Nov 29th 08 4:46 am
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can I use these for gyokuro?

by inspectoring » Nov 29th 08 4:46 am

http://www.amazon.com/Bodum-2-Ounce-Dou ... 729&sr=8-1

Please keep in mind that they are 2 oz. The frequent problem I had was that when I would brew the tea - the tea would go cold before I finish it. I hope that this would not happen with these cups...

Thank you for your opinion...

The Image

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by olivierco » Nov 29th 08 4:39 pm

I usually brew gyokuro 3-4 ounces per brew, so these coups would be too small for me. Otherwise these kind of cups will retain heat better than normal cups.
You can also preheat the cups.

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by Chip » Nov 29th 08 4:45 pm

I brew the best gyokuro in around 2 ounces of water most of the time. Lesser grades I brew with more water.

I see no reason why you could not brew gyokuro in them.

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by Salsero » Nov 29th 08 6:03 pm

I have a set of these I have used for gong fu, but gyokuro would look pretty too. And the double-wall feature seems to keep things hot (or in the case of gyokuro, "warm") better than anything else. If you wind up with too much tea for one ... well, there's two cups!

I guess I will have to try a round of gyo in glass now.

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by Oni » Nov 29th 08 6:25 pm

I have a bit of experience brewing gyokuro, I brew it in houhin set, and the cups are very thin, I would be curious how a ceramic set would change the taste, practically after 2 minutes my cups are cold. I believe that a fine gyokuro that is rare and expencieve should be brewed in authentic japanese teaware not only for respect towards the makers and the japanese culture but also these teaware were ment to brew gyokuro, it seems these are perfect in every aspect, that is why a japanese teaware is so expencieve.

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by Space Samurai » Nov 29th 08 9:58 pm

I think they would work great. I have a larger Bodum glass and it definitely keeps things warmer.

Japanese isn't always a rigid culture. Many things, including tea, kyusu, were absorbed from China and other countries, and this is even more so the case now. So I don't see any reason not to pair great Japanese tea with modern tea ware.

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by olivierco » Nov 29th 08 10:14 pm

Space Samurai wrote:I think they would work great. I have a larger Bodum glass and it definitely keeps things warmer.

Japanese isn't a rigid culture. Many things, including tea, kyusu, were absorbed from China and other countries, and this is even more so the case now. So I don't see any reason not to pair great Japanese tea with modern tea ware.

+1

Chinese ustensils were even mandatory in Japan for many tea ceremony specialists (during 16th century for example).

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by Chip » Nov 30th 08 12:03 am

+1 more. I also think Japanese tea looks "intense" in glass!!!

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by britt » Nov 30th 08 5:39 pm

Oni wrote:I have a bit of experience brewing gyokuro, I brew it in houhin set, and the cups are very thin, I would be curious how a ceramic set would change the taste, practically after 2 minutes my cups are cold. I believe that a fine gyokuro that is rare and expencieve should be brewed in authentic japanese teaware not only for respect towards the makers and the japanese culture but also these teaware were ment to brew gyokuro, it seems these are perfect in every aspect, that is why a japanese teaware is so expencieve.
I agree with Oni on the preference of using thin, light brewing utensils and cups for gyokuro.

I have the Hokujo gyokuro set, including two cups and the water cooler, and they are all very thin and light. I have never seen a gyokuro set that was thick and heavy or that had double-walled cups. They're either extremely thin porcelain or extremely thin clay. I thought the whole point of gyokuro was cooler, cooler, and cooler. Thick, heavy, and double-walled utensils are usually used for darker teas.

The fact that dedicated gyokuro pots and cups are quite small, the Hokujo cups being only 0.8 ounce each, reduces the need to keep the tea hot for a long time, as an ounce of gyokuro won't likely last for very long even when sipped slowly.

Tradition shouldn't prohibit anyone from trying whatever they care to try, but it can lead us in the right direction and hopefully save us time and money. I was lucky to have purchased the awesome Hokujo gyokuro set from the very start. The results were excellent even the first time I brewed gyokuro in it. Out of curiosity, I later tried brewing in a small, standard Tokaname kyusu as a comparison. Great gyokuro became good gyokuro. If I had started this way, I may never have known the difference.

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by Oni » Nov 30th 08 5:46 pm

Right on, I had the same experience, I am lucky to have bought the set from Horaido, at first I wanted to settle for a less expencieve set, but than came my birthday and I thought I`ll buy the most expencieve handmade porcelain set.

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by olivierco » Nov 30th 08 5:59 pm

It is quite evident that brewing gyokuro in a small tokoname kyuusu in where the leaves have less room to expand and maybe some sencha had been brewed before would get a different result, but the initial question was about cups and as glass and porcelain are quite neutral to taste there isn't any reason not to drink gyokuro out of glass teacups (double lidded or not).

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by britt » Nov 30th 08 7:30 pm

olivierco wrote:It is quite evident that brewing gyokuro in a small tokoname kyuusu in where the leaves have less room to expand and maybe some sencha had been brewed before would get a different result,
This kyusu is very wide, low, and flat so should be more than adequate for leaf expansion. It is also much thicker and heavier than the Hokujo gyokuro set, even when taking the volume difference into account. It had been used to brew sencha before, although I doubt this had as much affect as the size and weight. I also brewed 6.0 ounces in it, versus about 1.5 ounces in the Hokujo gyokuro set. The proportion of leaf was the same; 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water.
olivierco wrote:but the initial question was about cups and as glass and porcelain are quite neutral to taste there isn't any reason not to drink gyokuro out of glass teacups (double lidded or not).
The question on the glass was not the material, but the thickness and heat retention of the double-walled cups and whether this characteristic is really desireable for gyokuro, which stresses cooler temperatures. Cooler temperatures usually mean thinner and lighter as far as the construction of the brewing vessel and cups go. It may be a a matter of opinion whether these characteristics are necessary to achieve the best results with gyokuro, but it is a fact that most if not all porcelain and clay teasets made specifically for gyokuro are smaller, thinner, and lighter than similar sets intended for use with sencha.

The original posted question was whether these cups were a good choice for gyokuro. In my opinion, they're probably not the best choice.

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by britt » Nov 30th 08 7:39 pm

Oni wrote:Right on, I had the same experience, I am lucky to have bought the set from Horaido, at first I wanted to settle for a less expencieve set, but than came my birthday and I thought I`ll buy the most expencieve handmade porcelain set.
There's nothing worse than buying the wrong items only to upgrade them later. This can be very expensive and I have definitely made this mistake many times. The gyokuro set was purchased from the start because gyokuro is so expensive that I felt the expenditure for the Hokujo set was justified. The vendor was good enough to supply me with plenty of info before I made the purchase. I was never sorry, and I have never felt the need for another "upgrade." This may have been my wisest teaware purchase so far.

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by olivierco » Nov 30th 08 8:31 pm

britt wrote:
This kyusu is very wide, low, and flat so should be more than adequate for leaf expansion. It is also much thicker and heavier than the Hokujo gyokuro set, even when taking the volume difference into account. It had been used to brew sencha before, although I doubt this had as much affect as the size and weight. I also brewed 6.0 ounces in it, versus about 1.5 ounces in the Hokujo gyokuro set. The proportion of leaf was the same; 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water.
If you don't weigh the leaves it is very difficult to make accurate comparison.
If sencha is brewed in a Tokoname teapot, you should be able to detect it as this clay is porous (less porous than Yixing, but porous anyway)
britt wrote: The question on the glass was not the material, but the thickness and heat retention of the double-walled cups and whether this characteristic is really desireable for gyokuro, which stresses cooler temperatures. Cooler temperatures usually mean thinner and lighter as far as the construction of the brewing vessel and cups go.
I don't understand why cooler temperature couldn't be obtained with double lidded cups. You actually have a better control of temperature with this kind of cups as they are less influenced by the temperature of the room you are in.

If the cups were such a crucial factor for drinking gyokuro, I guess Japanese people would have two types of cups, one for cold months and one for hot months, as it is the case for tea ceremony chawans. Moreover they most of the time preheat the cups.

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by Salsero » Nov 30th 08 10:41 pm

olivierco wrote: If the cups were such a crucial factor for drinking gyokuro, I guess Japanese people would have two types of cups, one for cold months and one for hot months, as it is the case for tea ceremony chawans. Moreover they most of the time preheat the cups.
Excellent point. As always, you see to see the essence remarkably well.