Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?


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Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby LowInFat » Jul 20th, '12, 15:00

I'm looking for something to brew my Japanese greens in that is, essentially, versatile and affordable. I primarily drink average quality sencha, and I also enjoy gyokuro, genmaicha, and kukicha (also average quality). Before I go and buy a brewing vessel for each one, as I know it is common to do, I want a "starter" one that offers versatility and that I can use for all of the aforementioned teas, without it being too costly. I hope I'm not asking for the impossible here...

I was looking at buying this one, and was wondering if that's a good option.

Also, what are the primary differences between a Kyusu and Houhin? Which one would you use for what, and why?

And another thing, is a Kyusu like a Yixing in that a 280ml capacity would be too large for something I primarily plan on using on my own? Would I have to waste more tea leaves in order to achieve the right tea:water ratio? Would it be a better idea to go with one like this, for instance, which is 150ml?

Thanks :)
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby Peacock » Jul 20th, '12, 15:18

http://www.denstea.com/teapots-cups-shi ... 5_327.html

http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/shopping ... htm#350302

Both kyusu's are versatile and affordable and since you're brewing more than just sencha porcelain is great for that. Houhin's are predominately used for gyokuro. As for the tetsu kyusu it is one of my favorites for when I'm brewing just for myself since its capacity holds just enough satisfy.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby LowInFat » Aug 7th, '12, 01:55

Aside from the size, the main difference between these three (one, two, three) that I'm interested in knowing about is the filter. One has a simple bubble filter, another has a circular mesh which appears removable, and another has a mesh which spans 360 degrees and doesn't appear removable. Can anyone tell me more about these? Which ones are most effective for what? And how convenient are they, as far as cleaning them goes?

Thanks.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby teaisme » Aug 7th, '12, 17:09

I think the one peacock linked from maiko would be good for all the teas you listed.

It's the genmaicha that makes me stray from recommending a clay pot instead (one of my bankos did not mix well at all with the genmaicha, after a few sessions it started to mix tastes).

A japanese teapot 300ml is not too big for me because I don't usually push a japanese green tea past 3 infusions nowadays. But it's much more expensive if you still like your tea strong. You may also miss out (as I sometimes feel I am when I use bigger pots) since small teapots seem to reveal things when packed heavier that packing medium in a medium teapot can not show as well
Some Houhin are hard to handle when water temp is hot...I didn't like experimenting banko houhin with red teas at all.... :|

zencha has some nice glazed pots too.
well I think you know which style of filter is good for fuka. But really to me it doesn't matter that much as long as you don't pour too fast or pour with all the leaf settled firmly to the bottom. A very gentle circley motion then a soft steady pour prevents clogs for me.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby Chip » Aug 7th, '12, 17:18

... yeah, definitely stay away from unglazed clay if brewing all those teas in the same kyusu!

+1 on the Den's "Shincha" kyusu as posted by Peacock. It is bomb proof and glazed and really cheap, less than 20 bucks. I used one for a while before giving it to my sister as her starter. When you get other better ones down the road, you can make this one a "traveler" or just keep it around for the toastier/grain style Japanese teas.

In time, you will definitely want to get a small hobin style pot for small steeps of gyokuro and finer sencha. You will wonder how you did without a hobin! Or a shiboridashi.

Thing is, you can simply slowly add to your usable collection over time.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby LowInFat » Aug 10th, '12, 13:33

Chip wrote:... yeah, definitely stay away from unglazed clay if brewing all those teas in the same kyusu!

+1 on the Den's "Shincha" kyusu as posted by Peacock. It is bomb proof and glazed and really cheap, less than 20 bucks. I used one for a while before giving it to my sister as her starter. When you get other better ones down the road, you can make this one a "traveler" or just keep it around for the toastier/grain style Japanese teas.

In time, you will definitely want to get a small hobin style pot for small steeps of gyokuro and finer sencha. You will wonder how you did without a hobin! Or a shiboridashi.

Thing is, you can simply slowly add to your usable collection over time.



Can the filter in that Den's teapot be removed and cleaned easily? The 360 degree ones seem like a bit of a hassle.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby campfire » Oct 12th, '12, 15:24

I too am curious if anyone knows if the 360 filter can be removed on the $19 Den's shincha kyusu?

If not, I may be going with their premium sencha teapot with the sasame filter.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby AdamMY » Oct 12th, '12, 17:52

campfire wrote:I too am curious if anyone knows if the 360 filter can be removed on the $19 Den's shincha kyusu?

If not, I may be going with their premium sencha teapot with the sasame filter.



Yes it can be removed, but it is the only filter on the pot. It is not that hard to remove it and scrub it clean with a used tooth brush or similar. But It would be a very bad idea to brew tea in it without the filter.

Not sure if you were wondering about cleaning, or ability to use it without a filter which is why I gave both answers.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby campfire » Oct 13th, '12, 10:05

Hah thanks, yeah I was thinking for cleaning! I actually did more looking and I think I'll be getting a kyusu with the sesame style filter.
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Re: Versatile and Affordable Kyusu or Houhin?

Postby Tead Off » Oct 14th, '12, 03:49

campfire wrote:Hah thanks, yeah I was thinking for cleaning! I actually did more looking and I think I'll be getting a kyusu with the sesame style filter.

If you're trying to decide on a teapot, you should consider the teas you drink and the amount of tea you want to make. For a sencha, if you are drinking alone or with another person, a 300ml teapot is enormous. Many tea drinkers go for smaller size teapots, use higher grade teas, and generally are drinking alone or with a friend. A large sized teapot is okay for several drinkers but I would recommend buying smaller at first and then buying larger as the need dictates.
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