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
72
21%
2-3
75
22%
4-5
33
10%
6-7
7
2%
8-10
7
2%
11-14
5
1%
15 or more
5
1%
I USE 1
52
15%
2-3
52
15%
4-5
20
6%
6-7
2
1%
8-10
3
1%
11-14
2
1%
15 or more
5
1%
 
Total votes : 340

Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Noonie » Jan 24th, '14, 16:59

[quote="bliss"]No rim around the inside edge means that leaves are flushed out easily without getting caught when rinsing (sweet mother do I dislike trying to get leaves out from under a rim.quote]

I was rinsing today that I use at work. I removed the screen and thought to give her a good rinse before she's away for the weekend. I slid a paper towel up under the rim and wow - there was a lot of tea in there! Not sure how long it was there :oops:

I have a different one at home that cleans really easily. That is an often understated factor to consider when buying. You can see why the simple gaiwan is so effective (though I don't use one for sencha).
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby bliss » Jan 24th, '14, 17:26

Noonie wrote:
bliss wrote:No rim around the inside edge means that leaves are flushed out easily without getting caught when rinsing (sweet mother do I dislike trying to get leaves out from under a rim)


I was rinsing today that I use at work. I removed the screen and thought to give her a good rinse before she's away for the weekend. I slid a paper towel up under the rim and wow - there was a lot of tea in there! Not sure how long it was there :oops:

I have a different one at home that cleans really easily. That is an often understated factor to consider when buying. You can see why the simple gaiwan is so effective (though I don't use one for sencha).


Exactly. Making a rim-less teapot should definitely be credited. Gaiwans are wonderful. Quick to use, great control and quick to clean up and go do something else :D :arrow:
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby AdamMY » Jan 24th, '14, 21:29

Chip wrote:Can a Kyusu enthusiast ever feel right w/o a Hokujo Tokoname Kyusu? I don't think so. I had wanted one for years, knew I "needed" one, but kept putting it off til recently ... possibly because despite being very nice, they are always readily available.

A few months back, it was time, Artistic Nippon stocked some of these smaller ones in this interesting burnt orange hue. This one is about 240 ml.

Having used this one extensively, I find it is very user friendly and a cinch to clean due to the wide opening. It also pours perfectly though not as fast as the Koshin. And no dribbles here as it has a special thingy (technically speaking) at the tip of the spout.

This one and the above posted Hoshin share similarities on several fronts, but this is much lighter and more delicate.

Image

I am looking for a nice Hokujo now with Mogake ... the challenge being most are too big.


Where have I seen a kyusu like that before? :mrgreen:

I dare say I have its Twin:

Image
Sencha Mix on a Snowy Saturday (2) by Adam Yusko, on Flickr


And please confirm my opinions on these kyusu, or maybe this is just the highest quality kyusu I have. But I dare say this Kyusu feels lighter than my Gyokko kyusu which is only 90ml. The Hokujo Kyusu used to scare me, now I love it so much most other kyusu feel unnaturally heavy, but the hokujo handles like you are holding a feather in your hand! Do you feel the same Chip? Or do you have other Kyusu that are just as light and *delicate* or more so than the Hokujo?
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 24th, '14, 23:13

I would agree that the Hokujo Tokoname Kyusu are lighter and also thinner walled than many ... but not all. Its lightness never scared me (but I will tell you of the very first light one I picked up at Ito-en NY one day if I did not already) as it just felt so natural in hand.

For what I paid for this Hokujo, it represents a pretty good value, and the Gyokko one (also like yours) is also a very good value for its price.

Why I virtually never reach for the Gyokko kyusu is a mystery to me ... while I have already used the Hokujo likely hundreds of times which is not a mystery to me as it is a wonderful kyusu in every respect.

So, while I do not expect to go out of my way to purchase another Gyokko, I am already plotting another Hokujo or two. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby AdamMY » Jan 25th, '14, 00:24

Chip wrote:I would agree that the Hokujo Tokoname Kyusu are lighter and also thinner walled than many ... but not all. Its lightness never scared me (but I will tell you of the very first light one I picked up at Ito-en NY one day if I did not already) as it just felt so natural in hand.

For what I paid for this Hokujo, it represents a pretty good value, and the Gyokko one (also like yours) is also a very good value for its price.

Why I virtually never reach for the Gyokko kyusu is a mystery to me ... while I have already used the Hokujo likely hundreds of times which is not a mystery to me as it is a wonderful kyusu in every respect.

So, while I do not expect to go out of my way to purchase another Gyokko, I am already plotting another Hokujo or two. :mrgreen:



I think I realized my issue with the Gyokko, but again your mileage may vary. But so people know what we are talking about picture:
Image
Gyokko Tiny Yohen Kyusu by Adam Yusko, on Flickr

I dare say it is too small to use on a regular basis. The SO 8 Super Aoi small wans are a perfect size for that kyusu's size. But if I want to use pretty much any other Yunomi I have it fills it less than I am comfortable with. I hate feeling like I am using only 40% of a cup maybe 50% at best on some of these. So I expect to dig it out again in the spring/ summer when it is not so cold that a cup that size would be cold before I could even take a sip.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 25th, '14, 13:31

bliss wrote:I'd say my Kobiwako kyusu has a pretty clean pour without any dribbling. If I'm too quick it comes out of the lid of course, but that doesn't really count.

Things that really stood out to me when I got it and used it compared to previous kyusus:
  • Simplicity and extremely understated (almost made me worried until I brewed up with it)
  • Depressed lid-knob makes for nice ergonomic handling when placing the finger on it, besides general sexiness
  • Slightly less than 90 degrees between spout and handle makes for a wonderful introvert pour-experience (!)
  • No rim around the inside edge means that leaves are flushed out easily without getting caught when rinsing (sweet mother do I dislike trying to get leaves out from under a rim. I associate it with cutting my fingers on sharp tin-can rims. No likie :evil: )

Regarding the clay I've spent too little time with one single sencha to say how the clay affects the brew. I've enjoyed all the sessions with it though. Maybe I should set up an A/B-test with my non-flat porcelain shiboridashi?

My old kyusu is serving as a lovely Hojicha-device nowadays :mrgreen:

I also note that the 200 and larger sizes have a more bulbous handle while the smaller sizes have a flared handle for better handling of the small size ... this is quite a simple thing, but it does show that the artisan Junzo Maekawa is thinking, what handle would work best for smaller versus larger kyusu. Many artisan do not make such adjustments. :idea: :!: :arrow:
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby saxon75 » Jan 25th, '14, 15:29

Can you comment on how the Kobiwako clay affects the tea, Chip?
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 25th, '14, 15:52

saxon75 wrote:Can you comment on how the Kobiwako clay affects the tea, Chip?

I am still working on this, but it seems to me that I can brew a significantly higher ratio without too much of the "noise" that can interfere with the enjoyment of the heightened, enriched, and intensified flavors. More good flavors with better focus, clarity come through as a result. The flavors are rich, deep.

I think if I tried this with certain other kyusu/pots, the results would have too much of the noisy distractions that creates a blurry profile and may leave me thinking, hmm ... I added too much leaf.

Having said that, I happened to notice similarly positive results with a few other pots as of late, including the Petr pot I just posted yesterday.

It simply seems to make the most of what is in the leaf ... not add to it.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 25th, '14, 16:19

AdamMY wrote: I dare say it is too small to use on a regular basis. The SO 8 Super Aoi small wans are a perfect size for that kyusu's size. But if I want to use pretty much any other Yunomi I have it fills it less than I am comfortable with. I hate feeling like I am using only 40% of a cup maybe 50% at best on some of these. So I expect to dig it out again in the spring/ summer when it is not so cold that a cup that size would be cold before I could even take a sip.

This could be true for me as well, at least partly.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 25th, '14, 16:36

Hagi Noutomi Susumu Kyusu, tebineri (pinched). Today brewing up a superlative Tsuyu Hikari fukamushi.

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 25th, '14, 21:27

I have finally come to terms with this Mukuhara Kashun Kyusu ... sometimes it takes a while to figure out a Kyusu and its use. This is Hagi, the screen is not like Tokoname. The Kyusu is a bit big. It seemed big and clunky ... but coming back to it after a few months of "cooling off," I really enjoy using it ... especially with the similarly glazed yunomi and yuzamashi. The pieces work seamlessly together. .

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 26th, '14, 22:43

A ring of Tokoname Kyusu by Touju. All mimic tetsubin and the newest member tortoise. They are fun to use adding whimsy to tea while still brewing a serious cup of sencha.

They have medium sized ball screens which work very well, but for extreme fukamushi some attention to the later pours is a good idea. I am pleased with what I paid for each as prices have escalated quite drastically. I managed to buy then at around 60% of current pricing or less.

Quick slideshow ... http://s285.photobucket.com/user/Teamaa ... me%20Kyusu

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby debunix » Jan 26th, '14, 23:20

Adore that rounded one especially, with the nubbly tetsubin look. Nice collection, as a whole.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Jan 28th, '14, 00:18

Shimizu Ken's Sado Nosaka Yellow clay. 200 ml. Revisted.

Of the 4 Shimizu Ken Kyusu I purchased ... right before the "Yen Crash," this is the one I clearly enjoy using the most. I really enjoy using it and feel it offers excellent brewing results.

Today, brewed Tenryu Special Edition magnificently. Its appearance does not seem to have changed much depite pretty much use. Many Kyusu I have used show virtually immediate and dramatic signs of use, patina, especially interior. This interior still looks brand new to me as well as the exterior ... and does not appear to dribble.

Isn't it ... purty! :mrgreen:

Image

5th steep of Tenryu Special Edition asamushi ... and the leaves almost seem to refuse to clog things up despite the minimalistic direct-wall screen. Fukamushi ... well not so lucky, but still very doable with care in pouring.Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby kikula » Jan 28th, '14, 11:06

Beautiful wares, Chip! Love that tortoise teapot, it has tiny tortoisey feet on the bottom, yes? I window shop so widely that I often recognize items that appear in here from my various wishlists and am happy that they find homes with TCers!
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