Dec 27th, '12, 18:39
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Teapot(s) to get?

by dimyself » Dec 27th, '12, 18:39

So, I want a decent teapot for all around tea flavor. I *mostly* drink green or jasmine tea, however I drink others as well (black, oolong, jasmine, flavored tea, etc...).

I'm new to teapots and want to make the right decision on teapot TYPE and SIZE. I'm currently looking for eiter a porcelain/glass or tokoname or both (porcelain for various teas and tokoname for just jasmine or just green). ... eindex.htm

What do yall think? Also, what sizes would be best???

Also, what cups would be best and are the cups really necessary or can i just drink from glass cups?

I should point out i already have teavana plastic strainer cups and a cast iron tea pot...

Last edited by dimyself on Dec 27th, '12, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Dec 27th, '12, 20:54
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by Chip » Dec 27th, '12, 20:54

If you are looking for a Kyusu style pot that will handle all types of teas, then you are better off with a glazed pot like the "Shincha Kyusu" from Den's.

Brewing a scented (like jasmine) tea or too many types of teas in an unglazed kyusu or any pot is not a good idea. I know this from personal experience with my first kyusu (though I did not brew any flavored nor scented teas in it).

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Dec 27th, '12, 21:00
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by Evan Draper » Dec 27th, '12, 21:00

I can't speak to the finer points of kyusu, but it sounds like you are already clear that non-porous is the best choice for multi-tea-duty, and unglazed works better with single tea type. I always say smaller is better when it comes to teapots, and I wouldn't let anyone tell you you need special cups, unless the size of your existing ones are way too big or small for the volume your teapot handles. I don't know as much as many people on here, but I think a good principle is to stick with your current teaware until its limitations become apparent. That way, you will know exactly what you're looking for in a replacement. And you will also stave off the teaware buying bug as long as possible....

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Dec 27th, '12, 21:04
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by debunix » Dec 27th, '12, 21:04

You picked some lovely pots. A couple of points that might help: I would only brew jasmine in a glazed pot, to minimize carryover of the jasmine flavor to the next pot of tea. Most of the Tokoname pots are not glazed inside, and shouldn't be used for jasmine unless you're going to use one exclusively for jasmine.

Size really depends on how you like to brew up your tea. If you brew a lot of jasmine via single infusion, and then enjoy it from a large mug, or always share it with someone else, then a pint teapot makes sense. If you try to get two or three brews out of it, a smaller teapot--5-8 oz--might better. If you enjoy your favorite greens to the 5th or 6th infusion, a 4-6 oz pot might do.

I most often brew my green teas in 4-6 oz teapots, 3-6 infusions per batch of leaves, sometimes glazed or glass pots that have to serve several different teas, sometimes unglazed pots reserved for greens. I've had one of the Dens premium sencha pots, and replaced it primarily for the aesthetics of a more simply decorated pot, not for any problems in performance. I adore my lone tokoname pot for any greens but jasmine.

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Dec 27th, '12, 22:21
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by Poohblah » Dec 27th, '12, 22:21

You're going to want a teapot made of glazed ceramic, porcelain or other neutral material. Unglazed clay pots, like those tokoname pots or chinese yixing pots, are generally made to brew a specific kind of tea, and won't give the best results if you mix teas or use something that doesn't match well with the clay. Unsurprisingly, Japanese pots (like those ones on artistic nippon), are best with Japanese green teas while Chinese yixing pots tend to be best with Chinese oolong and pu'er teas.

As far as size goes, that's for you to decide. It depends on 1) how many people you're usually serving and 2) how you brew your tea. Given what information you've told us, I suspect you're probably brewing a mug or cup of tea at a time for yourself or maybe a couple people. Those of us who delve more deeply into the hobby of tea, or those of us who come from an East Asian background, tend to brew much smaller amounts at once but usually compensate with repeated brewing. However I'm going to assume that you probably brew "Western style," i.e. toss a tablespoon or two of leaves into a pot, fill with boiling water, and let sit for a few minutes. If this is the case, then read on. If it's not the case, then I would suspect that you know more about tea than you're letting on.

A coffee mug is usually one cup or 8oz or about 250mL in size, so if we use that as a standard measurement, then a 250mL pot will brew one cup of tea at a time for yourself. Keep in mind that you can always use a bigger pot of tea to brew smaller amounts of tea - to a point. It's impossible to brew 80 or 100mL of tea in a one liter pot. So 250mL / 8oz is a starting point for size. I wouldn't go much below that for now, or else you'll find yourself lacking tea. Of course you can and should break this "rule" if, like deb pointed out, you tend to brew many many steepings of tea. But my hunch is that you usually don't brew more than 3 or 4 steepings of a tea before tossing the leaves. Forgive me if I'm wrong ;)

A few other points to consider.

First, the filter. Artisan pots like those on Artistic Nippon usually come with a ceramic filter. These are great for high quality, whole leaf teas. However, dustier teas like most jasmine teas, supermarket grade loose-leaf tea, herbals, and so on need a finer filter. Usually stainless steel mesh is a good choice, though some people feel that it alters the taste of the tea. Frankly, I don't think it's a big deal most of the time. You can find pots that have a stainless steel filter at the spout, which is nice because the leaves can expand in the body of the pot, or you can find teapots that use a basket filter, which is ten times easier to clean up, plus you can simply lift the basket out of the pot to prevent overbrewing if you're not going to drink the whole pot all at once.

Second, if you just want a pretty pot, there are many places to find that, and you shouldn't worry so much about what we're saying. If you're looking for something that's more on the practical side, then there are many other, much cheaper brewing tools than a teapot that will serve you better. If you're looking for a mix of form and function that a teapot provides, then the advice in this thread so far is worth heeding.

Third, in terms of cups - get some cups that you like to look at, will hold the right amount of tea, and that don't get too hot when you hold them. Some tips - thick ceramics and cast iron get really hot. Too-big handleless cups are nice because, if filled only halfway, the rim generally doesn't get too hot to hold. Most important is that you like them. The more you like them, the more you'll use them. Again, stick to porcelain, glass, glazed stoneware - something neutral.

Hope this helps,
hope you enjoy many cups of tea.

(let us know if you just want links to places that sell the kind of teapot you want - we're happy to oblige :) )

Dec 28th, '12, 02:16
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by dimyself » Dec 28th, '12, 02:16

how about this pot? it's big', however being that it's round circle it should be easy to judge water level.... what do y'all think? this seems good for small - large brews? ... white.html

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Dec 28th, '12, 02:39
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by AdamMY » Dec 28th, '12, 02:39

That last one looks nice, and a good all around pot. Even looks easily usable for Western style brewing so even if you don't migrate to many very small brews, you should be able to use it as long as you keep drinking tea, for any tea you want to brew in it.

With that in mind, if you do migrate to the many small brews, that pot will seem like overkill. As a typical brew of mine in that pot would look like someone just forgot to empty it all the way, probably being only a centimeter deep.

As I was writing this a thought that did occur to me is, if you do use it for Western brewing you will likely not want to use the built in strainer unless you always empty the pot completely after each steep into your and your guests cups.

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Dec 28th, '12, 02:50
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by MarshalN » Dec 28th, '12, 02:50

Have you considered a gaiwan? It's more versatile than any teapot. It has drawbacks (relative difficulty to use, easy to break if not careful) but it can handle anything.

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Dec 28th, '12, 02:54
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by Poohblah » Dec 28th, '12, 02:54

dimyself wrote:how about this pot? it's big', however being that it's round circle it should be easy to judge water level.... what do y'all think? this seems good for small - large brews? ... white.html
Hello again dimyself,
I think this pot is all-around more practical than the others you have come up with previously. Adam brings up some good points as well. I think that if you really want to get the most practical teapot, you can find something like this at your nearest kitchenware store or teahouse. They're cheap, widely available, and easy to use. Personally I think that it's a little bit ugly - but that's personal preference.

Keep in mind that it will be $20 to $40 to ship from Japan via Artistic Nippon, in case this affects your decision.

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Dec 28th, '12, 07:31
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Re: Teapot(s) to get?

by sherubtse » Dec 28th, '12, 07:31

MarshalN wrote:Have you considered a gaiwan? It's more versatile than any teapot. It has drawbacks (relative difficulty to use, easy to break if not careful) but it can handle anything.
This is a good suggestion, depending on how much tea you brew at once.

I have a gaiwan that holds about 5 oz. of water, and use it to brew all of my non-Japanese teas. It works like a charm, and is very easy to clean with some baking soda. It is my main "teapot".

Best wishes,

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