Junzo Kobiwako vs. Tachi Shigaraki

User avatar
Shine Magical
Posts: 545
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:13 pm
Location: NYC

Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:56 am

I wish I had plans to visit LA again sometime soon so that I could help you with these tests :(

I've found it very rare for kobiwako clay to allow bitterness through into the final brew, it usually does an excellent job at absorbing all of that while enhancing the mouthfeel as well.
User avatar
tjkdubya
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:57 am
Location: SF / Beijing
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:20 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:41 am
Aw, dangit... I may have to buy another pot from HOJO :lol:

tjkdubya It is interesting that you bring up water in this post and in the Hokujo/Kobiwako/Iga post. I finally got around to looking at the mineral content of the water I use. The TDS is 149 mg/L, PH is 7.74, magnesium 1.6mg/L, potassium 0mg/L, calcium 51.4mg/L. I wonder if that high calcium is greatly affecting my results.

I've only used this water, so I have nothing to compare it against with tea (anyone got any lower calcium brand suggestions I can pickup at a store?), but I used to roast my own coffee and switched to this water after it was very apparent that using the unfiltered tap water in my city yielded much poorer results when brewing it.
Oh, you should definitely try other options, including filtered tap! The water profile you got ... it's a very specific slant. In the other thread I mentioned hongcha just not being so great with high calcium water for my taste, but I would also add heicha/shou to the list as well. May I ask which brand?

-

I guess another interesting comparison would be to use two identical neutral vessels for brewing, but using these pots as yuzamashis. That would tease apart the effect of water simply getting mineralized differently and the more complex phenomenon of tea compounds directly being catalyzed by contact with the clay.
User avatar
nasalfrog
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:51 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:40 pm

tjkdubya wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:20 pm
...May I ask which brand?...
It is a house brand from a water distributor fairly close to where I live. Here is the link to the water, it is the Spring House. It comes from a spring in the same mountains/close to where Mountain Valley spring water is bottled. You can click the bottles for the reports of the contents of the water.

http://www.fizzowater.com/water.html
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:06 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:41 am
Aw, dangit... I may have to buy another pot from HOJO :lol:

tjkdubya It is interesting that you bring up water in this post and in the Hokujo/Kobiwako/Iga post. I finally got around to looking at the mineral content of the water I use. The TDS is 149 mg/L, PH is 7.74, magnesium 1.6mg/L, potassium 0mg/L, calcium 51.4mg/L. I wonder if that high calcium is greatly affecting my results.

I've only used this water, so I have nothing to compare it against with tea (anyone got any lower calcium brand suggestions I can pickup at a store?), but I used to roast my own coffee and switched to this water after it was very apparent that using the unfiltered tap water in my city yielded much poorer results when brewing it.
That is very high calcium content. Wonder how it affects results with tea. In the water chart I’m compiling only two waters that members use are that high; Mountain Valley Spring at TDS 230, Calcium 69; and Crystal Geyser, Alpine Spring (by CG Roxane Adirondack Johnstown, NY) TDS 210, Calcium 58.

I highly recommend you try Iceland Spring that you can get under these labels at; Nice! Iceland Pure Spring @Walgreens, V Iceland natural spring @theVitamin Shoppe, Iceland Natural Spring @WholeFoods, Glacier isle @RiteAid. TDS 53, pH 8.89, Alkalinity 25, Hardness 16, Calcium 4.8, Sodium 12.
User avatar
Shine Magical
Posts: 545
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:13 pm
Location: NYC

Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

@Victoria its funny to you see you specifically mention those 2 water brands, as they are the best store bought waters I've ever used for brewing gaoshan.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:31 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm
Victoria its funny to you see you specifically mention those 2 water brands, as they are the best store bought waters I've ever used for brewing gaoshan.
It’s possible I added those two because of comments you’ve made in the forum. Whenever water is brought up I add any new brands discussed to the water chart.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:33 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:56 am
I wish I had plans to visit LA again sometime soon so that I could help you with these tests :(

I've found it very rare for kobiwako clay to allow bitterness through into the final brew, it usually does an excellent job at absorbing all of that while enhancing the mouthfeel as well.
The only thing I can think of @Shine Magical is that I used my filtered tap with both tests. It comes from 4 sources depending on reserves, two are great, two are noticeably terrible. The water was fine with LiShan the day before, and roasted oolong later in the day, and the next day. It could also be that because I had this sencha almost everyday all summer, I am more attuned to subtle nuances with it. Also, doing a side by side comparison —will bring out any differences. In other words, the subtle changes brought on by my Shigaraki kyusu will contrast more so with Kobiwako effects. Shigaraki clay vessels I have are very special.

I’ll try another round using the same kabusecha with Iceland Spring and same amount of leaf and water in both kyusu, to see if results are any different. @Bok, I was going to do a LiShan test, but think the results won’t be great because of very wide opening in the Kobiwako kyusu, exposing too much leaf to cooling effects.
tjkdubya wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:20 pm
I guess another interesting comparison would be to use two identical neutral vessels for brewing, but using these pots as yuzamashis. That would tease apart the effect of water simply getting mineralized differently and the more complex phenomenon of tea compounds directly being catalyzed by contact with the clay.
I could do a 4th side by side doing what you are suggesting; placing boiling water (Iceland Spring) in each kyusu, waiting for correct temp to settle, pouring into my two identical pre-heated porcelain 100ml Kyo-yaki houhin that I happen to have.
User avatar
tjkdubya
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:57 am
Location: SF / Beijing
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:47 pm

Amazing experimental diligence of everyone here! 🙏 Thank you for sharing.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:52 pm

tjkdubya wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:47 pm
Amazing experimental diligence of everyone here! 🙏 Thank you for sharing.
Yes, agreed and more is coming from a few other members :) 🍃

Maybe, I’ll try and get @av360logic over for next round, to have another set of linguistic taste buds in the mix.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:20 pm

Tor wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:20 am
Boil the teapot in clean water for 2-3 hours, change the water, repeat 3-4 rounds or more.

When I first got it a few years ago, it made very bold tea like you said. It was like using double or tripple amount of leaves. At one point there was also strong cheese smell, probably mozzarella. Ha ha ha :mrgreen:

After the heavy boiling my pot has made nice and clean sencha.
Thank you! As I mentioned in my last post,

"Kobiwako brewed perfectly right out of the box.

Tachi Shigaraki ... maybe a break in seasoning would tame this beast."

Yeah, my interpretation of your boldness, it seems highly "reactive".

I had not thought of taking a more "Hagi pretreatment" approach. In fact, never had to with Tokoname, but this is Shigaraki.

I typically simply rinse a few times with hot water ... and roll.

After this series, if I have not gotten to it, I'll give that a shot.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:31 pm

Victoria wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:53 am
Chip wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:13 am
One other observation.

Kobiwako brewed perfectly right out of the box.

Tachi Shigaraki ... maybe a break in seasoning would tame this beast.
Chip, thanks for doing these comparisons. Will be interesting to see how other results present themselves. Since you have owned these pieces for some time you’ve most likely developed opinions about them individually. Did you try a side by side blind comparison between clays?
Also, looking at your picture of Tachi’s Shigaraki kyusu, the clay looks less textured than the one I have, is this just the photo, or are older ones using more refined clay?
I am able to be extremely objective. I went into this completely open minded.

No, I did not do a blind test. I doubt if I will. Any testing I do, enjoying my personal ritual of enjoying tea comes as a top priority.

Yes, my first gen Tachi is quite different from successive runs. But this did not seem to affect taste as I mentioned in my post. But here is a photo.
20190929_233303.jpg
20190929_233303.jpg (396.63 KiB) Viewed 189 times
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:41 pm

tjkdubya wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:35 am
Chip and Victoria, would be interesting to compare the mineral contents of the waters being used, in case that could account for the different experiences...
I use a locally sourced spring water. I use it for all my sessions.

TBH, the difference in results is not only astounding, it is quite baffling. Virtually exact opposite. I thought, in Victoria's blind test, did she accidently swap them. 🤣🤣🤣

Further, despite my objectivity, my test results did not surprise me since the results were not much different than years of experience ... using many different waters over the years.

As I continue this series of tests with at least 2 other sencha ... I am thinking perhaps it is the different sencha used.

I'll begin posting my tea #2 tonight, hopefully.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:50 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:01 am
Victoria Yet equal leaf and water ratio does not compensate for heat retention. For that the larger would probably need slightly shorter infusion times.
True! One reason brewing a large pot of gyokuro the same way as a very small shib will likely not work well.

I even considered a shorter brew time for the Tachi Shigaraki because i sensed the clay is so highly reactive when brewing. But I kept times the same. Lol, so many variables, these tests might run into 2020.

My volumes were all the same.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:56 pm

Victoria wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:21 am
Water Test: Glass, Shigaraki & Kobiwako clay


Water Test Shigaraki Tachi Masaki & Tani Seiuemon vs Kobiwako Maekawa Junzo vs glass L1010555 sm.jpg


Using filtered tap water, in the glass I could taste a slight amount of very fine particles in the water, slightly less so in both Shigaraki kyusu, but less so again in Kobiwako clay. In Kobiwako clay the water was smoother, texture is silkier, as if particles are filtered out. Shigaraki by Tachi Masaki water was more filtered than that in Tani Seiuemon shiboridashi. It is interesting though to compare how they brew tea differently.

Would be nice to have a kettle made of Kobiwako clay.

p.s. this comparison was done last week, before sencha test.
I do not have a Kobiwako kettle, but I do have a very rarely used 1st gen Kobiwako yuzamashi ... would be interesting to use with the Tachi Shigaraki ... could use it for cooling and even a fair cup.

Ok, tests could run into 2021. 😎
20190930_205430.jpg
20190930_205430.jpg (312.61 KiB) Viewed 175 times
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:00 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:56 am
I wish I had plans to visit LA again sometime soon so that I could help you with these tests :(

I've found it very rare for kobiwako clay to allow bitterness through into the final brew, it usually does an excellent job at absorbing all of that while enhancing the mouthfeel as well.
Yes ... YES!

But I have at least two more sencha to test!
Post Reply