Ode to the Kyusu

twno1
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Thu May 21, 2020 10:27 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:12 pm
twno1 I might be wrong, but isn't Japanese tea in general meant to be poured very slowly anyways? Fast pour is useful for Oolong in my experience.
I'm still new to the whole tea world but Hojo says shiboridashi should have fast flow. I'm assuming the one in the video is a 110ml shiboridashi from his website and he pours the whole thing in ~5 seconds, which is about twice the speed I'm getting...
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Bok
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Thu May 21, 2020 10:32 pm

twno1 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:27 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:12 pm
twno1 I might be wrong, but isn't Japanese tea in general meant to be poured very slowly anyways? Fast pour is useful for Oolong in my experience.
I'm still new to the whole tea world but Hojo says shiboridashi should have fast flow. I'm assuming the one in the video is a 110ml shiboridashi from his website and he pours the whole thing in ~5 seconds, which is about twice the speed I'm getting...
Then it is probably a case of not-ideal design... you can always speed up the pour by lifting the lid with one finger while pouring, but it kind of defeats the purpose of the item.
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Victoria
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Thu May 21, 2020 10:49 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:32 pm
twno1 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:27 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:12 pm
twno1 I might be wrong, but isn't Japanese tea in general meant to be poured very slowly anyways? Fast pour is useful for Oolong in my experience.
I'm still new to the whole tea world but Hojo says shiboridashi should have fast flow. I'm assuming the one in the video is a 110ml shiboridashi from his website and he pours the whole thing in ~5 seconds, which is about twice the speed I'm getting...
Then it is probably a case of not-ideal design... you can always speed up the pour by lifting the lid with one finger while pouring, but it kind of defeats the purpose of the item.
I have a few very fast pouring kyusu, mainly that have large sesame filters, they are truly enjoyable to use leaving no liquid behind. Most though, pour a more ‘normal speed‘ for Japanese kyusu, definitely slower that Chinese single hole teapots. Most Japanese greens, being steeped at lower temperatures, can handle a slow steady pour, allowing the very fine leaves to remain at the bottom of the kyusu, and not clog the wall filter. Ball filters are in between sesame and wall filter, and are less prone to getting clogged up by small leaves, they also pour slightly faster than wall filters. Typically I’ll do a slow pour, unless it’s a sesame filter that I use for Fukamushi. But now I see you are referring to filterless Shiboridashi, I have two and neither are fast, if pouring too fast the small Gyokuro leaves will block the rake indents blocking the liquor from coming out. I enjoy reading Hojo’s posts, they are unique and idiosyncratic.
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Baisao
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Fri May 22, 2020 12:15 am

Bok wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:12 pm
twno1 I might be wrong, but isn't Japanese tea in general meant to be poured very slowly anyways? Fast pour is useful for Oolong in my experience.
Yes. Slowly, otherwise you’ll clog the filter. Wet sencha and gyokuro leaves are thin and can clog the filter easily. With a kyusu, tip so that the tea is just pouring through the bottom of the filter.

No need to hurry with the shiboridashi either.
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Tor
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Fri May 22, 2020 12:21 am

twno1 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:27 pm

I'm still new to the whole tea world but Hojo says shiboridashi should have fast flow. I'm assuming the one in the video is a 110ml shiboridashi from his website and he pours the whole thing in ~5 seconds, which is about twice the speed I'm getting...
You can tilt the lid back to make a wider opening just like you do with a gaiwan. The trade-off is that there’ll be more leaves coming out.
faj
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Fri May 22, 2020 6:17 am

twno1 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:54 pm
Should a shiboridashi have a fast or slow pour speed? I recently got two and they pour extremely slowly compared to side handled kyusu.
The one I use is the flatter type often used for gyokuro, good for maybe 50ml. There is no lip for the lid to sit on, and the shape of the lid and bowl are such that you can alter the angle of the lid which slightly alters how big the opening is. You question caused be to wonder how quick the pour is on it.

I made a quick test this morning, and with the lid horizontal it is about 5s, while giving it an angle at the limit of what I would expect to be usable, I get 2s. Extrapolating the same flow to the size of yours gives similar results.

Personally, I find it a joy to use. The pour may seem slow, but given the small volume it is not that important. Though the concept itself may seem a bit rudimentary (i.e. vs. a filter), it is actually very good at keeping the leaves inside, and while not very fast pouring, it also does not clog and is good at getting as much of the liquid out as possible. I also find that teapot to feel very good in the hand holding it between my thumb and fingers. And cleaning is a breeze.
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debunix
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Fri May 22, 2020 10:58 am

faj wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:17 am
There is no lip for the lid to sit on, and the shape of the lid and bowl are such that you can alter the angle of the lid which slightly alters how big the opening is.
Sounds functionally like a gaiwan, but flatter and with a spout.
faj
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Fri May 22, 2020 11:15 am

debunix wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:58 am
faj wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:17 am
There is no lip for the lid to sit on, and the shape of the lid and bowl are such that you can alter the angle of the lid which slightly alters how big the opening is.
Sounds functionally like a gaiwan, but flatter and with a spout.
I never thought of that, but now that you mention it there is an obvious similarity. However, because the bowl is shallow, the angle of the surface on which the lid rests is different, I find it easier to make small adjustments to the flow than with a gaiwan, though to be honest I never need to adjust the flow with that shiboridashi : it is designed just right for its intended use.

I only have one gaiwan, so my experience is limited, but I find it prone to going from "no flow" to "too much opening" (not an issue obviously with most Chinese teas) with a small adjustment. My gaiwan is not usable for tea with fine leaves, while the shiboridashi is. I think I will try it with fukamushi, just as a test.

My shiboridashi has small grooves in front of the spout. They are very shallow and narrow, I am not sure if they play a role other than cosmetic.
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debunix
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Fri May 22, 2020 11:36 am

faj wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:15 am
I never need to adjust the flow with that shiboridashi : it is designed just right for its intended use.
Sounds lovely.
faj wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:15 am
I only have one gaiwan, so my experience is limited, but I find it prone to going from "no flow" to "too much opening" (not an issue obviously with most Chinese teas) with a small adjustment.
It definitely takes some practice, and when I get one of mine out and use it for a few days in a row, I get better at it again, but while I have used them for gyokuro and sencha on occasion, they're clearly not meant for that, and flow is slow through all the leaves.
student t
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Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:41 pm

Hello all,

I have been looking at the kyusu by Mokusen which Artistic Nippon is currently offering. Some more pictures of his work can be found on tokoname.co.jp (although I find that page a bit of a nightmare to navigate).

Does anybody have any experience with Mokusen's pieces? They look thick-walled, but that might be just their appearance. I really like how fresh and immediate they look, like a piece of play-doh formed only a few minutes ago.

More generally, I was wondering if any of you could tell me about other kyusu potters that work by hand-sculpting rather than wheel-throwing kyusu. I am only aware of Sasaoka Hozan, whose pieces on Thes du Japon I also find very nice, and Emi Masuda (on Chaki-chaki). The firing of Masuda's pieces gives them a more stone-like appearance, which is quite different from Mokusen and Hozan's pieces which have this unfired wet clay look.

Anyway, any info you could share on this would be greatly appreciated.
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debunix
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Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:18 am

Those are some lovely pieces by Mokusen.

I'm getting more intrigued by some of the wonderful sculpted pots from various artisans who make such graceful pieces playing on expectations of coarseness when you see those raw toolmarks on the pots. One of these days one of those is going to break down my resistance (no space... 'but I'm so small!'; I already have enough.... 'but you have none between 150 and 600 mL, and sometimes you want that, right?' .....they're so wily, these lovely sculpted pots!

[No specific experience here to report. I have definitely learned that sculpted pots & cups are not necessarily thicker-walled than thrown pots.]
student t
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Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:34 am

Thanks for the comment, debunix. I was low-key hoping to hear about shortcomings of these sculpted pots, but that has clearly not worked, so now I guess I have no other option but to acquire some of these, as you say, wiley little things :D

After writing my previous post yesterday I saw a post on Instagram by Ito Gafu of a Mokusen teapot which is completely different from the pieces on AN and tokoname.co.jp, and much closer in spirit to a slick Yixing teapot. I prefer the immediacy of his coarse pieces, but it just goes to show the impressive potential technical range that most of these artists have.



I like the idea of this beautiful teapot belonging to Ito Gafu. It really makes sense that this piece, which seems a bit of a stylistic outlier in Mokusen's oeuvre, would appeal to Gafu, who is himself currently creating many pieces which emulate Chinese styles.
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Chip
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:02 pm

Student t, I purchased a Mokusen shudei kyusu and liked it so much that I purchased several more!

Yes, because it is sculpted versus wheeled, the walls are thicker but not clunky thick.

The direct wall filter has handled every sencha I have thrown at it.

Something about this kyusu makes it very approachable and desirable to use frequently.

Added that these have been sitting with his relatives since he died decades ago, they are instantly special ... and I adopted them from his family to mine.
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Bok
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:08 pm

student t wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:34 am
Thanks for the comment, debunix. I was low-key hoping to hear about shortcomings of these sculpted pots, but that has clearly not worked, so now I guess I have no other option but to acquire some of these, as you say, wiley little things :D

After writing my previous post yesterday I saw a post on Instagram by Ito Gafu of a Mokusen teapot which is completely different from the pieces on AN and tokoname.co.jp, and much closer in spirit to a slick Yixing teapot. I prefer the immediacy of his coarse pieces, but it just goes to show the impressive potential technical range that most of these artists have.



I like the idea of this beautiful teapot belonging to Ito Gafu. It really makes sense that this piece, which seems a bit of a stylistic outlier in Mokusen's oeuvre, would appeal to Gafu, who is himself currently creating many pieces which emulate Chinese styles.
I noticed that too a while ago that Gatu is copying Chinese styles, some even almost exact copies of antiques as I can confirm with book at my disposal.

An interesting option for someone who wants Chinese style bit with Japanese clay and precision. I do find them a bit too sterile though and those clays have one disadvantage next to Yixing: the patina won’t develop as nicely if any at all.
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Chip
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:41 pm

Interesting. I have purchased 4 Ito Gafu kyusu over the last 4 years. They are all very Japanese in style ... no resemblance to Yixing. Each are very finely crafted. I'll likely continue collecting his work.

I became interested in his work due to his indirect albeit connection to Yamada Jozan III. He trained under Fugetsu who trained under Jozan III.
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