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
79
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
55
16%
4-5
20
6%
6-7
2
1%
8-10
3
1%
11-14
2
1%
15 or more
5
1%
 
Total votes : 354

Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Feb 10th, '14, 22:04

Teaism wrote:Nice one Chip. I am a fan of Yohei but that one I really fell in love is sitting in my friend's living room. Have been stalking Yohei and hopefully grab one nice in future.
In the meatime, I am happy with the few Kyushu from Toju, Tokuju, S Ken etc.

This is the Hokuju piece which I currently enjoy using.
Image

Sweet mogake wood-fired(?) Hokujo, Teaism! From the Tokoname.or.jp site? I remember seeing this Kyusu there.

Hope you will post the Toju (Touju?) and Shimizu Ken!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Teaism » Feb 10th, '14, 22:53

Thanks Chip.

Yes from that site. It is still there and labelled as "Sold" . I am not sure about the firing though

I will take some photos of other kyusus and post later. I enjoy collecting kyusu and have about at least 15 or more. They are fairly priced and has that zen like feel. The quality and workmanship is also very high and most important, the chances of adultering that clay is lesser as compared to new Yixing.
The most precious ones I have are the 3 Masaki Tachi shiragaki from Hojo in 3 different sizes. They brew tea beautifully.

I am playing with the kobiwako clay now and found it very interesting and good. I spent half a day with Akira last year and gave him some tips on how to improve the design for tea brewing and this current batch design has improved.

hmmm... really nice to talk about on kyusu. :D

Cheers!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby bliss » Feb 11th, '14, 06:04

Nice post Teaism, it generates a lot of questions in my head (together with your post the other day that you prefer kyusus often nowadays to modern Yixing).

1. Do you brew puerh, yancha, gaoshan and other teas in kyusus? Gong fu style?
2. Do you pair kyusus based on clay and/or other factors, or do you not dedicate pots to certain teas?
3. How do you cope with the bigger sizes of kyusus? Brew more? Partial fillings with other teas than green? Try to only source small kyusus?

Sorry about lining up all the questions like this. I did not mean for this to feel/look "formal", it just came out that way when I tried to organize my thoughts on this matter.

Thanks!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Teaism » Feb 11th, '14, 07:15

bliss wrote:Nice post Teaism, it generates a lot of questions in my head (together with your post the other day that you prefer kyusus often nowadays to modern Yixing).

1. Do you brew puerh, yancha, gaoshan and other teas in kyusus? Gong fu style?
2. Do you pair kyusus based on clay and/or other factors, or do you not dedicate pots to certain teas?
3. How do you cope with the bigger sizes of kyusus? Brew more? Partial fillings with other teas than green? Try to only source small kyusus?

Sorry about lining up all the questions like this. I did not mean for this to feel/look "formal", it just came out that way when I tried to organize my thoughts on this matter.

Thanks!



Hi Bliss,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Well, I do is always experimental and I might be wrong or right. If you like to know, here's what I normally do:

1. Do you brew puerh, yancha, gaoshan and other teas in kyusus? Gong fu style?

Yes of course. Pot is part of the tea brewing component. Any pot can brew with any tea and any style. The trick is to control the brew. Some pot have wider and some narrower margin of error tolerance.

2. Do you pair kyusus based on clay and/or other factors, or do you not dedicate pots to certain teas?

I would say I am more incline to consider them base on clay. Usually, I try to judge the porosity and temperature retention of the pot to control the brew. But still, all pots and tea can be brew together. It is how we control it.

3. How do you cope with the bigger sizes of kyusus? Brew more? Partial fillings with other teas than green? Try to only source small kyusus?

Well, it is still back to the same answer, the brewing control. I can brew Gongfu Yancha for one or for 12, with kyusu, gaiwan or yixing or even with thermal flask... it is how you control the brew. Before that try to visualise what brew you want. Sometimes I use 10g per 100ml and sometimes 1g for 500ml. The most important is what you want to achieve in the brew.

Generally at home, I throw a few leaves (usually aged puer) in a 500ml pot and brew them thin for whole day drinking. If I have time, I do the espresso style Gongfu..etc

I always like to think out of the box, but watch what I want to achieve.

You should try out all means so that your understanding develop further. I am still learning from all these variations.

Cheers!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby bliss » Feb 11th, '14, 08:46

Thanks for the great answers, they make a lot of sense and are refreshing given that there is a lot of dogma around tea. When there are so many parameters that can be modified, it's hard to know how big or small the impact is of changing certain parameters. Keeping track of everything that goes into brewing, in addition to the tea itself (terroir/cultivar/picking/processing/storage) means a lot of parameter juggling. Enjoyable journey, but far from easy. It's all about baby steps and keeping a beginner's mind.

I try to approach the brewing process quite slowly and soak up the differences as I go along with a sort of right-brain approach, relying on senses and intuition. Not super-systematic at the moment as I'm worrying that being too technical at this stage might interfere with the serenity of the tea time. There will definitely be A/B tests in the future though since I'm aware of the pitfalls of conditioning and pre-conceived ideas.

I've been using a kyusu from Andrzej Bero lately for yancha. The fact that it does not come from Japan made it easier for me to snap out of the silly "a kyusu is for japanese green tea" kind of thinking :lol:
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Fuut » Feb 11th, '14, 10:12

bliss wrote:Enjoyable journey, but far from easy. It's all about baby steps and keeping a beginner's mind.


This seems to strike me as being of the utmost importance to master anything! Good advise, I'll take that if you don't mind.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby bliss » Feb 11th, '14, 11:21

Fuut wrote:
bliss wrote:Enjoyable journey, but far from easy. It's all about baby steps and keeping a beginner's mind.


This seems to strike me as being of the utmost importance to master anything! Good advise, I'll take that if you don't mind.


Definitely! I hope it did not seem as the term originated from me though. It's a Zen Buddhist concept called Shoshin.

Before I venture too off-topic, I'd like to recommend this book: The Inner Game of Tennis. It's not so much about tennis (one chapter at most) as about learning a skill and all that goes into that mentally and learning-wise. It has changed how I approach things, not least Tea, and is probably the most practical and applied "mindfulness book" I've come across (sorry for using such an abused book categorisation, but this will probably be the most clear description).

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Feb 13th, '14, 18:14

Teaism wrote:The most precious ones I have are the 3 Masaki Tachi shiragaki from Hojo in 3 different sizes. They brew tea beautifully.

hmmm... really nice to talk about on kyusu. :D

Cheers!

For you ...

Masaki Tachi Shigaraki Clay Teapot ... robbing me of the last drop. Yes, this is simply as perfect a Kyusu as I can find in my collection. :mrgreen: I wish I had a few sizes as well!!!

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby bliss » Feb 13th, '14, 19:31

Chip wrote:Image

I never get tired of seeing these. Stunning clay, shape and craft. I'd love to brew up with one of these one day!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Feb 13th, '14, 19:43

bliss wrote:I never get tired of seeing these. Stunning clay, shape and craft. I'd love to brew up with one of these one day!

I lucked out on this one. It was on our TeaSwap and was virtually unused. I fully trusted the seller. Managed to swap an item that although was very cool, it was not getting used ...
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Feb 17th, '14, 03:59

Chip,

What's the size on this one...and do you know if this one was originally bought from Hojo before it came to you? Ever since first seeing Hojo's tea site I have watched to see if these would show up again and they never do. Seems a rare and beautiful find; I really appreciate the earthy tone, grainy texture, and shape. It's nice to finally see one of these and to see it in use!

Blessings!
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Feb 17th, '14, 15:59

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:Chip,

What's the size on this one...and do you know if this one was originally bought from Hojo before it came to you? Ever since first seeing Hojo's tea site I have watched to see if these would show up again and they never do. Seems a rare and beautiful find; I really appreciate the earthy tone, grainy texture, and shape. It's nice to finally see one of these and to see it in use!

I am guessing around 190 ml. It is smaller but not tiny. Yes, from Hojo originally. It is truly a masterpiece of a Kyusu!

I do not use it for everyday use, perhaps for the very reason you state, it is seemingly not replaceable. And I am guessing Hojo has a proprietary agreement of some kind regarding the clay/artisan pairing.
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Feb 17th, '14, 18:30

Black Kinsai kyusu by Maekawa Junzo, second session. This time was with a second session of Ran sencha from Hakinowado. It performed quite well!

Image

Image

The interior clay surface is quite rough ... a rough sandy clay. Sorry, phone cannot really pick this up ...

Image

A very fast pourer with a wide opening spout paired with a nice sasame screen. It is clear that the artisan placed a high priority on this function.

Image

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby Chip » Feb 17th, '14, 20:52

... well, since you asked. Masaki Tachi Shigaraki Clay Teapot in its natural state of brewing sencha.

Image
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Re: Ode to the Kyusu

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Feb 17th, '14, 22:38

Chip wrote:... well, since you asked. Masaki Tachi Shigaraki Clay Teapot in its natural state of brewing sencha.

Image


Wow...this is a much better picture; it really highlights the rotund curves of the pot's shape. I really like the handle as well. I'm curious how you would describe the clay's action on tea. What does the clay do for the tea you pour in it?

It's only in the last year that I cast a sincere eye towards Japanese tea and teaware with any intent and I'm also curious about the effect you find of any of the various kyusu in your collection on tea. I've enjoyed the reports thus far and all the pictures. As someone else said, I believe it was kikula, the collection has an aura of intention to it. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings!
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