12 Days of Kyusu

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Chip
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:59 am

So, last night I had to open up a new bag of the Satsuma Sae Midori. This is blended with Asanoka for this experiment.

In fairness to the next test kyusu, I feel we should wait a day ... and give the new bag a chance to acclimate.

Halfway through the 12 days, this will give us a break as well.

The experiment will resume tomorrow!
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:01 am

Chip wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:48 am
swordofmytriumph wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:13 pm
Chip wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:08 pm
His site is really bad news! And he is a hypnotist. Before you know it, you have purchased multiple kyusu!
Don’t I know it! I have two coming now. Should be here sometime this week. :oops: :lol:
Great!
What size(s) did you purchase?
I got two pots by Watanabe Tozo, a 200ml Mumyoi pot, and the 150ml back handle Nosaka pot.
I’m pretty excited. I’m gonna use one for high mountain oolong. Just not sure which yet. Akira told me the Mumyoi pot would be best, but I see others, @Victoria , have had good results with the Nosaka. So once they get here, I’m gonna conduct a blind taste test. I’ll brew from both pots and have a family member pour some into two cups and I’ll try both. After that I’ll use whichever one I like better for the oolong. And, of course, what I do with the other one will depend on which one it is. Any tips for me?
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Victoria
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:45 pm

I use both of my Shimizu Ken, Sado Island Nosaka clay kyusu, for sencha and low roasted high mountain oolong like Lishan. One is without Namamigaki (exterior burnishing of clay) the other with. They both perform the same since the interior is not burnished. I do prefer the tactility of the slightly rougher kyusu without Namamigaki. This clay performs very similar to hongni yixing.

It would be very interesting to test Nosaka clay side by side with Mumoi, since Akira Hojo states Nosaka increases aftertaste, while Mumoi increases body. I just happened to get both of mine from tea buddy Ferg in the days of TC teaswap, so getting this clay in particular wasn’t consciously planned.
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:51 pm

I’m excited to see how each pot performs when they get here. I’ll post notes. :)
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Chip
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:17 pm

Sooo, the heavily stained Junzo and all the interesting discussion ... and being on "a break" for the day compelled me to get the kyusu out and do an ... unofficial session.

Again, this is 1st or 2nd generation. Same shape but a tad smaller than the like-new one previously tested.
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I unplugged some holes in the screen but nothing else.
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And some spout shots including the one above.

The pour is lightening fast ... and super high volume unlike Bok's observation. It is clearly up to the user to control the pouring process and not make a complete mess of things.
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The brew was, however, excellent. I would still have to go side by side with the other one to see if it is still as good or if the staining/heavy patina has affected flavor profile or not.

The screen almost seems ... under used to me ... like it is too much for this kyusu. :mrgreen:
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All in all, a very good session.
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Chip
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:21 pm

... I did a "dump pour" just to see what would happen. The high volume pour was done in 2-3 seconds, except for the trickling at the end.

With the lid off, there was no ... inclination for the dump pour to cause tea liquor to pour out of the top.

This also seemed to reduce the dribbling ... but it was a "wild and impractical pour".

Edit: haste makes waste.
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Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:07 am

Day #7
Nanban kyusu by Ito Gafu
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More photos to follow.
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Mrs. Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:08 am

Today's day 7 kyusu is a beautiful Gafu Naban 220 ml. Naban means rough texture and was very popular in early Japanese teaware. This rough surface may be made by applying rice husks on the outside before firing.

Gafu learned his craft from Fugetsu, who in turn learned from Jozan 3, and has developed a high reputation on his own skills. This connection to Jozan 3 was one of the things that Chip to took into consideration before purchasing this kyusu, along with with the apparent rough surface apperance.

Gafu also sources and refines his clay right up to the firing.

The texture is intriguing as well, in fact Chip thought it might feel like pumice when he first saw the picture. However it does not and it is very pleasing to the touch, almost soft feel. The ball-shaped body gives this kyusu a very nice textural appearance.

The screen is a small ball filter and the lid is neither an 'inie' or an 'outie', or is it both?

The spout has the tiniest downward tilt and an inward lip with a medium opening. It is also cut at an unusual angle. (See photos below). And it does not dribble. The kyusu opening is a bit smaller than some, but suits this pot well.

The pour flows at a moderate rate and has a sort of soft, but controlled flow ... flawless The liquor is crystal clear.

The tea has a pleasant aroma, the flavor profile has a very deep mouthfeel, sweet with just a hint of bitterness. The Asanoka presence is more pronounced than usual, overall a very nicely balanced first brew. There is no noticeable astringency in the first steep. We are definitely detecting deep mouthfeel at the finish.

Overall, this kyusu brews a very flavorful cup. This somewhat surprises Chip a bit, he really felt he went out on a limb with this one, the Gafu branch on Jozan 3s tree! He obtained this pot based on aesthetics and the Jozan connection.

Availability tends to be limited as Gafu sells a lot through his studio and private sales.
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Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:10 am

Flawlessly imperfect in every detail ... aspect.
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Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:22 am

Spout. Interesting. Not only is there a slight downward lip, the tip is cut at a rather hard angle compared to most kyusu.
After saying it does not dribble, I did get some dribble in later steeps which I do not recall occurring in previous sessions.
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Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:25 am

A lot going on to create this nanban.
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But it functions flawlessly.
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Janice
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:29 am

For those among us who are using this thread to inspire their Kyushu shopping - artistic nippon has a nangan Gafu pot for sale:

https://www.artisticnippon.com/product/ ... pot24.html
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Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:36 am

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The kyusu on left is "pearskin". The nanban in general functions a little better overall than the pearskin, but this is only noticeable because the nanban functions soooo well! Also, the pearskin is lower and more ... angular.

Failed to mention earlier, the lid attachment is perfect and somewhat smooth ... for both.

Unlike Yamada Sou whose lid connections are rough due to his instruction from Jozan 3 to not grind thus preventing the lid from adhering to the kyusu during brewing ... giving his a "rough" connection.

Gafu clearly grinds this connection, but but of these have somewhat nanban or rough clay so no worries about that.
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Chip
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:58 am

A nice touch ...
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:01 am

Chip's rating of this kyusu will be posted a little later this afternoon.
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