Houroku - Ceramic Roasting Pot
|焙烙 houroku baking pan; parching pan|
This is a Houroku - a ceramic roasting pot.
According to Keiko-san of But Tea blog http://www.blogger.com/profile/07772813824069306876, the Houroku roaster has been in use since the early Meiji period (September 1868 - July 1912).
In the Taisho period (July 1912 - December 1926) the Houroku was generally used as a cooking implement - roasting everything from tea leaves to nuts and seeds. Roasters are a great way to perk up old tea leaves. Roast them in the Houroku then brew the tea leaves.
This Houroku is from Shizuoka, Japan can be purchased from a store called http://ochaukeya.com/houroku. They do not mail overseas. You may have to contact the store in Japan and see what their options might be.
This was a gift from Keiko-san. She sent it to me via the mail. Be advised that the roaster is very fragile.
This particular roaster is hand-made of porous, unglazed clay from Lake Biwa in the Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
The clay from Lake Biwa is rich in iron oxide and has far-infrared effects. The roaster enriches itself from frequent uses and will patina with time. It is a tool primarily used to roast tea. Kuki-cha is roasted to make Houji-cha.
Kuki-cha is a twig tea (bo -cha) that is obtained green so that it can be roasted on a per use basis. Houji-cha is usually a roasted Japanese green tea.
|Brewed cup of Houji-cha|
- Handle with care as the clay is porous and fragile
- Do not wash the roaster with soap or any detergent
- You may rinse it with water but dry it thoroughly - AIR DRY OVERNIGHT
- Again the clay is porous so do not soak it in water as it will absorb the water and WILL need to dry out completely
- DO NOT USE a damp or wet roaster over the fire/flame - IT WILL BREAK. Air dry it thoroughly before use.
- The handle gets hot so be careful - have an extra pot-holder on hand to prevent any accidents
- DO NOT IMMERSE THE HOT ROASTER INTO WATER - IT WILL BREAK!
- Allow the roaster to cool down completely before storing it away.
- The Houroku is fragile - so store it away in it's own shelf or drawer.
- Do not store it with food items like spices or dried seafood or any item that has a fragrance - like incense or potpourri - the clay will absorb the scent. best to use it for tea only.
How to use the Houroku
- Over a flame or hot coals, warm the roaster for about 3 minutes
- Turn the flame down and add the tea leaves into the roaster
- Roast the leaves over the flame until slightly smokey and fragrant
- Turn the flame off and continue the roasting with the residual heat from the roaster
- Pour the tea leaves through the handle onto a surface or directly into the teapot
According to Keiko-san, the brewed tea leaves will expand and can be eaten.