Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby blairswhitaker » Apr 30th, '12, 02:43

Seeker wrote:
blairswhitaker wrote:great picks seeker I really love the Robert Fornell chawan and tenkei hana!
I love tenkei hana, though I nearly always prepare it as koicha.


Thank you blairs.
I love tenkei hana and always make it as usucha - :o :shock: .
I have yet to master the art of koicha - perhaps I will attempt it again sometime soon - the whisking tecnique i imagine is very different tho.
Any advice?

Nice chawan! Reminds me of earth and stone.
I dont know of "taste of kyoto" matcha - how is it?
Can you share any flavor comments?



"taste of Kyoto Reserve Matcha" is imported by a local company here in the san diego area, according to the owner it is grown in kagoshima, and a blend of Okumidori and Yabukita, that is then prepared by a tea master in Uji. As far as the taste goes it has a nice robust and clean taste, a sweet and vegetal attack and a slightly bitter finish.

It does not have a chocolatey flavor found in a lot of matcha. it also does not haver nearly the intense umami/briny character that tenkei hana has. this is a much more subtle matcha ( and a wee bit more economical than tenkei hana). If you must have that dark chocolate taste or the very upfront umami this may not be for you, if you do enjoy a sweet and vegetal flavor with a brisk little bite give it a try...
http://www.tasteofkyoto.com/Taste_of_Ky ... ducts.html

as far as koicha goes here are my main tips. Pre heat and dry the bowl.
Use plenty of matcha.
I start with four heavily loaded chashaku.
I recommend 40ml of 80c-85c water.
pour this more slowly than for usucha.
The whisk makes a difference here as well, if you don't have a large tine koicha whisk use your oldest worn down whisk. (you know the one that doesn't produce great foam any more... that one).
Slowly stir in back and forth and side to side motion.
Avoid trapping bubbles and also getting clumps are the main factors to watch out for.
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby Seeker » Apr 30th, '12, 23:26

Thanks blairs!
With matcha i really favor the chocolaty and nutty notes, so it sounds like 'kyoto' might not be for me - i very much appreciate hearing your comments about it nonetheless!
Thanks for the tips re: koicha.
I may brave another attempt soon.
I hadnt heard that koicha benefits from a special whisk, but it makes sense.
Cheers.
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby blairswhitaker » May 1st, '12, 14:44

got a nice new chawan from Dens tea! A Kuroraku from the Shoraku kiln, For me this is THE classic Chawan. This is actually my first raku bowl, while I have used them in the past I have never owned one. Love how light these bowls are.

took it for a test drive with some koicha, enjoy! Do-Matcha at full blast, I am surprised this "off the shelf" matcha actually stands up to making a decent bowl of Koi.

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warming...

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ready to drink!

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Now that was tasty!

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Shoraku seal
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby blairswhitaker » May 1st, '12, 15:19

I have fresh can of tenkei hanna and some of dens organic matcha that I can't wait to give a try in this new bowl.
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby Seeker » May 1st, '12, 23:43

Great bowl!
Been off & on wanting one of those.
Great koi pics - love your sipping trail :wink:
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby andrzej bero » May 2nd, '12, 13:30

@blairswhitaker, very nice chawan's collection
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby blairswhitaker » May 2nd, '12, 13:58

Gave the Dens tea organic matcha a try today. Overall a very good performer, smooth and creamy with a nice umami touch. a very "green" and almost grassy note to this matcha.

I would Like to know if anyone else has given this matcha a shot.

My first experience making usucha in the new shoraku
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby blairswhitaker » May 2nd, '12, 14:20

andrzej bero wrote:@blairswhitaker, very nice chawan's collection


is there anywhere to view your currently available work?
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby brandon » May 4th, '12, 07:09

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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby Seeker » May 4th, '12, 13:05

:o
Awesome!
I am green :mrgreen: with envy.

(I particularly love your water source set up - can you describe it for us? - it looks to be a heat source/brazier under what looks like an iron 'kettle' - don't know the term, don't think it would be tetsubin - and then the bottom looks kind of like a lacquer box of some kind, and I don't know how that would tolerate heat - but it all looks so cool, and I'm wondering all about it)

do tell?
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby blairswhitaker » May 4th, '12, 13:50

@brandon that is an awesome set up, I miss living so close to a soan where I could practice my temae in an authentic setting. I will be going back to my home town next week, though I doubt I will get a chance to preform temae I my pick up some interesting works from some local ceramics artists though.

@seeker the kettle is called a kama and the box appears to be some type of furo, though I could be wrong.
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby brandon » May 4th, '12, 14:00

Hi Seeker,
The hibachi is not lacquered, it is made of a dark wood with nice grain, perhaps Zelkova. It has a copper insert that fills the top half of the box vertically and tapers in gently. So it is not in much direct contact with the sides or the bottom. It is filled with ash for additional insulation. A cast iron trivet with three arms called a gotoku sits in the middle and holds the kettle above the charcoal. The charcoals are arranged in the middle resting on the ashes. In a formal ceremony, a specially manicured set of coals are used - a complete set of various sizes and shapes. These are already very expensive, and cannot be imported from Japan by air. It is topped off with a special piece of carbonized oak branches that are painted white with lime.

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For practice purposes I use any old charcoal for heat, or even sneak in a ceramic alcohol burner. With guests, I use bintochan for cooking. They are split down the middle and in long gnarled branches, not manicured like the set above. This is called white charcoal because the outside turns to ash and is pure white once it is fully lit. They are virtually smokeless and odorless, and last for several hours. I extinguish them in a jar and use them again later.

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By the way, tetsubin is a fair term for the kettle, but the specific term for this is Chagama/kama.

The rings are used as removable handles, so they stay cool they are only put on when the kama is moved.
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby bonjiri » May 4th, '12, 15:56

fun chawan i found

placed it next to my favorite woodfired guinomi

cheers !
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby Seeker » May 6th, '12, 01:29

Wow brandon - very cool! Thank you for sharing! :D
Do you employ this setup often?
It seems that there would be ample time required to achieve matcha readiness - how long I wonder?
Also, i find myself very curious about how you ascertain correct water temperature? Thermometer? Read the steam?
I have dreamed about having some kind of similar setup, but i would probably seldom use it due to the time and complexity - that combined with my complete lack of any kind of formal training.

Cory - beautiful! Love that gold/amber biidoro.
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Re: Today's MatchaWan :D (new name, but tea's the same)

Postby brandon » May 6th, '12, 13:43

Hi Seeker,
You need to understand, when you prepare matcha for yourself to drink, you can do it however pleases you. When you prepare matcha for guests, things are more in consideration of them. So in the service of koicha, each guest gets 3 sips from the same bowl and passes it on. 3 to 4 people will drink from this bowl, and you would like it to not be to cold when it reaches the last person. Boiling water from the kettle is always used.
In usucha, the water is really not much cooler, just off the boil. The host cracks the lid of the kettle, but there is no cooling pitcher or a lot of effort given to cool the water down. As long as it is not too hot to drink, it is fine.

I only light charcoals on my days off, other days I preboil the kettle on the stove and place it on an alcohol burner.
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