Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?


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Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby auhckw » Dec 22nd, '11, 12:03

I was browsing his site and found there are recent updates. The below caught my attention...

http://hojotea.com/item_e/mumyoi.htm

HOJO has two different series of teapot: Mumyoi teapot and Nosaka teapot. Mumyoi teapot is the traditional style. Artist uses a mixture of two types of clay, red and yellow. However we wanted to increase the purity of red clay to almost 100%. Together with the artist, we carried out series of experiment to find out the suitable type of red clay, percentage of respective clay, baking temperature and baking method. Lately, we managed to introduce Shimizu Ken's product that is made of new clays developed by our collaboration R&D.

We are also introducing another series called Nosaka. The property of Nosaka is similar to Yixing Zhuni in terms of the color of clay and its performance to the taste of tea.

These two new clays is very suitable for all types of tea, including ripe and raw puerh, Taiwan oolong, Japanese tea, Phoenix oolong and Wuyi oolong.


4. How's the performance compared to the Yixing clay?
When I tried the traditional Sado rec clay teapot for the first time, I was very impressed. Its performance was almost the best amongst Japanese clays. I have conducted tasting side by side with various kinds of Yixing Zhuni teapot as well. Sadly the performance of Yixing clay was outstanding and it was far beyond the performance of Sado red clay. However I felt there would be a better clay, other baking method or techniques that could improve the performance of Japanese teapot. After series of my research work with the artist, I have improved the performance of clay progressively. Finally, we managed to produce the Sado natural red clay teapot which performs much better than any Yixing teapot that I owned. I have various kinds of zhuni teapot made by Yixing artist and some were made before cultural revolution. With our latest lineup of Sado red clay teapot, the taste of tea becomes extremely smooth. If you drink the water that pour through the Sado teapot, you can feel a very sticky and sweet texture of water.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Ambrose » Dec 22nd, '11, 13:10

I have had a nosaka pot for about 2 months now. It dramatically changes the taste of water. It becomes silky, sweet, high in a pure mineral aftertaste, due to the lower firing it also smooths the brew creating a super deep brew. I have tested it with many teas and I like it best for greens, dancong, some higher oxidized oolongs. It does work very well with many teas. However I do prefer good zhuni for light oxidized gaoshan, zini for sheng.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Tead Off » Dec 22nd, '11, 13:29

Ambrose wrote:I have had a nosaka pot for about 2 months now. It dramatically changes the taste of water. It becomes silky, sweet, high in a pure mineral aftertaste, due to the lower firing it also smooths the brew creating a super deep brew. I have tested it with many teas and I like it best for greens, dancong, some higher oxidized oolongs. It does work very well with many teas. However I do prefer good zhuni for light oxidized gaoshan, zini for sheng.

Are you channeling Hojo? :D

The question immediately arises is do you have a real zhuni teapot with which to test your nosaka against. I'm not disputing the possibility that the Nosaka could rival it but when I tested his Sado pot against his zhuni pot in his shop a few years back, the Sado couldn't compete. But his tune back then was Sado was very close to zhuni. It simply wasn't the case.

In ordering teas from him recently, I have also found his descriptions did not match what I found with the teas in 3 out of 5 cases. It wasn't that the product was inferior, it was that the product couldn't live up to the description (marketing) behind it. I think he is still a good vendor, though. But, he sets the mark high, maybe even too high for him to reach.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Ambrose » Dec 22nd, '11, 14:22

Tead Off wrote:
Ambrose wrote:I have had a nosaka pot for about 2 months now. It dramatically changes the taste of water. It becomes silky, sweet, high in a pure mineral aftertaste, due to the lower firing it also smooths the brew creating a super deep brew. I have tested it with many teas and I like it best for greens, dancong, some higher oxidized oolongs. It does work very well with many teas. However I do prefer good zhuni for light oxidized gaoshan, zini for sheng.

Are you channeling Hojo? :D

The question immediately arises is do you have a real zhuni teapot with which to test your nosaka against. I'm not disputing the possibility that the Nosaka could rival it but when I tested his Sado pot against his zhuni pot in his shop a few years back, the Sado couldn't compete. But his tune back then was Sado was very close to zhuni. It simply wasn't the case.

In ordering teas from him recently, I have also found his descriptions did not match what I found with the teas in 3 out of 5 cases. It wasn't that the product was inferior, it was that the product couldn't live up to the description (marketing) behind it. I think he is still a good vendor, though. But, he sets the mark high, maybe even too high for him to reach.




haha :D Yes I told Mr. Hojo directly as we talk quite frequently. We did bump heads about this. I do have a good zhuni pot indeed but it is not necessarily better for all teas than nosaka. In fact I only like 2 teas in the zhuni better, li shan from fu shou, and dayuling. Not that they dont taste great with nosaka. I just prefer it for those particular teas.

I found most all other teas taste better in nosaka quite greatly. For sheng I found a greater clarity and better note separation in zini.

I remember about the red sado the 80\20 blend. It was to be the same or greater than zhuni yixing. It was good but not quite there, yixing is just more complex and sado is very pure.

The nosaka mineral enhancement is a very pure mineral flavor. Truly his best clay yet.

I respect and trust in Hojo completely I feel he has recently become a bit extreme where before I thought he was about balance. :D

The first time I tried nosaka it was a very dramatic experience, completely drunk.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Tead Off » Dec 22nd, '11, 23:54

I, too, have respect for him. And, it's good that he's found a clay which can rival the best. What is the price range for these?
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Drax » Dec 23rd, '11, 11:22

I see some prices on a few pots on the Japanese page:

http://hojotea.com/item/shimizu_nosaka_kangen.htm

They look to run in the 11,000 to 19,000 yen range.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby auhckw » Dec 23rd, '11, 11:47

I purposely went to their shop to check them out with the intention of exploring/buying, but too bad the stock will only arrive Jan. There goes my impulse buying mood :lol:
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby auhckw » Dec 23rd, '11, 11:48

You can see the samples and price range here:
http://hojotea.com/item_e/available.htm

*Have to scroll down and find the item
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Sachacha » Feb 20th, '13, 00:29

Hello there,

Just want to share my experience with my new Nosaka oxydation clay teapot from Hojo. It was made by Shimizu Ken and apparently is as good if not better than Zhuni...

Well... not quite. It definitely brings out the sweetness and mellowness of water, prolonge the aftertaste in a sweet way, but unfortunately the teapot does seem to "steal" heady aromas (which I enjoy particularly) from the most aromatic teas (gao shan Oolong, dancong, Tie Guan Yin) like a hongni would do... I tried different "teapot fights" with many kinds of Oolongs and Pu Er since a few weeks now, a few slight wins for the Nosaka but for me, Zhuni wins clearly, it is more complex, sharper, precise.

Probably Nosaka would be very helpful with so-so teas, when you need to sandblast a few defects in the roasting, if some arshness in the tannins is present or if a additional sweetness is needed.

I'll continue to experiment, maybe there is hope on the green tea side... :?
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby NOESIS » Feb 20th, '13, 03:12

Tead Off wrote:
Ambrose wrote:I have had a nosaka pot for about 2 months now. It dramatically changes the taste of water. It becomes silky, sweet, high in a pure mineral aftertaste, due to the lower firing it also smooths the brew creating a super deep brew. I have tested it with many teas and I like it best for greens, dancong, some higher oxidized oolongs. It does work very well with many teas. However I do prefer good zhuni for light oxidized gaoshan, zini for sheng.

Are you channeling Hojo? :D

The question immediately arises is do you have a real zhuni teapot with which to test your nosaka against. I'm not disputing the possibility that the Nosaka could rival it but when I tested his Sado pot against his zhuni pot in his shop a few years back, the Sado couldn't compete. But his tune back then was Sado was very close to zhuni. It simply wasn't the case.

In ordering teas from him recently, I have also found his descriptions did not match what I found with the teas in 3 out of 5 cases. It wasn't that the product was inferior, it was that the product couldn't live up to the description (marketing) behind it. I think he is still a good vendor, though. But, he sets the mark high, maybe even too high for him to reach.


Agree on the (hype) marketing aspect. Like you, I think he is a good and honest vendor, but take his descriptions with a grain of salt....and hold on to your wallet. :lol:
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Teaism » Feb 20th, '13, 10:21

Personally I think there is no basis of comparison.

A Zhuni pot with lingering doubt of fake cost US 500 in the 1980s when a real Zisha pot cost 50 cents. I doubt many have seen a real Zhuni as it was extinct in the late 60s. So are we comparing with the real Zhuni?

Nosaka on the other hand is a genuine new teapot of good quality clay. At its price and performance, I dare to say it is underpriced compared to current Yixing pots. I have tested both before and they are totally different in terms of value, authenticity and performance.

So, personally for me, I really like to be realistic when such comparison is proposed. I would not pay US$5,000 to get a real Meng Chen Zhuni and put it next to a Nosaka pot for comparison. Both have to be appreciated based on their inherent value and quality. I may be wrong, but that is just my personal opinion. Frankly I am very impressed with Nosaka at its price. Just touch the Nosaka cover with water and you can really taste the water improved. At that price, compared with new Yixing pot, it is a steal. But a Zhuni with 40-50X Nosaka price, it is totally another different pot in another class and value.

Again, my personal opinion.

Happy tea-ing my friends :D
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Sachacha » Feb 20th, '13, 22:21

Teaism wrote:Personally I think there is no basis of comparison.

A Zhuni pot with lingering doubt of fake cost US 500 in the 1980s when a real Zisha pot cost 50 cents. I doubt many have seen a real Zhuni as it was extinct in the late 60s. So are we comparing with the real Zhuni?

Nosaka on the other hand is a genuine new teapot of good quality clay. At its price and performance, I dare to say it is underpriced compared to current Yixing pots. I have tested both before and they are totally different in terms of value, authenticity and performance.

So, personally for me, I really like to be realistic when such comparison is proposed. I would not pay US$5,000 to get a real Meng Chen Zhuni and put it next to a Nosaka pot for comparison. Both have to be appreciated based on their inherent value and quality. I may be wrong, but that is just my personal opinion. Frankly I am very impressed with Nosaka at its price. Just touch the Nosaka cover with water and you can really taste the water improved. At that price, compared with new Yixing pot, it is a steal. But a Zhuni with 40-50X Nosaka price, it is totally another different pot in another class and value.


In my opinion, when I compare some of my modern (fake) zhuni teapots -bought in China, one @US$500 the other one @US$350- which are really satisfying to me at brewing Oolongs (if those are awesome, what would it be with a real zhuni, enlightment?! :o ) with Nosaka I find indeed a different result, more polished, more mellowed... which I don't like as much. Am I a gaiwan freak that just started to enjoy yixing so I still search for that precise, almost untouched, aromatic character from the teas I steep and which I feel that I lose with Nosaka?

I still need to experiment with it, maybe with different waters. I know it is a great teapot, I might not have learned to appreciate it yet.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Chip » Feb 20th, '13, 23:30

I do not own a Zhuni ... and even if I did I do not think I would feel compelled to compare. I am certain I would continue to brew Japanese greens in Kyusu and Chinese teas in Chinese brew vessels of some kind. Maybe I am too aesthetic or A.R. ...

But I do own a few of these Kyusu ... I think the Nosaka clay kyusu requires a significant break in period. I purchased both the reduction and the oxygen fired versions made by Shimizu Ken from Hojo. I also purchased a Sado Red reduction fired also by Shimizu Ken. All three are 200 ml. (I also purchased a *** which has sat waiting for the time being)

I have not conducted exhaustive testing of water only in each nor done side by side testing ... not sure I ever will unless curiousity finally gets the better of me. And I have yet to draw any concrete conclusions in the exclusive use of brewing Japanese greens with these similar yet quite different 3 Kyusu, but I will say this ...

The Nosaka reduction rendered perhaps the best, most robust brewing of a particular Sencha I have brewed in just about every Kyusu I own. The aroma was most amazing. Nothing soft at all.

The Nosaka oxygen fired seems to come in second currently.

The Sado red reduction fired ... this is the one I feel "softens the blow" so to speak. I seem to notice this each time out ... but still work to be done.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby David R. » Feb 21st, '13, 10:34

I own a Nosaka teapot which I only use for japanese green teas. Yet I have tried it with every kind of teas I have. Although I think it is a great teapot, I won't use it with Oolongs, because I just love the result of my gaiwan with these teas, especially the green ones. This is a personal choice.

If your thing is aromas, head notes, porcelain is one of the best way to go, as far as I am concerned. You will save a lot of time, energy and money with sticking with (good quality) porcelain.

The Nosaka clay is more about enhancing the depth, more than aromas. I also use it to enhance my water when using another vessel.

And, I also think the regular reduction fired teapot from Shimizu Ken needs more breaking than the Nosaka.
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Re: Nosaka clay beats Zhuni clay?

Postby Sachacha » Feb 21st, '13, 22:50

David R. wrote: If your thing is aromas, head notes, porcelain is one of the best way to go, as far as I am concerned. You will save a lot of time, energy and money with sticking with (good quality) porcelain.

The Nosaka clay is more about enhancing the depth, more than aromas. I also use it to enhance my water when using another vessel.


I agree. It is just so different. The gaiwan is so simple yet being a powerful instrument. It is like a magnifying glass for tea. Isn't nice to have not only many teas available but also to rediscover them and bring out different feelings from each of them by choosing one or another teapot that will offer a different result? Tea is wonderful... :D
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