Sado Mumyoi Clay


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Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Ceoltoir » Mar 27th, '14, 05:23

Hi, I`ve bought a Sado Mumyoi Oxidation Clay Teapot (by Shimizu Ken) and to be completely honest.. I don`t know what kind of tea I should use in it. I`ve planned to use it with sencha for it was said to me that this teapot would enrich the body. However, as I had tested it with sencha and wakoucha later, I found out that it takes off a lot of it taste, makes it more delicate, unfortunately not in a way that I like it. So then a great jurney to find a proper tea begins. I am perfectly aware that ones liking of tea in a given teapot is a subjective matter. Nevertheless, I would be very grateful for any hints or personal experience with a teapot from this clay. I`ve read all the topics about Sado here and found a piece of helpful information, however not exactly about that kind of problem. This is my first "real" teapot.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Teaism » Mar 27th, '14, 08:36

Ceoltoir wrote:Hi, I`ve bought a Sado Mumyoi Oxidation Clay Teapot (by Shimizu Ken) and to be completely honest.. I don`t know what kind of tea I should use in it. I`ve planned to use it with sencha for it was said to me that this teapot would enrich the body. However, as I had tested it with sencha and wakoucha later, I found out that it takes off a lot of it taste, makes it more delicate, unfortunately not in a way that I like it. So then a great jurney to find a proper tea begins. I am perfectly aware that ones liking of tea in a given teapot is a subjective matter. Nevertheless, I would be very grateful for any hints or personal experience with a teapot from this clay. I`ve read all the topics about Sado here and found a piece of helpful information, however not exactly about that kind of problem. This is my first "real" teapot.


Hi Ceoltoir,

Congratulation for owning a proper teapot. It is a slippery slope and addictive hobby but a self fulfilling one. Teapot is just a vessel and you must learn to calibrate it. Like driving, there is no fix route and answer. The guy who stays in the north will say when you turn right or left you will head east or west. The guy who stay in the west will say north or south. So teapots and tea brew is also like that i.e. a constant calibration and self exploration. You have started a great journey and I am sure you find the answer along the way. Take it easy and enjoy... :D

Have a great day!

Cheers!
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby chingwa » Mar 27th, '14, 11:08

I have a 3 different teapots and it always fascinates me how much the taste changes depending on which pot I use, given all the other variables being the same.

I also use a shimizu ken teapot, but mine is the reduction version, it's not oxidized. I'm not sure what the differences are between the two, but I use excusively sencha in this teapot. It does seem to reduce the aroma moreso than my other teapot, but I find it gives a nice roundness to the flavor. It's definitely my favorite teapot. ever. :D

Water and tea are of course other considerations. the clay really works best with softer water, like out of a real tetsubin. though, I would say all sencha works best with testubin. If the water you use is filtered from the tap (like me) and you don't have a tetsubin then perhaps you could experiment with different waters with your pot. Fiji water, while expensive, was always my favorite before I started using the tetsubin.... it's a bit softer taste and I found it went well with sencha in general.

as for tea, quality pot deserves quality tea. I drink japanese rokucha (sencha etc) exclusively these days so I have no real experience with this pot with other types of tea. Practically anything from the mid-range up at o-cha.com or ippodo should work well. I have to say my favorite place for tea lately is thes-du-japon.com, you can find a number of very interesting sencha and some for pretty affordable prices.

Of course if you want a real wow, may I suggest their "sencha de tenryu" which is excellent (though pricey). their "koshun" from fuji,shizuoka is also very good... and perhaps my favorite tea of all time (when it's available... probably later this spring) is their "mariko sencha, kondo wase".

for specific differences between the reduction clay and the oxidized clay, or for just general guidance with the oxydized clay as far as tea is concerned you could contact Akira Hojo, from hojo.com. Guy sold me my pot and is friendly and knowledgeable.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby yalokinh » Mar 27th, '14, 11:44

Addictive hobby... you can say that again!
I don't have too many teapots but it's a struggle just passing up really nice pots. I made a rule for myself: Only use one pot to suit each tea, it has helped my wallet tremendously.
I've heard that the hojo teapots really change the taste in a very dramatic way, some like it, some don't, but I'm sure there is a tea that would fit each pot.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Alex » Mar 27th, '14, 13:40

Akira advised me against Sado Mumyoi Oxidation Clay for sencha although that may be that he's taking my preferences in to account. I was tempted to get one to try it out with Darjeeling or Assam or something (can't now as I've blown my tea funds for the next few years) so maybe just give it a road test with some different teas.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Ceoltoir » Mar 28th, '14, 14:45

First of all, thanks for responce. I know that this is an addictive hobby, but now I feel a bit dissapointed. I hadn`t known in advance that it is not suitable for sencha, because I wasn`t informed about that fact.. I will try other teas but I would prefer to stay with rule: Japanese Teapot - Japanese Tea. Nevertheless, I will keep trying. Thank you for your support.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Chip » Mar 28th, '14, 15:49

Ceoltoir wrote:First of all, thanks for responce. I know that this is an addictive hobby, but now I feel a bit dissapointed. I hadn`t known in advance that it is not suitable for sencha, because I wasn`t informed about that fact.. I will try other teas but I would prefer to stay with rule: Japanese Teapot - Japanese Tea. Nevertheless, I will keep trying. Thank you for your support.

We call this "tuition" ... it can be costly. But wait ... all is not lost and perhaps there is a way to gain TeaKnowledge and wisdom.

The nice thing about brewing a really nice sencha in a quality clay kyusu is that this enables experimentation with parameters.

I would make a first suggestion, up the amount of leaf by perhaps 20-25%. We refer to this as "ratio" around here. Grams tea per ounce (30 ml) water. I seemingly average for sencha-philes is 1:1. First determine where you are and then up the leaf.

I have also increased time with positive results. But I would first try higher ratio.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Ceoltoir » Mar 28th, '14, 15:58

I am not going to give up tea, never. I am just a bit dissapointed with a teapot as it was to be used for sencha. Right now I am trying wakoucha in in with quite a positive result.
Could you please tell me what kind of clay kyusu I should buy (and from whom/where exactly). I know that there is no one kind of teapot "This is for sencha, take it!", but I would like to have a proper one for shincha this year. A one that enhances it taste, strenghtens it. I`ve been brewing teas for just a year, however when it comes to the clay, this is my first approach.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Chip » Mar 28th, '14, 16:01

I did want to post this but did not want to "muddy" up my last post. :mrgreen:

I went a bit crazy and ordered Shimizu Ken Nosaka oxygen, reduction, and Mumyoi reduction fired all at once.

I also purchased a Watanabe Tozo oxygen ... though this one has sat waiting for time and effort to figure it out. And now I am trying to remember whether it was Mumyoi or Nosaka. I think by the clay color it is red clay, Mumyoi ...

Anyway, I definitely noticed the softness of the Mumyoi with the reduction fired compared to the Nosaka kyusu ... so even reduction in Mumyoi seems to bring sencha down a notch.

Initially this was a bit problematic for me as I do not want my sencha toned down ... period, but I have learned to use it more effectively. (see my last post in this topic)

But I definitely favor the flavor of the sencha brewed in Nosaka over Mumyoi ... not having tried the oxy fired.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Chip » Mar 28th, '14, 16:14

Ceoltoir wrote:I am not going to give up tea, never. I am just a bit dissapointed with a teapot as it was to be used for sencha. Right now I am trying wakoucha in in with quite a positive result.
Could you please tell me what kind of clay kyusu I should buy (and from whom/where exactly). I know that there is no one kind of teapot "This is for sencha, take it!", but I would like to have a proper one for shincha this year. A one that enhances it taste, strenghtens it. I`ve been brewing teas for just a year, however when it comes to the clay, this is my first approach.

... worst case ... you could offer to sell it under TeaSwap ... interestingly (to me anyway) the Mumyoi reduction kyusu was the first Kyusu I almost put up for sale. But I have since come to terms with it. :mrgreen:

Looking at the teaware shelves here, I estimate having around 12 artisans represented from Tokoname. Not to mention Bizen, Banko, Shigaraki, and Hagi respresentations.

Each kyusu appears to handle tea differently. I cannot say any "strengthen" sencha, per se. You can strengthen your sencha by adding more leaf ... assuming the sencha is a good one. Eventually you will hit your personal point of diminishing returns.

However, while not strengthening sencha, a fully glazed and non porous Kyusu will theoretically give you the most undiluted sencha. Even glass. Yet I never reach for these for sencha ...

Tea is a wondrous hobby, so full of variables and nuances. As long as my sencha is good and I have a good kyusu, I will likely have a positive experience.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Ceoltoir » Mar 28th, '14, 16:41

I think I will give it a try with Japanese black teas.
I`ve meant that I am looking for a teapot that does not bring this tea down a notch, but "deepen" it. It is beautiful that the possibilities of combining clay and tea are nearly infinite. It means that the road of tea has no end...

I already have a glazed Kyusu from Andrzej Bero. It was my first taepot and I still use it with relish.

I hope that one day I`ll have a chance to try one tea from Sado Mumyoi Oxidation and Reduction and Nosaka. It would be interesting experience.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby yalokinh » Mar 28th, '14, 18:19

Ceoltoir wrote:First of all, thanks for responce. I know that this is an addictive hobby, but now I feel a bit dissapointed. I hadn`t known in advance that it is not suitable for sencha, because I wasn`t informed about that fact.. I will try other teas but I would prefer to stay with rule: Japanese Teapot - Japanese Tea. Nevertheless, I will keep trying. Thank you for your support.


Don't be worried if it doesn't work for this particular tea, it might work wonderfully for another tea. In any case, hojo has a reputation for good teapots. Many more pots to come!
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby chingwa » Mar 28th, '14, 20:46

I went a bit crazy and ordered Shimizu Ken Nosaka oxygen, reduction, and Mumyoi reduction fired all at once.

Holy Hell! :lol: :lol: :lol:

It means that the road of tea has no end...

Truth.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Alex » Mar 29th, '14, 04:21

I'd grab one the bankos by tachi masaki from Hojo. They are well priced and brew superb tea, with a filter that makes brewing Fuka easy. Nosaka are good as well although their effect on tea is quite heavy this is neither good nor bad IMO but I have to be in the right mood for it.

Also Hokujo from artisticnippon is another great choice. A fairly neutral clay

http://www.artisticnippon.com/product/t ... maru2.html

Don't worry about buying a non suitable pot. You have to have experience with what you don't like to know what you do. And a pot like that will be easily re-sold as Chip said.
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Re: Sado Mumyoi Clay

Postby Chip » Mar 29th, '14, 11:44

Alex wrote:I'd grab one the bankos by tachi masaki from Hojo. They are well priced and brew superb tea, with a filter that makes brewing Fuka easy. Nosaka are good as well although their effect on tea is quite heavy this is neither good nor bad IMO but I have to be in the right mood for it.

Also Hokujo from artisticnippon is another great choice. A fairly neutral clay

http://www.artisticnippon.com/product/t ... maru2.html

Don't worry about buying a non suitable pot. You have to have experience with what you don't like to know what you do. And a pot like that will be easily re-sold as Chip said.

Artisticnippon also has Tachi Masaki Banko right now. I had thought about purchasing one. Both Hojo and ArtisticNippon are offering higher quality Tachi Masaki.

Tachi Masaki Kyusu from my limited exposure to one Kyusu (Shigaraki), are meticulously made ... you cannot go wrong. But there are different levels of craftmanship. The ones discussed here are not the entry level kind. For a good one, you should expect to pay 75$ or more. Cheaper ones are not as well made ... from what I have read from members who have purchased them.

The hardest part is finding them at the higher level of craftmanship, and right now there are two vendors we frequently discuss offering them. This is a pretty rare occurrence.

The second hardest part is finding one available in the size you may want. However for brewing sencha, you do not have to be precise, size wise.
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