Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

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Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:35 am
Location: Chicago

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:41 am

in light of related recent discussion (Expanding the lid's hole?), i decided to repost this topic from TC.

i have a hokujo shibo that i really love, and i've heard nothing but great things about his side-handle pots as well, especially their pours.

he mostly makes larger pots. i've heard from a vendor that getting him to make small size kyusu takes repeated pestering, and i got the impression that hokujo doesn't really like doing it.
there have been a few batches of small pots lately however.

in december 2016, i jumped at the opportunity to get a small one (130mL):

i like the feel of it. very thin material and surprisingly lightweight.
for reference, this 130mL kyusu is 75g.
comparing it to some other pots in similar size range:
  • shimizu ken side-handle kyusu 140mL: 112g
  • shimizu ken side-handle kyusu 85mL: 97g
  • white-label hongni F1 yixing 80mL: 85g
disappointingly, however, the pour from this kyusu was pretty weak!
i talked to others with small hokujo pots, and they had similar feedback surprisingly.

i took a good look at the pot and found that the spout canal is not properly aligned with the direct filter punched in the body.
green circle shows actual spout canal position. the rest of the holes contribute little or no flow:

this has a happy ending though. new holes added with a right-angle high-speed dental drill:

i realized that i had taken a video clip when i first got the pot (before any modifications), so i decided to shoot a new clip just now.

then i composed a synchronized side-by-side video clip:

left: unmodified | right: modified (click image to view)

i think the pour is noticeably better. more forceful
victoria wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:32 pm
Wow, interesting and surprising to see this. My 180ml kaolin bits Hokujo has a ball filter and the other two 250mls have sasame filters. All pour perfectly. Was it difficult to drill into stoneware body?
most tools would not fit in that tight of a space, but it was not difficult with the proper tool.
high RPM, very light pressure (letting the tool do the work), and a steady hand.
jpo1933 wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:31 am
Kind of noticed the same thing on my Hokujo too(though mines around 210ml)
Mines not nearly obstructed as yours though... kinda surprising :?
Since I basically just make sencha in mine, the slower pour doesn't really bother me too much. If it were something like a Wuyi though... then I may want to drill holes in mine too so it doesnt end up too bitter :mrgreen:
Direct hole is generally slower to pour than sesame and debeso filters, but I do think the pour is somewhat slower than you would expect with a direct hole filter
hopefully you can use it now sometimes successfully at least :?
KyaraZen wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:11 pm
i ground all the holes of mine! used a dremel round ball grind stone bit which ground all the holes in a jiffy.


its due to material shrinkage after firing, the small holes he made became smaller and had some of the "clay film". prior to the strange request from chinese tea drinkers, he never made such small pots before

this year's batch came with a sesame filter and it was perfect :P
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Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:01 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:25 am

Thanks for sharing. Your work looks so good; it took me a good 15 or 20 seconds to find the new holes!
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Posts: 416
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:21 pm

Great to have this information consolidated in one area. Using a right angle dental drill is right on clever.
p.s. the video didn’t load
p.s.s works now
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