Enamelware is an ancient technique where a glass substance melted in high temperature is glazed on a metal base for coating. The vitreous 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 1980s, enameled metalware was widely popular and the norm for kitchenware, sinks, and bathtubs in Japan.
Tsuki Usagi (Moon Rabbit) Jirushi Slim Mug is crafted from a durable metal base, coated with a thick, lustrous layer of glass-like enamel. As well as being tough, light and easy to clean, enamelware is totally free from the odd tastes and odors that you sometimes get from metal products. Immensely popular in Japan in both households and cafes, we're proud to introduce this cheerfully stylish, Moon Rabbit mug to the American market. Enamelware is superior in maintaining heat and preserving the taste of pure water. The ceramic surface does not have any metallic ions as in stainless steel which can alter the taste of water inside. Enamel coated metal is more sanitary comparing to metallic surfaces. The hard-to-scratch surface can kept clean much better than uncoated metal products, where germs have no place to hide.
It was around the late 1980s through early 1990s 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. 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 (Moon Rabbit) Jirushi Brand Slim Pot.
Fujii had been producing enameled metalware since 1923. Before the 1970s, 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 biggest 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. 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.