Hokujo vs Kobiwako clay

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Shine Magical
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Fri May 17, 2019 9:55 am

I will keep testing it for sencha because I don't have any spring gaoshan yet :(
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Bok
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Fri May 17, 2019 10:52 am

Just had some 3x roasted Dancong in the Hokujo, turns out nicely!
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Victoria
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Fri May 17, 2019 12:22 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:55 am
I will keep testing it for sencha because I don't have any spring gaoshan yet :(
I intermix sencha kyusu with low roast high mountain. Residuals of one doesn’t detract from the other. But, I also use off boiling water to clean pots between sessions.
swordofmytriumph
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Sat May 18, 2019 8:45 am

Shine Magical wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:55 am
I will keep testing it for sencha because I don't have any spring gaoshan yet :(
I got an ounce of winter Dayuling from floating leaves when I was there last week, cause I knew I’d need it to tide me over. Actually, come to think of it, that was a really good way to test the pot. Because it really did keep all the nuances of the dayuling.
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Shine Magical
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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.
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Victoria
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Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:55 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.
Reading your post gives me the impression that your Kobiwako clay kyusu is slightly more porous than your Iga clay houhin. With my Shigaraki clay pieces (by Masaki Tachi and Tani Seiuemon) I have found porosity increases brew thickness and smooths out rougher bitterness in the steep with Japanese green teas. So I’m not surprised Kobiwako clay is very good with gyokuro. Iga clay on the other hand seems to perform differently; from Hojo site Akira states Iga clay “enhances body and after taste very much. It particularly works well for oolong tea, black tea and even pu-erh tea.“
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nasalfrog
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:27 pm

I never did have the time to do a blind test, but for every sencha I've thrown at it, the Kobiwako has produced better results. It is now my go-to pot, although I still use the Kohokujo for very fine-leafed fukamushi since it has the ball filter.

Recently I had a first brew where the Kobiwako results were terrible and super bitter. During that session I decided to use my Kohokujo pot as a pitcher to cool down the water instead of my usual glass pitcher, and that is where I went wrong. I recall Akira saying that the same clay should always be used. While I am not using the same clay to cool the water down, I am using neutral glass. I brewed the same sencha again with the glass and it was excellent.

Going deeper into the rabbit hole of the HOJO website, I came across his method for testing clays. He uses disks made of each clay to eliminate the pot design variable, which is pretty ingenious. I'm giving up my endeavor to test clays since it seems he has already done all the work, and everything he says seems to hold up.
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Bok
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:04 pm

@nasalfrog never give up on your own testing! He has made some other claims which I would say are debatable, to put it politely...

Especially what he says about Yixing vs his clays. He is unlikely to have tested his against a large enough sample of Yixing to make definitive judgments.

Also most importantly not to forget personal taste preferences which differ among each one of us.
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Bok
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:05 pm

I am in the same situation as you, I don’t know what to use the Hokujo for now, as the Kobiwako is that much better!
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nasalfrog
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:14 pm

@Bok Thank you for the perspective. It is true that no one is right about everything, and there are so many clays and pots as well. I think I was quick to jump to the conclusion that Akira seems correct about everything mainly because that would narrow the searching field down to only his pots. There are a few other pots I have been eyeing outside of HOJO, and I don't have the wallet to buy them all. Is this why people start gambling? :lol:

I will still test, of course. I do enjoy it. Thanks to @Shine Magical I should have a red Iga clay from HOJO to try out in a few days. Sencha first, but, based upon what I've read, the intent is to use it for Japanese teas that, to me anyway, resemble more of an oolong. I have a few kamairichas in mind, and a bancha.

It also dawned on me after the last post that if one wanted to eliminate the teapot design variable, he/she could use the lids as disks of sorts in a glass teapot. I don't know if I'll go that far into it, though.
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Bok
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:45 pm

@nasalfrog you can also just brew in a porcelain gaiwan and then let it sit in the different teapots for a while, that will give you also an idea how a certain clay might affect a tea.
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