Hokujo, Kobiwako & Iga Clay

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nasalfrog
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:48 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:51 pm
The kobiwako kyusu seems to brew gyokuro in a more interesting better than the Iga clay hohin I also bought from HOJO. Thus far from my tests, iga clay focuses on the higher notes and bitterness of teas, whereas the kobiwako focuses completely on the lower register notes and also thickens the mouthfeel which is a nice pairing to the umami of gyokuro.
I performed my first test with the Iga hohin (thank you) from HOJO earlier today. It was with a sencha I am very familiar with that has decent umami, and I agree with your assessment of that clay based on the first session. I will test more and report back to the forum in a month or two.
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Bok
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:04 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:48 pm
Shine Magical wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:51 pm
The kobiwako kyusu seems to brew gyokuro in a more interesting better than the Iga clay hohin I also bought from HOJO. Thus far from my tests, iga clay focuses on the higher notes and bitterness of teas, whereas the kobiwako focuses completely on the lower register notes and also thickens the mouthfeel which is a nice pairing to the umami of gyokuro.
I performed my first test with the Iga hohin (thank you) from HOJO earlier today. It was with a sencha I am very familiar with that has decent umami, and I agree with your assessment of that clay based on the first session. I will test more and report back to the forum in a month or two.
Different clay though! Iga is the red one, Kobiwako yellow.
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nasalfrog
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:18 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:04 pm
I would even go as far and say if I were forced to have only one teapot for lightly processed teas, it would be a Kobiwako.
Only downfall is they do not reach the perfection of other craftsmen like the Yamadas or Hokujo. Still a young potter with some design flaws. But the material makes up for it.
I'll second that.
Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:04 pm
Different clay though! Iga is the red one, Kobiwako yellow.
I apologise for reviving an old reply, but please reread what I am replying to. Shine Magical was doing Iga vs. Kobiwako. I am just agreeing.

I know the clays are different, Iga red, Kobiwako yellow. I used them both today ;) Any further results I have on the Iga, I will start a new post.
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Bok
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:33 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:18 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:04 pm
Different clay though! Iga is the red one, Kobiwako yellow.
I apologise for reviving an old reply, but please reread what I am replying to. Shine Magical was doing Iga vs. Kobiwako. I am just agreeing.

I know the clays are different, Iga red, Kobiwako yellow. I used them both today ;) Any further results I have on the Iga, I will start a new post.
Oh sorry, didn't get that!

I think we could also just add Iga clay into this thread, it would make a good addition. No?
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nasalfrog
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:42 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:33 pm
Oh sorry, didn't get that!
It's no problem, I'm partially at fault. I realize now it was confusing in the midst of the other replies happening.
Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:33 pm

I think we could also just add Iga clay into this thread, it would make a good addition. No?
If it's cool with everyone, that's fine with me. I'll post here unless anyone prefers otherwise.
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Bok
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:25 pm

I'll ask the @admin to help amend the topic title to: Hokujo vs Kobiwako vs Iga clay
Thanks!
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Victoria
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:49 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:25 pm
I'll ask the admin to help amend the topic title to: Hokujo vs Kobiwako vs Iga clay
Thanks!
Okay will do that :)
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lUKAV28
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Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:31 am

Victoria wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:50 pm
Hi there, I use my Hokujo kyusu with most roasted DongDing and High Mountain, brings out body and aroma very well. For some reason though a few roasted oolong don’t shine with this clay like Tillerman’s Laoshi, it’s strange. Of course, Hokujo stoneware is also very good with Japanese greens.
Thnx, @Victoria. I already have one Hokujo's kyusu for Japanese greens as I enjoy them very much. Maybe I should try to use it for roasted tea too particularly because of @Bok's statement about kobiwako clay. You guys are not helping, now I have another pot on "to buy" list. :D
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Bok
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Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:36 am

lUKAV28 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:31 am
You guys are not helping, now I have another pot on "to buy" list. :D
Yeah better leave this place, before your husband/wife does so due to wasting the family budget on tea ware :mrgreen:
Kidding aside, it takes a while to narrow down your preferences to see which kind of tea ware works best for the teas you like. Another reason to invest in good quality stuff, if you find out that it doesn't work for you in the end, you can still sell it and make someone else happy!
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Baisao
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Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:05 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:51 pm
lUKAV28 Kobiwako clay is the single most remarkable clay I have ever encountered in terms of very obvious change in taste of the tea.

It is even notable just by drinking water from it, it turns sweet!

Perfect for anything green- greenish, lightly processed/oxidised.
Mr Ichikawa’s studio isn’t far from where kobiwako clay is mined. Your description makes me wonder if his magical kettles have some relation to the magical kobiwako teapots. His kettles are glazed over yellow clay but the glaze is exceptionally porous (the kettles weep). It may also be possible that his glaze avails itself of similar properties as outlined by Akira.

Merely speculation...
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Bok
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Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:16 am

Baisao wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:05 am
Merely speculation...
But an interesting one!
Flavor Hedonist
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Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:34 am

I have been reading a lot about how Kobiwako is a "magic clay" and 3 weeks ago, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one from Hojo. I ordered a 110ml kyusu with a sasame filter.

I got it after 5 days and I decided to see what it's all about. Having no gaoshan at hand, I first started with what Matt (from Mountain Stream Teas) calls a Taiwanese Huang Pian. It's basically big leafs and stems that is picked out of Baozhong. The tea itself was alright when brewed in a porcelain gaiwan but it was kinda thin, lacked legs and the finish was abrupt. In the Kobiwako, I immediately noticed the Huang Pian as sweeter, had a longer finish and a more pronounced mouthfeel. The body though was kinda thin but I attributed that to the pot being "thirsty" and needs a bit more use.

I next tested it with an oolong like sencha, Hojo's Tsukigase Withered Sencha (which was a free sample with the pot). I immediately noticed the same thing. The tea was sweeter, the finish was longer and there was a more noticeable mouthfeel. I also noted that it enhanced the umami. I did notice the body is a bit thinner but not that much.

After a week of getting my pot, my bulk order of gaoshan arrived and I immediately tested it with Matt's Winter Crisp Oolong. I immediately noticed a better body (seems like the pot was just thirsty before), much better aftertaste (lingering sweet cream and green apple skin), a more pronounced umami (which was barely noticeable in a gaiwan), better mouthfeel and a general sweeter profile.

I can say that this teapot is one of my best tea related purchases and the "magic clay" description is really spot on.
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nasalfrog
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Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:10 am

Flavor Hedonist wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:34 am
I have been reading a lot about how Kobiwako is a "magic clay" and 3 weeks ago, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one from Hojo. I ordered a 110ml kyusu with a sasame filter...
I had been eyeing that particular one for a while because of the sesame filter. It's a shame you are having such good results with it. I would have loved to buy it from you :lol:

I don't know if you usually drink sencha, but, if so, I'm curious to hear about whether the sesame filter easily clogs with a fine-leafed fukamushi. The direct-hole filter on mine tends to clog.

Glad you are having good results with the "magic clay".
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Victoria
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Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:41 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:10 am
[quote="Flavor Hedonist" post
.... I'm curious to hear about whether the sesame filter easily clogs with a fine-leafed fukamushi. The direct-hole filter on mine tends to clog.
I try and mostly use sesame filters with finer sencha like fukamushi, these filters are made for this purpose. When I use direct hole filters with fine needles, I now tilt the kyusu handle down, slightly in my direction, then incline spout to pour. This seems to help getting leaves further down and away from filter. A useful tip Chip share with me :) 🍃
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nasalfrog
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Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:16 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:41 pm
I try and mostly use sesame filters with finer sencha like fukamushi, these filters are made for this purpose. When I use direct hole filters with fine needles, I now tilt the kyusu handle down, slightly in my direction, then incline spout to pour. This seems to help getting leaves further down and away from filter. A useful tip Chip share with me :) 🍃
Thank you, I will have to try this out tomorrow!
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