Okay, I tried my beginners kit for the first time today.
I think a need I different thermometer. I used one similar to the one in the picture. The water got up to a rolling boil before it registered the required 175F ( 79C )
I also made the tea too strong. I'm still waiting on O-cha to get back to me on an approximate volume measurement for the required 0.6g per ounce.
The pot I ordered ( picture further up in this thread ) barely held 8 ounces. There was a bit of a mess. Yes, I know, the Japanese drink tea out of little cups. I might try getting some glass gaiwans ( I enjoy seeing the tea ).
Will a different thermometer or a Japanese "tea" spoon make any substantive difference at this point?
All in all, even with these first time fumblings I could taste the difference with getting a better quality green tea and one prepared the Japanese way. I can't articulate what, but there was something appealing about the taste that was not lost though I made it too strong. I also liked that the tea stayed more green than yellow as it sat in my cup.
Is rinsing the pot out with water adequate as far as cleaning goes?