. A delicate combed pattern on the outside body of the pitcher adds the appearance of texture, but is quite smooth to the touch.
Japanese water cooling pitchers, called yuzamashi or samashi, are used to lower the temperature of freshly-heated water before using the water to steep tea leaves. The idea is that after water is heated, it is poured first into the yuzamashi, and then from the yuzamashi it is poured onto the tea leaves in a teapot. Yuzamashi are especially helpful when preparing green tea and oolong, which require a cooler water temperature for steeping.
These are also wonderful as an aesthetically-pleasing open teapot for steeping various of the Chinese green teas that do not like to be covered when being steeped, and when one does not want to steep the leaf right in the cup, as many Chinese do.
Yuzamashi come in many sizes, shapes and glaze colors. In the spirit of Japanese tea tools, these vessels do not have to match teapots or such and are purchased solely on the individual merit of design and appearance and the usefulness of the piece.
Slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese tea wares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.
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