For those considering purchasing a new kettle, Southern Ironware might be on the radar. The kettle from Southern Ironware is known as "Nambu Tekki," and it enjoys popularity both domestically and internationally. This article aims to reintroduce the allure of Nambu Tekki kettles to those contemplating their purchase.
Nambu Tekki Kettle, a Brief Introduction: The Nambu Tekki kettle, also known as Nambu Tekki, is an iron kettle used for boiling water. While iron kettles are produced in various regions, Nambu Tekki stands out as a symbol of this craft, crafted in and around Morioka and Oshu cities in Iwate Prefecture. Beyond its inherent weightiness and unique aesthetic that evokes Japanese charm, Nambu Tekki boasts functional features such as even heat distribution and excellent heat retention.
Distinctive Features of Nambu Tekki Kettles: The water boiled in a Nambu Tekki kettle exhibits two primary characteristics. First, the taste becomes smooth and sweet due to the iron ions released from the kettle reacting with residual chlorine in the water. Second, the leached iron ions are easily absorbed by the body, offering potential health benefits, especially for individuals prone to anemia.
Traditional Patterns on Nambu Tekki: Nambu Tekki kettles often feature various patterns, with the "Arare" pattern, small round protrusions resembling hail, being a representative design. This pattern not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also increases the thickness of the kettle, improving heat retention.
Pricing and Authenticity: Despite the perceived high cost, genuine Nambu Tekki kettles can be purchased for around 10,000 yen. However, caution is advised when buying online, as there are imitation products labeled as Nambu Tekki. Factors to consider include price consistency with the market, accurate Japanese product descriptions, seller location, and the existence of a manufacturer or brand website.
Durability and Maintenance: One notable characteristic of Nambu Tekki kettles is their durability. Developed alongside the Japanese tea ceremony in Morioka, these ironware items are not only decorative but also functional and long-lasting. Maintenance is relatively simple, involving drying the kettle after use to prevent rust. The accumulation of "yunomi" or scale inside the kettle is considered beneficial and enhances the smoothness of the water over time.
Rust Maintenance with Green Tea: While Nambu Tekki is resistant to rust, environmental factors may lead to its occurrence. Rust is harmless to the human body, but if it affects the water color or imparts a metallic odor, maintenance can be achieved by boiling green tea in the kettle. The tannins in the tea react with red rust, eliminating both discoloration and odor.
In conclusion, Nambu Tekki kettles are not only functional and health-conscious but also carry cultural and aesthetic significance. Consideration of authenticity and proper care can ensure a long and satisfying experience with these traditional iron kettles.