How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?


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How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby Dwarefy » Nov 23rd, '13, 18:22

Hi all,

This is my first post on this forum and will also do as my introduction.
I've been browsing for the past days and decided to create an account to ask a question which I wasn't able to find the answer to.

All that follow is said introduction and eventually my reasoning on why I think I'd be best served with a kyusu teapot from either denstea or yuuki-cha, two names I saw mentioned many times while browsing, I understand if you don't feel like reading it so you can safely skip to the sentence in bold below and offer me your input on my question if you can.


I consider myself a beginner to loose leaf teas and ordered my first batch a year ago. I didn't drink tea often before as my choices were limited to commercially available earl grey or red rose (in their tea bags form). That was tea for me and it wasn't that interesting. But now,with my eyes opened to a much wider variety that I thought possible I now enjoy it very much.

Oh and I don't speak english as a first language so my vocabulary might be hummm a bit limited.

I'm telling the following since it might change what you could recommend me if I'm wrong about the type of teapot I think would serve me best.

All my tea (now) comes from teatrekker.com which offers reasonable shipping to Canada (reasonable = 30$ and using USPS (UPS are ran by very greedy men)) and at the time was recommended for their freshness and quality. I tried the englishteastore before and found trekker to be better and henceforth didn't feel I should be looking elsewhere. I'm willing to, if you know of a store which offers as good teas and might have free shipping (or reasonable )to Canada, I could try it ! (Or just go the already created list of approved vendors ;) )

So far I drink mostly black teas but I'm looking to expand to other type. I sampled white,pu erh, hei cha and oolong and will order more of these eventually.

Back to the reasoning behind the pot. I've seen a Kyusu recommended for black teas since they supposedly keep their water long enough. Glazed since I'd want it to be my primary teapot for now and brew all my teas in it and I read that it doesn't retain flavors if glazed(I don't know how much of this is true compared to unglazed).

For now, I microwave water in a large glass cup with a glass lid,drop my leaves when the desired temperature is reached and filter out with a strainer when done in another cup and enjoy. I measured with a thermometer the temperature and I know how much time I need to get the desired temperature (or close to) every time. Before I used a porcelain teapot and boiled my water using an electric kettle but this is easier and dare I say produce adequate results. I may be wrong, please do tell if you feel I'm missing out on a better method.

I start with one 6oz infusion and will heat water for another 6oz if I feel like it (I often do). I do own a small 4oz gaiwan too. I'll infuse 2-3g of leaves for 3-5 minutes, and that's why I require a vessel which keep its water very hot. That's what tea trekker suggests for black teas and it gave my good results so I didn't spent time figuring out the perfect recipe to do it in the smaller gaiwan. How much leaves, how long, etc.

Woh I wrote much more than I thought I would.

Is a Kyusu a good choice knowing what I wrote above ?
If so, by looking at these here (http://www.yuuki-cha.com/teaware/japanese-teapots) or here ( http://www.denstea.com/teapots-cups-c-275.html), how can I be sure which are glazed ? It might be an easy question and I just don't know giveaway to look for.

Picked those randomly:

Those look unglazed:
http://www.yuuki-cha.com/teaware/japanese-teapots/kuro-ishime-tokoname-teapot
http://www.yuuki-cha.com/teaware/japanese-teapots/kuro-sendan-tokoname-teapot
http://www.denstea.com/teapots-cups-banko-hiramatsu-3450-c-275_605.html


And those glazed :
http://www.yuuki-cha.com/teaware/japanese-teapots/classic-tokoname-teapot
http://www.denstea.com/teapots-cups-shincha-teapot-1900-c-275_327.html
http://www.yuuki-cha.com/teaware/japanese-teapots/midori-tokoname-teapot
(Because of the color, I'm guessing it's not originally this color)


If you know which from denstea are glazed, could you tell me ? I'd appreciate knowing those from yuuki too but there's only ten or so at dens and therefore a much more reasonable request.

I would most likely order from that website anyway since it offers free shipping over a certain amount (and uses USPS so no ''Entry preparation charges'' fees, only taxes and a reasonable 5$)

I don't know (maybe you do!) if UPS is used for delivery once in north america if ordering from yuuki-cha. If you ordered from them and got USPS,then I'd feel safe ordering from them too.

Thanks!
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby Chip » Nov 23rd, '13, 18:53

I am sure others will reply more fully, and I will also try to hopefully tonight but heading out shortly.

I am also sure there are members who have had good experiences with the vendors you mentioned. However there are multiple members who have had bad experiences with Dan the owner of Yuuki-Cha. I have had great experiences with every vendor of Japanese tea and teawares but Yuuki-Cha.

For instance, Den, the owner of Den's is a true gentleman and honorable.

I will post the links to the Yuuki-Cha vendor topic and allow you to decide if this is the type of vendor you want to do business with. The first link is to the actual topic beginning. The second link is page three (I believe the 31st post) where things get ... interesting.

http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=11657

http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=11657&start=30

Let it be known, I do not intend to discuss this issue in this topic, unless my credibility in this matter is called into question. I have simply directed the OP to the relevant topic.

*I have made an exception and permitted the posting of links by Dwarefy even though he/she is a new member and this is his/her first post.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby Dwarefy » Nov 23rd, '13, 19:43

Chip wrote:*I have made an exception and permitted the posting of links by Dwarefy even though he/she is a new member and this is his/her first post.


Thanks, I didn't think to look at the welcome section for additional rules that might apply other than the registration agreement. I've now read the Etiquette thread and will comply to it.

Dwarefy is a he from now on haha

Thanks for forwarding me that link on Yuuki-Cha about your experience, so far I had yet to see a negative one.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby betta » Nov 24th, '13, 05:17

Welcome to the forum, Dwarefy.
My suggestion, keep it simple, play with all brewing parameters using whatever vessels you have and enjoy the fun of tea drinking. Putting too much restriction or regulation on the preparation might kill the fun.

If you go to tea producing area where tea farmers preparing tea, they only have a gaiwan, several drinking cups, a thermos flask (glas inlined), most of the time without gong dao cup, but they can produce better results than most tea drinkers with sophisticated brewing vessels can do!

If you for some reasons want to alter the brewing temperature or keep the brewing temperature hot for a longer time, you should look for pots with a lid design that allow you to pour hot water over the pot during the brewing.
If you keep the temperature too high for a longer time, chances are you end up with an intense flavor and bitter result.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby JRS22 » Nov 24th, '13, 10:24

I began my tea ware collection with the shincha pot from dens. It's an excellent price and because it's glazed on the inside it's good for aromatic teas. It has a small hole in the lid so if you bathe the pot in hot water a little bit will get in unless you aim for the side away from the hole. I think the pot is thick enough to hold the heat for the desired time w/o pouring water over it.

Using a gaiwan with boiling water is problematic because no matter how good your fine motor skills that one time the gaiwan slips you can end up with seriously burnt fingers.

Dens usually has a Black Friday sale Thanksgiving weekend (American thanksgiving - this coming Thursday) plus special offers through their mailing list.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby betta » Nov 24th, '13, 14:43

JRS22 wrote:Using a gaiwan with boiling water is problematic because no matter how good your fine motor skills that one time the gaiwan slips you can end up with seriously burnt fingers.


I would say, it depends on how you hold it.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby kikula » Nov 24th, '13, 15:50

This is just me, but even though I'm easily able to use a gaiwan now w/o burning my fingers, I much prefer a teapot - just a less fussy and more elegant process. Except for the cost factor (and that can be significant) I can't think of any instance when I'd prefer to use a gaiwan, except for novelty.
As for kyusus and glaze, the unglazed ones that I have are much less porous than Chinese clay pots and I don't dedicate them. I do rinse them carefully after each use - I've discerned no problem. I haven't yet got my hands on a Hojo "magic clay" one yet though; might be a different story?
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby JRS22 » Nov 24th, '13, 17:29

betta wrote:
JRS22 wrote:Using a gaiwan with boiling water is problematic because no matter how good your fine motor skills that one time the gaiwan slips you can end up with seriously burnt fingers.


I would say, it depends on how you hold it.


And I would say it depends on luck as gaiwans are inherently unstable. What's the point of risking a burn when there are so many functional and inexpensive teapots available?
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby Dwarefy » Nov 24th, '13, 18:35

Thank you all for your inputs so far.

I might wait to see if there's a sale on thanksgiving then , good to know.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby Chip » Nov 24th, '13, 18:44

JRS22 wrote:
betta wrote:
JRS22 wrote:Using a gaiwan with boiling water is problematic because no matter how good your fine motor skills that one time the gaiwan slips you can end up with seriously burnt fingers.


I would say, it depends on how you hold it.


And I would say it depends on luck as gaiwans are inherently unstable. What's the point of risking a burn when there are so many functional and inexpensive teapots available?

... because we are wild and crazy guy(wans)? :mrgreen:

Someone much wiser than I also indicated that one should not expect a gaiwan to last indefinitely as they are prone to operator error and subsequent breakage, though at the rate I use them, mine will be passed on to future generations. :oops: I have not used a gaiwan since Spring.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby JRS22 » Nov 24th, '13, 23:13

Chip wrote:
JRS22 wrote:And I would say it depends on luck as gaiwans are inherently unstable. What's the point of risking a burn when there are so many functional and inexpensive teapots available?

... because we are wild and crazy guy(wans)? :mrgreen:

Someone much wiser than I also indicated that one should not expect a gaiwan to last indefinitely as they are prone to operator error and subsequent breakage, though at the rate I use them, mine will be passed on to future generations. :oops: I have not used a gaiwan since Spring.


The only taiwan I use regularly is the tiny green one I purchased from Shawn at Greenwood pottery. It's not the tradition shape - it's wide relative to it's height, and relatively easy to hold in a stable fashion. But why did I say inexpensive when my tea cabinet is filled with artisan tea ware?
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby kikula » Nov 24th, '13, 23:30

JRS22 wrote:
The only taiwan I use regularly is the tiny green one I purchased from Shawn at Greenwood pottery. It's not the tradition shape - it's wide relative to it's height, and relatively easy to hold in a stable fashion. But why did I say inexpensive when my tea cabinet is filled with artisan tea ware?


Unless Shawn was making gaiwans before I discovered him, that little green thing is a shiboridashi. Very much nicer to use than a gaiwan, IMHO, as it has a wee spout. I use my Greenwood shib a lot (I have one of the larger ones, red clay, really pretty, too).
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby betta » Nov 25th, '13, 01:35

JRS22 wrote:
betta wrote:
JRS22 wrote:Using a gaiwan with boiling water is problematic because no matter how good your fine motor skills that one time the gaiwan slips you can end up with seriously burnt fingers.


I would say, it depends on how you hold it.


And I would say it depends on luck as gaiwans are inherently unstable. What's the point of risking a burn when there are so many functional and inexpensive teapots available?


You make your point there. So for you, because of the fear of burning your finger, you prefer to use pot.
I understand it.

For me I can't control my brew and steeping time better than using a gaiwan. And comparing to pot, it took a skill to handle it.
So far I never had any accident with mine in the last 5 years and keep improving.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby JRS22 » Nov 25th, '13, 08:26

kikula wrote:
JRS22 wrote:
The only taiwan I use regularly is the tiny green one I purchased from Shawn at Greenwood pottery. It's not the tradition shape - it's wide relative to it's height, and relatively easy to hold in a stable fashion. But why did I say inexpensive when my tea cabinet is filled with artisan tea ware?


Unless Shawn was making gaiwans before I discovered him, that little green thing is a shiboridashi. Very much nicer to use than a gaiwan, IMHO, as it has a wee spout. I use my Greenwood shib a lot (I have one of the larger ones, red clay, really pretty, too).


Image

Definitely a gaiwan. I bought 2 last winter but unfortunately broke the cup of the larger one while clearing the table.
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Re: How to easily tell if a teapot is glazed ?

Postby JRS22 » Nov 25th, '13, 08:29

betta wrote:You make your point there. So for you, because of the fear of burning your finger, you prefer to use pot.
I understand it.

For me I can't control my brew and steeping time better than using a gaiwan. And comparing to pot, it took a skill to handle it.
So far I never had any accident with mine in the last 5 years and keep improving.


That's a good way of putting it. I've only had one accident in 5 years with boiling water but for me it's once burned, many times shy. I do put a lot of effort into pairing tea with tea ware and tracking time/temp combinations that bring out the best in the tea. I keep records in an app designed for just this purpose.
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