Tsuki Usagi Jirushi Brand Slim Pot
Tsuki Usagi Jirushi Brand’s Slim Pot features a thin spout, designed especially to provide the optimal way of pouring coffee. Pictured are a 2013 model, stainless pot (top) and enameled metal pots beloved since 1979 (middle, bottom)
It was around the late 80s through early 90s when the concept of “Industrial Design” rose and people started becoming more style conscious for their homes. With this trend, designers started experimenting with various designs and materials rather than just pursuing practicality and durability. But in 1979, even before the trend, a company called Fujii, an enamel metalware producer that pioneered the idea of Industrial Design in the home, released an enamel coffeepot, the Tsuki Usagi Jirushi Brand Slim Pot.
Fujii had been producing enameled metalware since 1923. Before the 70s, most home kitchenware was functionality based, but with the economic boom in the late 70s, Japan was seeing more of the European cultural influence come in. One of the bigger influences was the café culture where coffee replaced Japanese tea, and cafes became the place to be.
With this as a backdrop, Fujii came out with a stylish coffeepot that had a narrow spout, perfectly designed for drip coffee. And since it is best to use water that is slightly below boiling point at 90°C (194°F), once the boiled water is placed in the pot, the water becomes the perfect temperature to use for coffee.
Because of its timeless design and the marriage to perfect functionality, the coffeepot is still one of the best selling items for Tsuki Usagi Jirushi Brand today. Thanks to the retro trend coming back, this handcrafted enameled coffeepot is coveted more than ever where manufacturers are having a hard time catching up with the demands, according to KitchenBay Fujii, a group company of Fujii and a kitchenware wholesaler company based in New York City. But those that know coffee, like Blue Bottle Coffee have already gotten a hold of them for their stores.
In 2013, Tsuki Usagi Jirushi Brand came up with a new model of the coffeepot that is not enameled, but left as metalware. This new design still has a retro feel, but caters even more to the drip coffee with a smaller opening for the spout, which will be released in the U.S. at the Portland Coffee Fest this October. The original enameled coffeepot comes in two sizes, large (0.7 liter, 23.7 oz) and small (1 liter, 33.8 oz). The 2013 stainless model comes in one size but in two styles, the Mirror and Satin. Whichever one you may choose, adding just one of these coffeepots to your kitchen can no doubt transform your space into a retro-chic atmosphere and enhance your coffee experience.
History of Enameled Metalware in Japan
Enamelware is an ancient technique where a glass substance melted in high temperature is glazed on a metal base for coating. The glass coating prevents the metal from rusting and creates durability. Although it took some time to reach Japan, when it was finally introduced in 1866 in the form of a cooking pot, the enamel industry took off. By 1890, it was the main technique used to make utensils for the National army and navy due to its durable nature, and the country was full of enamel metalware manufacturers at one point. Until the late 80s, enameled metalware was widely popular and the norm for kitchenware, sinks, and bathtubs in Japan.
Enamel glazing technique used in making the Tsuki Usagi Jirushi Brand Coffeepot is truly craftsmanship.
The shape of the 2013 model’s spout is carefully designed to control the way of pouring water. [left] You can pour hot water from a higher point and create a thinner stream of water, important to making a tasty cup of drip coffee.