Tokoname or Yixing


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Tokoname or Yixing

Postby mike007 » Jun 25th, '07, 18:13

I am thing about buying me a new teapot. I have been looking around and thinking of what one to buy. I was wondering what you people perfer or what would be best for me. I was looking at this Tokoname:
http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/product.php?productid=5182&cat=25&page=1

or would an Yixing teapot be better?

also, i have an inginuTEA that i only use for black teas because that is what my dad likes(i do not care for black teas anymore), i have a gaiwan that i think i am going to use for pu erh teas and oolongs, and then buy one of these teapots for my greens, light oolongs, and white teas. does this sound like a good idea or should i have the pu erh in the pot instead of gaiwan? whatever is easier for rinsing. thanks for your input.
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Postby Libertatis » Jun 25th, '07, 19:13

personally i only use my Tokoname kyusu (pot) for Gyokuro and Sencha. I for one think it is perfect for japanese green teas (which produce a deep green colored tea).

I have a couple different yixing pots that i use for green oolongs (Alishan, Li Shan, etc). I would say definitely go with yixing if you are brewing green oolongs. Remember that yixing pots absorb the flavor of the tea though, so if you use it for light green teas then make sure to only use green teas (and notice that a green oolong is quite different from a green sencha. I would never brew the two in the same yixing pot). Some of my hardcore tea friends have different yixing pots for each specific type of green oolong.

Personally i brew Pu erh in a Gaiwan because it is easy to clean. (plus since it is glazed you can use it for many different types of tea) over the years i have found the Gaiwan to be the most versatile and easy method of brewing almost everything.

So my advice is that the Gaiwan is the easiest method if you are using multiple different teas, but a yixing would be great if you use it for green oolongs and white teas (assuming none of them are artificially flavored, which i fear would be bad for the seasoning of the yixing pot).
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Postby mike007 » Jun 25th, '07, 19:20

does the tokoname pot absorb the flavor or is it coated? and what is that spout comming out of the side for?
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Postby Space Samurai » Jun 25th, '07, 19:33

I think you need both. I think Tokoname is better for whites and greens, and yixing is better for oolong. Tokoname pots tend to be too large for good gongfu brewing. If you don't want to mess with gongfu, you could use Tokoname, but you will still have the problem of cross-brewing that Libertatis pointed out. Tokoname is less porous than yixing, but sooner or later I think you will notice a difference. Unfortunately, if you drink a variety of different types of tea, and want to use unglazed tea pots, you'll need multiple pots.

On a side note, I had the hiramaru and didn't much care for it. I used it less than a dozen times before giving it away. It is the only thing I purchased from Rishi that I didn't like. If you want a quality Tokoname pot, buy their fukugata. It's three dollars more and a higher quality pot. Unless of course you just like the hiramaru, then ignore me.
Last edited by Space Samurai on Jun 25th, '07, 19:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Space Samurai » Jun 25th, '07, 19:38

mike007 wrote:does the tokoname pot absorb the flavor or is it coated? and what is that spout comming out of the side for?


You can get glazed Tokoname pots, but the majority that I have seen are not.

The spout is the handle. Its called a Kyusu (pronounced Quu-su), a traditional Japanese teapot with a handle on the side. Many Tokoname pots are kyusu, but not all of them.
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Postby mike007 » Jun 25th, '07, 20:06

sorry for all the questions, i am fairly new to tea. what is gongfu? also if i were to get a tokoname and an yixing, what is a good place to order the small red yixing's that i have seen in many of your collections? thanks
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jun 25th, '07, 20:30

Be careful though, don't pronounce the Q part of "Quu" like in "quotient" or "earthquake." It's more like the letter Q, as in "Q-tip."

I, like Liberatis, only use a kyusu for Japanese greens. Honestly, unless you drink a lot of sencha and gyokuro, the gaiwan is going to be your best friend.

Try searching around the forum, you'll find a lot of info on gongfu and tokoname-ware.
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Postby Mary R » Jun 25th, '07, 20:36

I got my li'l gongfu yixing pots at the eBay store Chinese Teapot Gallery. I was surprised at how good they were when I got them, given that they're relatively inexpensive. I'd recommend them, particularly if you're just getting into the whole yixing thing. There's always time to invest in better pieces once you know a bit more.

Oh, and I just got a tokoname pot from Rishi...and LOVE it. It's the kikumaru pot. I got it because I liked the overall look of that one better than the fukugata--but the fukugata is also quite the nice pot from what I hear. (From Space...who knows all.)
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Postby Chip » Jun 25th, '07, 21:52

..well...you guys covered this pretty well. I will just add this. Certain pots are made for certain teas. Case and point, my first Tokoname kyusu was just about ruined because I used it for just about every tea under the sun. It was the only pot I had when I started drinking tea.

It had so much build up from oolongs and blacks. This would simply flake off whenever, pretty gross. I managed to clean it up with a lot of effort. Now I use that one for strictly cheaper Japanese teas such as Kukicha.

I have one good kyusu that will NEVER touch an oolong or even a Chinese green, strictly for better Japanese teas.
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