Lachlan wrote:I'll shortly be getting a Bizen teapot and a Bizen cup, and am hoping for any information people can provide.
My main questions are:
How to care for them.
Whether they are something to only use one type of tea in
Any other answers to questions I'm too ignorant to ask but need to know
In my opinion, the unglazed Bizen is a very good choice for either tea or sake. Although I'm not that familiar with Bizen and it's taken some time to get used to some of the pieces as far as looks go, what I do have is very pleasant to use. I have one Bizen cup and one 1 + 2 sake set and the taste of tea and sake when using them is exceptionally good. The sake set is one of the ugliest I've seen, but I still prefer to use it over others that are much more pleasant to look at and cost much more. Some call the looks of Bizen "dynamic" because they change drastically as you move around the surface of the piece.
I'm told by vendors who carry Bizen that it's almost impossible to predict beforehand what a piece will look like when it comes out of the kiln, and that it's also close to impossible to get two pieces that match. The loss rate is also very high with about three pieces out of every ten surviving the firing process.
For both tea and sake ware, I rinse with very hot water and let them air dry. Since these pieces are unglazed clay, I never use any soap or detergent.
I only use the Bizen cup for sencha, but I use it for many different variations of sencha. I really don't know how much they will pick up the flavor of the tea. I do know that every tea I've used them for tastes very good in them. The same goes for the sake set.