New Shigaraki teapot

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Muadeeb
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Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:04 pm

Hi Teaforum-ers!

I've been a member of that other tea chat for a few years and this is my first post here on the new TeaForum! In the past couple years I've moved from sunny San Diego to Chicago, where I happen to live about 10 minutes away from Pedant, so we get together occasionally for tea.

Shortly after moving to Chicago, I broke my favorite shigaraki pot which is the one in my avatar. I purchased a used replacement which wasn't the best fit for me, but I used it for a few months because it still brewed good tea. Then a few weeks ago I found a new pot on Hojo's site and received it last week. Here's a comparison shot between the new one on the left and the one I've been using:
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I like the bigger size and it's interesting to see how light a new pot is compared to a used one. I had a few green tea sessions with it and it's working out well. A couple nights ago, I put in some dong ding and brewed with hotter water for the first time and got some oil to seep out through the clay:
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Some of the oil rubbed away, but a lot of these spots seem to stick around, even after another boiling steep. Has anyone seen these before?

By the way, the older, smaller pot is for sale if anyone is interested.

Michael
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debunix
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Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:10 am

Not sure which spots are the oily ones. Can you edit the photo to mark it with arrows?
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Shine Magical
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Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:33 pm

Not really on topic, but why do you like this kind of clay?
It looks nice and has a kind of roughness to it.
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:09 pm

I have admired Tachi Masaki kyusu for a long time, but do not yet have a piece. What size are your two pots? Does the clay feel soft as compared to Hokujo’s stoneware kyusu? The shigaraki rough iron rich textured clay is so beautiful. I think pedant said his Masaki does not sweat, does your new one sweat as well? From what I have read this clay is very porous and beads of liquid will seep through to the outer surface, and that because it is low fired it works well with oolong, pu’erh and Japanese greens too. Higher firing will seal up the clay making it less pourous, so it is possible placement in the kiln will make one pot more or less pourous than another.
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Elise
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Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:58 pm

I have one similar kyusu of the same artist. It’s used with sheng mostly and the oily speckles appeared quickly but with no additional problems.
As said Victoria, the porosity of the clay is the cause but it doesn’t affect the pot efficiency.
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pedant
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Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:57 pm

so you've only had 5 or so sessions with the new pot and you're getting surface changes already?
i have one like yours. i don't use it that much, but i've used it way more than 5x (i'd guess like 20). that hasn't happened to mine.

every batch is different i guess. maybe yours is a little more porous.
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Elise
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Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:26 pm

One can see how mine has turned in a unifom darker color after about 1 year daily use.
32AC6309-BCA6-4A6E-9E1B-84D160FB485C.jpeg
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pedant
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Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:30 pm

Elise wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:26 pm
One can see how mine has turned in a unifom darker color after about 1 year daily use.
32AC6309-BCA6-4A6E-9E1B-84D160FB485C.jpeg
looks nice
i would expect the handle and the lid to be closer to the original color, but it all looks pretty uniform
do you dump tea on the exterior?
faj
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Wed May 27, 2020 12:38 pm

Sorry for bumping an old thread, but it seemed like the right place to post.

I just got a Shigaraki rough clay teapot by Masaki Tachi from Hojo. As I typically do when receiving new pots, I gave it a hot bath with sodium percarbonate.

This morning, I made tea for the first time in it. It very quickly was apparent how porous this clay is, as the exterior became moist, with a few spots where water was almost leaking out. I did not notice anything weird with the tea ; it was actually very good.

As I usually do, after my session I rinsed the teapot with boiling water. I overfilled it a bit, and was surprised to see the water that was dripping on the plate under the pot was colored. I poured more water on the outside, and it came out colored too. I have not tried to make tea with it since, but I rinsed the exterior further afterwards and the water seemed to be less intensely colored. Water poured from inside the pot did not seem to be colored, as if the color were something being "pushed" from the inside to the outside, but then it is not like I made in-depth testing either. I wonder if it could be iron oxide, as my percarbonate bath could probably have helped it form.

I noticed a smell coming from the pot too, somehow reminding me of damp, freshly cut grass from a lawnmower. I would not describe it as chemical-like, but it is not a smell I have notice from any other pot I have. It might be something left from the tea, seeing how porous the pot is, but I did not pay that much attention to the smell prior to make tea, so I have no real way to tell.

Have you noticed something similar?
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Victoria
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Wed May 27, 2020 1:04 pm

faj wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:38 pm
Sorry for bumping an old thread, but it seemed like the right place to post.

I just got a Shigaraki rough clay teapot by Masaki Tachi from Hojo. As I typically do when receiving new pots, I gave it a hot bath with sodium percarbonate.

This morning, I made tea for the first time in it. It very quickly was apparent how porous this clay is, as the exterior became moist, with a few spots where water was almost leaking out. I did not notice anything weird with the tea ; it was actually very good.

As I usually do, after my session I rinsed the teapot with boiling water. I overfilled it a bit, and was surprised to see the water that was dripping on the plate under the pot was colored. I poured more water on the outside, and it came out colored too. I have not tried to make tea with it since, but I rinsed the exterior further afterwards and the water seemed to be less intensely colored. Water poured from inside the pot did not seem to be colored, as if the color were something being "pushed" from the inside to the outside, but then it is not like I made in-depth testing either. I wonder if it could be iron oxide, as my percarbonate bath could probably have helped it form.

I noticed a smell coming from the pot too, somehow reminding me of damp, freshly cut grass from a lawnmower. I would not describe it as chemical-like, but it is not a smell I have notice from any other pot I have. It might be something left from the tea, seeing how porous the pot is, but I did not pay that much attention to the smell prior to make tea, so I have no real way to tell.

Have you noticed something similar?
I too have seen this happen and wrote about this happening with my Shigaraki shiboridashi by Tani Seiuemon. It seeped out rust colored water for a few months when I’d leave off boiling water in it for a while when cleaning. It sweated water only the first few times I used it, the gyokuro leaves seem to have sealed it up. The smell you are getting from the kyusu is just residual sencha soaked up by the porous clay like in my shigaraki shiboridashi. You might also enjoy reading through this thread Textured Porous Clay: Aesthetics & Transformations in Japan.

By the way, I don’t recommend using sodium percarbonate with new Japanese kyusu. They are clean and just need a light rinse to remove any dust. I reserve using this chemical only in last case mold/stain scenarios, and only after trying simmering water, and then baking soda if pot is still dirty.
faj
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Wed May 27, 2020 4:01 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:04 pm
I too have seen this happen and wrote about this happening with my Shigaraki shiboridashi by Tani Seiuemon. It seeped out rust colored water for a few months when I’d leave off boiling water in it for a while when cleaning.
Good to know.

By the way, although the pot seems dry, it still contains water. I have weighed it a couple of times this afternoon, and it is slowly losing weight. It is really very porous.
Victoria wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:04 pm
The smell you are getting from the kyusu is just residual sencha soaked up by the porous clay
I hope not, as it is not sencha I prepared... :) That being said, it seems like quite a strong smell to be left by a single session. If the smell changes after making a different tea, maybe that is the reason, but I seem to remember getting a whiff of that smell before making tea at all.. My memory is just too foggy to be sure.
Victoria wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:04 pm
I reserve using this chemical only in last case mold/stain scenarios, and only after trying simmering water, and then baking soda if pot is still dirty.
Any specific reason to try to avoid sodium percarbonate? Intuitively, it seems to me rubbing with baking soda is more likely to cause damage.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Victoria
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Wed May 27, 2020 5:11 pm

faj wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 4:01 pm
Victoria wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:04 pm
I reserve using this chemical only in last case mold/stain scenarios, and only after trying simmering water, and then baking soda if pot is still dirty.
Any specific reason to try to avoid sodium percarbonate? Intuitively, it seems to me rubbing with baking soda is more likely to cause damage.

Thanks for your feedback!
When wanting to removed old stains and impacted organic materials makes sense to start with the least invasive and least toxic options; so first simmering water, next baking soda, last sodium percarbonate. Even though sodium percarbonate by-products are non-toxic and environmentally safe, it is toxic to handle and can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, and when in contact with flammable materials enhances combustion. Baking soda on the other hand can be ingested and used as a baking ingredient. If you are concerned with abrasion soaking baking soda in simmering water with a protective cloth can help to dislodge old impacted organic materials. Just make sure to follow with a diluted vinegar wash to balance pH and remove all baking soda.

* partially quoting myself here from step D. in Cleaning: Awakening & Resetting Unglazed Ceramics / Yixing
faj
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Wed May 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 5:11 pm
Even though sodium percarbonate by-products are non-toxic and environmentally safe, it is toxic to handle and can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, and when in contact with flammable materials enhances combustion.
I agree that using it on new teapots is overkill. For stained teapots, I have to say going through multiple, time-consuming steps is kind of a drag, and I tend to go for the single-step solution... You can call me lazy, though "efficient" would be a kinder euphemism... :D

I do not have a deep knowledge of chemistry, but I would assume the stuff is corrosive rather than toxic, as the reactive substance is, per my understanding, hydrogen peroxide, which is safe enough (at appropriate concentration) to use on the skin, or as a teeth whitener or mouthwash. I think the concentration I use for cleaning teapots is an order of magnitude or two below that of the stuff that is found inside the brown bottles we use for bruises. Like bleach, gas or propane, it needs to be handled carefully to avoid stupid mistakes, but the substance itself, once diluted, seems quite safe to me as long as you don't drink it outright (once again, not speaking from authority, and fully willing to stand corrected by someone who can).

Honestly, after seeing how it dealt with stains, I was amazed to find something could work that well without leaving behind anything potentially nasty!
faj
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Thu May 28, 2020 7:24 am

Yesterday, I noticed a few leftover leaves that were hiding underneath the ball filter and removed them. "The smell" was obvious, and coming from the whole surface of the pot : the outside, even the handle, smelled. I put boiling water in the pot and left it to sit overnight.

This morning, a bit of water had accumulated under the pot, and it was strongly colored (orange/brown, consistent with iron oxide I guess). The water inside the pot, though, showed no obvious sign of being colored. I rinsed the outside with hot water, which again resulted in slightly colored water.

What surprised me the most, however, was that the smell that was obvious when I left the teapot on the counter last night was almost gone this morning. I thought rinsing the teapot with boiling water would make it come out as it did yesterday, but there was just a hint of the smell.

I will keep soaking and rinsing the pot a few times before I use it again.
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Victoria
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Thu May 28, 2020 10:31 am

I think it’s probably safe to use @faj, just a quirk of some Shigaraki clays. You will help season it with use.
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