User avatar
Sep 5th 08 1:57 am
Posts: 1633
Joined: Feb 15th 08 3:15 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

how to pick a chawan

by shogun89 » Sep 5th 08 1:57 am

Hey guys,

I just found that my Wegmans has matcha! They have alot of chawans that look really nice, they are Japanese made and are glazed. The clay on the exposed on the underside is white. As you can tell I know nothing about Matcha ware, but would like to get one of these, but dont know if its any good or not. How does one choose a Chawan.

User avatar
Sep 5th 08 2:27 am
Posts: 1953
Joined: Apr 6th 08 11:02 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

by chamekke » Sep 5th 08 2:27 am

This is a bit on the technical side, but in case it might help:

What to look for in a chawan, part 1
What to look for in a chawan, part 2
______________________

"Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on."
- Billy Connolly

User avatar
Sep 5th 08 5:31 am
Posts: 452
Joined: Jun 15th 06 5:04 pm
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

by bearsbearsbears » Sep 5th 08 5:31 am

chamekke wrote:This is a bit on the technical side, but in case it might help:

What to look for in a chawan, part 1
What to look for in a chawan, part 2
This is also a useful guide for considerations when *making* chawan. :shock: Thanks!

User avatar
Sep 5th 08 6:31 pm
Posts: 216
Joined: Aug 20th 08 8:08 pm
Location: PA, USA

Re: how to pick a chawan

by Smari » Sep 5th 08 6:31 pm

shogun89 wrote:Hey guys,

I just found that my Wegmans has matcha!
I wished my Wegmans had matcha, or least I think they don't. I probably was looking in the wrong section of the mart. The only ceramics they have here in the PA one are English tea wares and the such, which I'm not interested in. Booo...

Don't forget to share with us your findings!
Tea tea tea... I like tea...

User avatar
Sep 5th 08 6:38 pm
Posts: 1136
Joined: Dec 2nd 07 10:53 pm
Location: New York

by joelbct » Sep 5th 08 6:38 pm

chamekke wrote:This is a bit on the technical side, but in case it might help:

What to look for in a chawan, part 1
What to look for in a chawan, part 2
"Secondly, you need to present the guest with a comfortable drinking surface, and it’s not generally pleasant to drink from a cup whose rim is jagged or coarse."

".... However, Sensei - my teacher - does not care for the kabuto style because, she says, tea practitioners with sensitive fingers may find it a little painful to hold (especially when pouring out the rinse water as host)."

Great blog post, lots of useful info!

But I find the concern about comfort level in the Tea Ceremony a bit ironic. 30+ minutes of the "sitting-on-your-calves position" was to me not very comfortable ;)

User avatar
Sep 5th 08 7:03 pm
Posts: 2299
Joined: Oct 23rd 06 11:46 pm
Location: Seattle Area

by tenuki » Sep 5th 08 7:03 pm

joelbct wrote:I find the concern about comfort level in the Tea Ceremony a bit ironic. 30+ minutes of the "sitting-on-your-calves position" was to me not very comfortable ;)
Hahah, so true. You have pics / links to your Ceremony location, etc?

The good news is you can grow accustom to it. I study Aikido and after about a month of sitting in seiza for 20 minutes a couple days a week the pain starts diminishing. So get right on it Joel!!

I have one chawan with a bit of courseness on the rim and I actually like it a lot, it's my preferred daily.
Do something different, something different will happen. ( Gong Fu Garden )

User avatar
Sep 5th 08 7:05 pm
Posts: 1633
Joined: Feb 15th 08 3:15 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

by shogun89 » Sep 5th 08 7:05 pm

Great sources! Thank you very much. I am still considering to buy it, I t costs $20, a Chinese whisk coast $13 and matcha for $8.

User avatar
Sep 6th 08 1:42 am
Posts: 1953
Joined: Apr 6th 08 11:02 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

by chamekke » Sep 6th 08 1:42 am

joelbct wrote: Great blog post, lots of useful info!

But I find the concern about comfort level in the Tea Ceremony a bit ironic. 30+ minutes of the "sitting-on-your-calves position" was to me not very comfortable ;)
Well, there is the kind of discomfort which the host can do something about... and there's the kind which cannot be helped, and which just has to be endured by the guest :)

More seriously - my group has several students who are simply unable, even with practice, to sit seiza (because of bad knees, age, etc.). Those students practice exclusively the Ryurei style, which was originally developed in the 19th century as a way of introducing tea ceremony to westerners. This approach involves using chairs and tables:

Image

However, it lacks some of the intimacy of the tatami room, as well as the full range of "ceremonies" that are possible there.

For those of us who choose to tough it out in the tatami room, discomfort can be relieved during tea classes by relaxing into a "sidesaddle" sitting position on occasion, or even by perching on a discreet little cushion. However, during official/formal events it's a whole other story, so sooner or later you have to build up endurance.

If it's any help... most Japanese find it painful, too.

User avatar
Sep 6th 08 2:07 am
Posts: 1548
Joined: Jun 8th 07 5:00 pm
Location: 3161 A.D.

by Wesli » Sep 6th 08 2:07 am

How to pick a chawan?

The only advice I can give is that you want one that is wide enough to allow a good whisking. The chawans that are not wide make whisking a tedious job.

Other than that, just pick one you like.

User avatar
Sep 6th 08 1:09 pm
Posts: 763
Joined: Jun 7th 08 3:47 pm

by britt » Sep 6th 08 1:09 pm

shogun89 wrote:Great sources! Thank you very much. I am still considering to buy it, I t costs $20, a Chinese whisk coast $13 and matcha for $8.
Chawan- since you're not doing formal tea ceremony, all you need to worry about is getting one you like that is also functional. A bowl 4.5 to 5.0 inches in diameter and about 3.0 inches tall should give you enough room to whisk without splattering it all over the place. A relatively large, flat bottom should also help, compared to tenmoku type chawan with very sloped sides and only a small flat circle in the bottom. The smaller whisking area can be annoying, at least at the beginning.

Whisk- On another forum it was noted that the bamboo used for Chinese whisks is not properly aged or dried like its Japanese counterpart, and some claim that fungicides are used to prevent mold from forming. To me, whisking nice pure matcha with a fungicide treated whisk doesn't cut it. It's also claimed that the Chinese whisks don't last as long. I can't verify these things because I've never bought a Chinese made whisk and I have no intention of ever doing so.

Matcha- an $8 can of matcha from a market may very well be food grade matcha, meaning it is intended for cooking. It won't hurt you, but it may give you a bad impression. I started this way without knowing better, wondering what all the hype was about. When I finally purchased a decent grade of matcha intended for drinking, it was in a different league altogether. All I'm saying is if you're unhappy with the results, don't write off the whole matcha thing based on the $8 can. It can get much, much better!

User avatar
Jun 25th 21 8:25 am
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 25th 21 8:15 am
Location: Cyprus

Re: how to pick a chawan

by kevipai » Jun 25th 21 8:25 am

shogun89 wrote: Hey guys,

I just found that my Wegmans has matcha! They have alot of chawans that look really nice, they are Japanese made and are glazed. The clay on the exposed on the underside is white. As you can tell I know nothing about Matcha ware, but would like to get one of these, but dont know if its any good or not. How does one choose a Chawan.
Good to hear this. Well, My Wegmans is a portal for the employees who are presently working and retired at Wegmans.