pots with mesh strainers

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wave_code
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Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:53 pm

I only have one kyusu at the moment- purple banko with a mesh strainer. Most lower price point pots I see don't have fine holed clay strainers in them, understandably so given that they seem quite laborious to do well, but I feel like I have also seen some quite nicer looking pots that still have mesh. I'm curious if people with experience from both have ever noticed any detrimental taste attributes from the mesh? While it should obviously be food grade if it isn't total junk I'm curious. Also if people feel there is a significant effect on mouthfeel since the mesh is still much finer than really possible with clay - do you find some of the slightly larger fine particles/dust are an important part of your tea drinking experience?
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Baisao
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Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:15 pm

Hi wave_code,

I haven’t used kyusu with wire mesh but I’ve used kyusu with integral strainers at the spouts and GFC with an external filter placed in the chahai. My experience, while not precisely what you are asking for, may be enough to relate my opinions on the matter.

I prefer integral filters for kyusu and no filter at all for GFC. I also like a little bit of sediment to remind me of the elemental nature of tea.

For most Japanese teas, a slow pour is enough to keep too much sediment from getting into the cups. Florent, at Thes du Japon, speaks of allowing the tea to just pass across the interior lip of the spout, so that much of the leaf remains below the spout and inside the teapot. A slow, deliberate pour is not undesirable with Japanese teas in my experience.

For teas other than puerh and heicha that are used in GFC, a super fast pour is overrated and often unnecessary. (Cue a flame war) I stopped using filters almost a decade ago except for puerh and heicha, even then I only use them with crumbly shou with lots of fines. A reasonable pour and good gall formation will keep the leaves in the teapot.

Regarding what makes it into the cup:
My sense about metal strainers in general is that they do affect the tea. If I remember correctly, it was something I didn’t like about the mouthfeel of delicate teas passed through a metal strainer, similar to using a high pour. I do remember that it detectable but subtle enough that it could be ignored.

Regarding what remains in the teapot:
My sense about using a metal strainer in a kyusu is that teas like a fukamushi will easily clog in the mesh and substantially impact the pour unless a very slow pour is used. It would probably be fine for asamushi or good quality, kama-iri, oolongs, and blacks.
wave_code
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Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:56 am

interesting idea regarding the pouring technique- perhaps regardless of the strainer I need to change my technique with Japanese teas. I drink them less often these days so maybe I need to remind myself I'm not doing gong fu nor am I pouring out some super strong shu that will taste like fish juice if I don't do it as fast as possible.

I have also noticed on my pot the strainer fits very tight (which I guess is regarded as better than a poor fitting one), but almost seems to form a vacuum or some sort of suction effect in the pot. when pouring about 70% will flow right out, then it stops up for a second, almost like putting your finger over the hole of a Chinese pot and then the rest comes out. behaves the same even without tea in the pot. maybe I'll take it out and try swapping it for a spring filter or one of the filters meant for single hole Chinese pots, let a little bit more particle through and hopefully fix the water flow.
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Shine Magical
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Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:52 am

I use an external filter because the yixing I like doesn't have one.
I put the filter ontop of the fairness cup so the brew gets filtered while it pours out of the pot, which has the extra benefit of the small sediment not being inside the pot preventing the next brew from being more bitter.

The strainer is a mesh plastic of some sort, and very fine. Pretty high quality. I didn't want a metal one because I didn't want it to affect the taste of the tea. I'm not a fan of having sediment in my teacup and in my testing I haven't found that sediment increases the flavor in any way and it just makes the mouthfeel worse.


For Japanese teas I would definitely use a filter.
Janice
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Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:20 am

I prefer integral clay filters for Japanese tea. My first Kyushu had a metal mesh strainer wrapped around the inside of the pot and I always felt that no matter how much I cleaned it tea was trapped behind the filter. I still have one Kyushu with a metal mesh filter but I reserve it for rooibos.
.m.
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Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:24 am

I'm not in favor of strainers, and normally do not use any. And i understand that the stainless steel mesh might perhaps somehow influence the taste of the tea (not sure what the principle would be, some electro-chemical thing?). But frankly i am doubtful whether i could detect that. Plus after a bit of use the metal gets coated with tea residues, and any possible effect would even smaller. So really i wouldn't worry about it. But i would definitely avoid any kind of plastic, it gives me a bad vibe.
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Baisao
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Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:27 am

wave_code wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:56 am
I have also noticed on my pot the strainer fits very tight (which I guess is regarded as better than a poor fitting one), but almost seems to form a vacuum or some sort of suction effect in the pot. when pouring about 70% will flow right out, then it stops up for a second, almost like putting your finger over the hole of a Chinese pot and then the rest comes out. behaves the same even without tea in the pot. maybe I'll take it out and try swapping it for a spring filter or one of the filters meant for single hole Chinese pots, let a little bit more particle through and hopefully fix the water flow.
Since it behaves that way even without tea it suggests that your filter is too fine and water is trapping the reverse air flow, a problem I never thought of. I think your idea of removing the wire mesh and inserting a spring filter is on point for refitting this pot. You'll get more leaf bits but that's no matter if you pour as Florent suggests. Also, removing that wire filter should be a no-damage operation since they are meant to be removed and cleaned. The holes in integral filters by the Yamada family of kyusu makers are still large in comparison to any wire filters I've seen. With that in mind, I think you are on the right track.
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Baisao
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Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:34 pm

wave_code, just a little more perspective on how (not) fine a strainer for Japanese teas can be: I measured the strainer holes on a pot by Jozan III (who to my knowledge is the only teapot maker to have been recognized as a National Living Treasure) and they are between 2.5-3.0 mm. This is quite wide. It is the width of your average bamboo skewer.

I get very little sediment with this pot when I pour as described by Florent at Thes du Japon. No doubt Tyas, from The Tea Crane, would get a wad of leaves in his cup as he pours tea like he is trying to chop boards with his hands. They are both well regarded but I obviously prefer Florent’s method. It works well and looks less threatening to guests. I want people to relax and enjoy their tea, not feel like they may be beaten to death with a kyusu.
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Victoria
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Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:46 pm

Baisao that is hilarious. I second your advise here. Yamada kyusu pour perfectly. I admire Yamada’s do-ake, direct-wall filters, where holes are made directly on the body of the teapot. When poured with care, a slow pour as you mention above, almost all of the liquor comes out on the first try. I also don’t use an external filter with sencha or gyokuro, the little bit of leaves making it to my cup intensify the green liquor nicely and add flavor too.

@wave_code I couldn’t find your Introduction to the community. Would be nice to have you share something about yourself. I am curious where you are located, possibly you have a member near by that would like to share tea or a teapot with you :) .
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Baisao
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Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:37 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:46 pm
Baisao that is hilarious.
"KYUSU CHOP!!!"
Screenshot_20181130-173612.jpg
"KYUSU CHOP!!!"
Screenshot_20181130-173612.jpg (256.57 KiB) Viewed 218 times
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steanze
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Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:43 pm

Baisao wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:34 pm
wave_code, just a little more perspective on how (not) fine a strainer for Japanese teas can be: I measured the strainer holes on a pot by Jozan III (who to my knowledge is the only teapot maker to have been recognized as a National Living Treasure) and they are between 2.5-3.0 mm. This is quite wide. It is the width of your average bamboo skewer.
Nice, thans or the info. It is also my impression that Jozan III has been the only Tokoname Living National Treasure so far, a few other Living National Treasures made kyusus (for example Shoji Hamada).
Otagaki Rengetsu used pretty small holes on her strainers.
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Baisao
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Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:23 pm

steanze wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:43 pm
Baisao wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:34 pm
wave_code, just a little more perspective on how (not) fine a strainer for Japanese teas can be: I measured the strainer holes on a pot by Jozan III (who to my knowledge is the only teapot maker to have been recognized as a National Living Treasure) and they are between 2.5-3.0 mm. This is quite wide. It is the width of your average bamboo skewer.
Nice, thans or the info. It is also my impression that Jozan III has been the only Tokoname Living National Treasure so far, a few other Living National Treasures made kyusus (for example Shoji Hamada).
Otagaki Rengetsu used pretty small holes on her strainers.
Thank you for th clarification, @steanze. I was trying to indicate that Jozan Yamada III tended to specialize in teapots unlike other NLTs but I see that Otagaki Rengetsu made quite a lot of teapots. I suppose Shoji Hamada and others did as well.
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steanze
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Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:34 pm

Baisao wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:23 pm
Thank you for th clarification, steanze. I was trying to indicate that Jozan Yamada III tended to specialize in teapots unlike other NLTs but I see that Otagaki Rengetsu made quite a lot of teapots. I suppose Shoji Hamada and others did as well.
Yes you are totally right, Jozan III is the only one who specialized on kyusus. Rengetsu was not a Living National Treasure (lived too early), just came to mind as someone making small filter holes :)
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