Ode to the Kyusu


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

How many Kyusu do you own? And bonus question, how many do you use? So, 2 answers are permitted.

1
75
21%
2-3
78
22%
4-5
34
10%
6-7
7
2%
8-10
7
2%
11-14
5
1%
15 or more
5
1%
I USE 1
55
16%
2-3
54
15%
4-5
20
6%
6-7
2
1%
8-10
3
1%
11-14
2
1%
15 or more
5
1%
 
Total votes : 352

Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Alex » Aug 30th, '12, 02:44

I prefer what is usually classed as the Asu sasame screen (though my preference now is for a direct filter) I find they don't clog (usually on shincha) as easy as the super super fine filters and I like a bit of leaf.

They handle fuka superb. as I said I use a 16 hole direct filter at the moment and its not far off a sasame screen in terms of how much it holds back. You may not always be able to dump the contents into a cup but sencha taste poor when you do that any way IMO. I always slow poor sencha as I prefer the taste that way.

No filling halfway is totally fine. In fact that's nearly the sweetspot for some pots. I even use to 3rd fill a 300ml kyusu I had and the results were always fine.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby David R. » Aug 30th, '12, 07:25

I am with Alex on the direct filter if possible. Pouring technique is important as well. Speaking of which, this rocking the teapot technique in the video is... odd.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby bambooforest » Aug 30th, '12, 17:20

@ Alex: The increased leaf that shows up in your cup as a result of the asamushi sasame screen, do you think it alters the flavor of the tea? Also, when you fill the teapot half full, do tea leaves tend to get stuck on the wall of the kyusu above the water line? This would result in subsequent steeps where not all the tea gets submerged by water.

@ David R.: I don't like the idea of rocking a teapot filled with sencha. Sencha, being steamed tea, readily imparts its flavors and needs no assistance to do so. I'd be concerned that the rocking would make the tea stronger, but not better.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Aug 30th, '12, 20:15

If you watch some Japanese videos on pouring sencha (or less noticably in intructions for brewing and pouring) as I am sure you already have, you will see rocking motion already (I did not watch this video however ... yet). The gentle rocking mimics the pouring into several cups. So the rocking is no different than if you were pouring for several people into individual cups, right?

It serves a few possible purposes, one being it can help draw tea leaves away from the screen ... it can also help in releasing flavor.

Also, I agree, the pouring technique(s) can open up the use of almost any good screen for sencha brewing within reason. For asa and fuka I may use an asa sasame, a ball screen, and the wall screen ... oh and of course the stainless steel screens). Yesterday and today I used wall screens (a hagi and a soma) for very fine leaf fuka. And while yes, this releases more leaf into the cup, as long as you do not just let the tea sit but focus on the task at hand ... it is not a problem.

What is the problem with this kyusu? [EDIT: I had the wrong photo/kyusu originally]
Image

To me it appears that the screen holes may be blocked where it adheres to the pot, a major fatal flaw as the pot can never drain fully. It is best to see open holes right up against the pot! This may be an illusion with this pot, but this is definitely something to look for and an advantage to wall screens.

Shape of the pot can be more of an issue for fuka (as well as less skilled pouring). A very flat kyusu is going to be problematic for fuka because the leaves do not have any wall below the screen in which to adhere to, instead they clog up the screen.

Regarding leaves clinging to the side. I never leave any leaves stranded above water for subsequent brews. :mrgreen: I will give a gentle swirl, or if need be hold my finger over the spout and gently rock to dislodge (I would not do this for a gathering, but for me and the Mrs., why not?)

Regarding fill. I often fill 2/3-3/4 full ... sometimes less and do not have a problem doing this with a kyusu for Japanese greens. I rarely fill a kyusu ... except last steep which I reserve for SLT at night.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Alex » Aug 31st, '12, 02:29

bambooforest wrote:@ Alex: The increased leaf that shows up in your cup as a result of the asamushi sasame screen, do you think it alters the flavor of the tea? Also, when you fill the teapot half full, do tea leaves tend to get stuck on the wall of the kyusu above the water line? This would result in subsequent steeps where not all the tea gets submerged by water.

@ David R.: I don't like the idea of rocking a teapot filled with sencha. Sencha, being steamed tea, readily imparts its flavors and needs no assistance to do so. I'd be concerned that the rocking would make the tea stronger, but not better.



Personally I'm not a fan of rocking. The few times I've tried it subtly I've thrown the tea out. I don't like the leaves bashing around at all. I have seen others say this as well so I guess its preference to which way you like.

I pour so slow that hardly any of the leaves come off the bottom. 95% is settled on the base and the little that does travel up I just leave or pour the water onto gentle as I fill. Or I fill and then give one quick swirl of the water to catch what's on the filter. Doing this as soon as the waters gone in doesnt seem to change the taste of the leaves.

And as for the small amount of leaf particles in the cup I find it doesn't change the flavour. In fact I find the experience a little more balanced with a tiny amount. Not because it changes the flavour but because I find it beautiful in the cup.In the full cup its like a speckled pear, which I find more appetising. And on the last sip the remains roll back down the cup wall like a mushroom cloud....stunning!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby David R. » Aug 31st, '12, 07:04

What I am afraid of with large screen filters is that tiny bits of leaves will be stuck behind it. And they may be very hard to reach and clean. There are removable steel screens. I had one but once I discovered the direct filter, I really prefered to go this way.

My technique is the same as Alex : pouring slowly without moving the leaves so that stay at the bottom of the pot till the final shake (to get rid of the final drops). That's also why using a bigger kyusu helps : the tea doesn't reach the filter till the actual pouring.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby JRS22 » Aug 31st, '12, 14:35

First a question - what is a direct filter? I'm familiar with the sasame filter and the ball filter.

Second, with some of the senchas in the OTTI I found that a lot of tea particles made certain teas too bitter for my taste. Instead of buying another kyusu I pour through a stainless tea filter.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Alex » Aug 31st, '12, 14:47

JRS22 wrote:First a question - what is a direct filter? I'm familiar with the sasame filter and the ball filter.

Second, with some of the senchas in the OTTI I found that a lot of tea particles made certain teas too bitter for my taste. Instead of buying another kyusu I pour through a stainless tea filter.


Good call on the external filter. No point buying a new kyusu.

The direct filter is holes directly on the pot wall. They are great for allowing the kyusu to drain of every last drop. I also love their solid simplicity.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby David R. » Aug 31st, '12, 16:44

You've got an example of a direct filter on the previous page. Look at the third photo of my porcelain kyusu. Simple and efficient. :)
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby JRS22 » Aug 31st, '12, 17:52

Now when I show off my Seong-il pot I can point out the direct filter!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Aug 31st, '12, 22:59

Ooops!

I had the wrong photo of the wrong pot in my previous post. It appears the holes closest to the kyusu wall are gunked up. These are the worst holes to have clogged up before you even add leaves and water.
Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Poohblah » Aug 31st, '12, 23:10

That looks like a nightmare to clean, Chip. Especially after fuka.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby debunix » Aug 31st, '12, 23:55

How do most of you clean your filters after brewing?

I usually just blast some water as forcefully as my faucet can pour it back through the spout, to push the leaves back into the body of the pot where I can easily rinse them out. Fortunately, I happen to prefer lighter steamed japanese greens, and have a nice group of shiboridashis, and so don't often have to deal with post-fuka cleanup in my kyusus.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Tobias » Sep 1st, '12, 04:04

I do the same, I mostly drink fukamushi so usually a few leafs will still be stuck in the filter afterwards but I noticed if I wait until they dry they will shrink and will be quite easy to remove by shaking the pot.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Sep 1st, '12, 08:00

Poohblah wrote:That looks like a nightmare to clean, Chip. Especially after fuka.

Not mine though. :mrgreen:
debunix wrote:How do most of you clean your filters after brewing?

I usually just blast some water as forcefully as my faucet can pour it back through the spout, to push the leaves back into the body of the pot where I can easily rinse them out. Fortunately, I happen to prefer lighter steamed japanese greens, and have a nice group of shiboridashis, and so don't often have to deal with post-fuka cleanup in my kyusus.

First I endeavor to prevent leaves from getting stuck in the first place. The leaves most apt to get stuck are the tiny, dry, unopened leaves. So as I pour water in, I pour over the filter which tends to keep these away from the screen til they have had the opportunity to open up.

I actually continue with this practice for each steep ...

I never seem to have any remnants after simply rinsing away with the spray attachment.
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