The Decline of the Kyūsu

the decline of the kyusu

Do you own a kyūsu teapot?

I have many, and I like them very much.

But the number of households in Japan that have one is falling every year.

I read an article from 2023 that says that in Shizuoka prefecture (a major tea producing region), less than 30% of people in their 20s and 30s own a kyūsu.

Convenience rules

The PET bottle was invented by Nathaniel Wyeth in 1973.

This caused a revolution in the beverage industry.

In Japan, tea in PET bottles started to be sold in the 1990s.

By 2017, the consumption of tea beverages (such as bottled tea) was for the first time larger than for loose leaf tea.

Note that bottled tea is mostly made with low quality tea leaves, mainly bancha.

However, it’s done in such a way that it actually tastes good.


Not as good as a high grade sencha, but it’s way better than tea from a cheap teabag.

It’s easier to just buy tea from a vending machine and carry it with you, than to take the time to brew it in a teapot.

Same thing happened with coffee. Have you heard about the Nespresso machine?

Even my wife (who is also Colombian) uses it daily.

I don’t know that many people in my city who actually grind coffee beans.

What to do about it?

Years, ago I thought that with enough promotion, specialty tea could become as popular as coffee.

I was wrong.

After years of writing in this blog and trying to sell tea in my country, I finally accepted my defeat.

Things change with time, but not always in the direction that one hopes for.

Horses were very popular before cars were invented.

Even though a lot of people are into horses and it might be a large market, it’s practically nothing compared to the market for cars.

As for other beverages, I think that one of the reasons why wine has a big market is because you just have to open the bottle and serve it. Same with beer.

Meanwhile, tea has to be prepared correctly for it to taste well.

That’s why tea in teabags is more commercial than loose leaf tea.

Only people who are very interested in tea would care to learn about it and take the time to brew it.

I’ll just keep enjoying it with the few of my friends that are also into tea.

No need to convert everyone into a tea lover.


  1. Chuck
    May 23, 2024

    Hi Ricard,
    Thank you for continuing with the blog. It sounds like it is a labor of love and I’m saddened to read that you may discontinue it, but I completely understand. Also, as you imply in this post, it would be wonderful if more people drank more tea. Owning a tea company for almost 20 years has shown us that there is a market, but it appears that it is not a market that is going to grow explosively like coffee did. We have really tapered off on the numbers of teas that we offer. People are mostly into blended teas and that’s just the way it is for now, I guess. We shall see…
    Anyway, thank you again and I wish you well. Keep drinking your tea.

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      May 23, 2024

      Hi Chuck

      20 years is a long time. I wish you much success with the company.

  2. Denny
    May 23, 2024

    I look forward to brewing tea with my Kyushu! But I am old and have time to relish my rituals. Young people could brew tea in their offices with a Kyusu if they have the proper set up. Tea tastes better freshly brewed, you can use nicer water and there is no micro plastics to contend with. Modern society is so convenient if you are on the go, but that convenience comes at a cost to the environment.
    All that plastic can’t really be recycled so we have mountains and islands of it.

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      May 23, 2024

      Hi Denny

      You’re absolutely right. That convenience comes at a cost to the environment.

  3. Ken campbell
    May 23, 2024

    Please continue your blog…..I too lament the traditional ways of brewing tea and coffee.I still grind my coffee beans(Colombia Supremo) and filter the powder in a bamboo paper filter.Love my 8 kyusu…..real enjoyment of tea is taking the time…..

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      May 23, 2024

      Definitely, it’s worth taking the time.

  4. Bill
    May 25, 2024

    I have enjoyed your blog for several years. And today I made some kabusecha with my kyusu!

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      May 26, 2024

      Thank you Bill. I imagine that the kabusecha was delicious.


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