Aug 8th, '14, 10:38
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Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by beforewisdom » Aug 8th, '14, 10:38

O-cha.com has some beautiful and specialized cereamic tea pots for various types of green tea.

My only problem with buying one is they are all small. The largest one I saw only has a 12 fluid ounce capacity ( 1.5 cups ).

I'm sure the Japanese have friends over for tea :). Do they just drink tea out of very tiny cups in very tiny portions?

I would like to make tea for a friend or several friends. Something with at least 16 fluid ounce capacity, the ability to make a "cup"( 8 ounces ) for at least two people would be desirable.

I'm told that iron tea pots are mostly for decoration. Is this true?

If I believe what o-cha.com says, I should a specialized pot for particular types of green tea: gyokuro, fukamushi, etc. Is that really necessary to get the FULL enjoyment out of each special type of Japanese green tea?

Is there a generalized ceramic tea pot good for several types of Japanese green tea, that can hold at least two cups ( 16 ounces ) ?

Aug 8th, '14, 11:06
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by daidokorocha » Aug 8th, '14, 11:06

The Japanese have different kinds of tea pots. What you probably see on ocha are kyuusu and houhin. Another type of teapot is the dobin. A quick google search actually brings me to hibiki-an, where they are selling an 800 ml (27/28 oz) pot.

http://www.hibiki-an.com/product_info.p ... cts_id/827

After viewing this, it seems that this teapot would handle all teas. It is not necessary to buy a different teapot for every type of tea. In Japan itself most people make due with what is considered incredibly tiny living spaces by many in America (and elsewhere, to relative extents) and trust me, they do not have all that space filled with teapots for specific teas that they probably don't drink very often. Great perhaps for a tea enthusiast, but not necessary by any means.

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Aug 8th, '14, 11:10
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by Evan Draper » Aug 8th, '14, 11:10

beforewisdom wrote:Do they just drink tea out of very tiny cups in very tiny portions?
Yes.

Typical sencha cups (yunomi) are what, 5 ounces? You can fill up a 12 ounce pot 3 or 4 people will get hearty servings. Or you can serve a dozen people with Chinese gongfu-style cups. You can get 3 brews out of the same leaves too. As your brewing vessel gets larger, you will lose flavor subtleties.

Aug 8th, '14, 11:19
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by daidokorocha » Aug 8th, '14, 11:19

Evan Draper wrote:
beforewisdom wrote:Do they just drink tea out of very tiny cups in very tiny portions?
Yes.

Typical sencha cups (yunomi) are what, 5 ounces? You can fill up a 12 ounce pot 3 or 4 people will get hearty servings. Or you can serve a dozen people with Chinese gongfu-style cups. You can get 3 brews out of the same leaves too. As your brewing vessel gets larger, you will lose flavor subtleties.
I agree and I personally refuse to make large batches of tea with something that isn't konacha, bancha, and the like. It doesn't matter if i use the same tea/water ratio, it doesn't taste the same. Still, I think it is misleading to say the Japanese drink tea out of strictly small cups. There are plenty of 8 and 10 oz cups out there in Japan. Also worth adding that cup sizes are like chopstick sizes and serving sizes in Japan: you will often find different sizes geared towards the different genders and age groups. I wouldn't by any means say it is standardized.

Aug 8th, '14, 11:31
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by beforewisdom » Aug 8th, '14, 11:31

Evan Draper wrote:
beforewisdom wrote:Do they just drink tea out of very tiny cups in very tiny portions?
Yes.

Typical sencha cups (yunomi) are what, 5 ounces? You can fill up a 12 ounce pot 3 or 4 people will get hearty servings.
3 x 5ounces = 15 ounces, which is > 12 ounces :). I'm assuming that yunomi cups are typically filled all of the way up?
As your brewing vessel gets larger, you will lose flavor subtleties.
Thank you for this point. Having tasted better stuff I don't want to sabatoge flavor.

Thanks.

Aug 8th, '14, 11:33
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by beforewisdom » Aug 8th, '14, 11:33

daidokorocha wrote: I agree and I personally refuse to make large batches of tea with something that isn't konacha, bancha, and the like. It doesn't matter if i use the same tea/water ratio, it doesn't taste the same. Still, I think it is misleading to say the Japanese drink tea out of strictly small cups. There are plenty of 8 and 10 oz cups out there in Japan. Also worth adding that cup sizes are like chopstick sizes and serving sizes in Japan: you will often find different sizes geared towards the different genders and age groups. I wouldn't by any means say it is standardized.
That is a good point.

Many Americans are loyal coffee drinkers, but few go the extra mile to make coffee as optimally as they can. It probably isn't any different for the Japanese. Some Japanese tea lovers would rather have a large cup of green tea with a flavor that is "good enough".

Aug 8th, '14, 11:37
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by daidokorocha » Aug 8th, '14, 11:37

beforewisdom wrote:
daidokorocha wrote: I agree and I personally refuse to make large batches of tea with something that isn't konacha, bancha, and the like. It doesn't matter if i use the same tea/water ratio, it doesn't taste the same. Still, I think it is misleading to say the Japanese drink tea out of strictly small cups. There are plenty of 8 and 10 oz cups out there in Japan. Also worth adding that cup sizes are like chopstick sizes and serving sizes in Japan: you will often find different sizes geared towards the different genders and age groups. I wouldn't by any means say it is standardized.
That is a good point.

Many Americans are loyal coffee drinkers, but few go the extra mile to make coffee as optimally as they can. It probably isn't any different for the Japanese. Some Japanese tea lovers would rather have a large cup of green tea with a flavor that is "good enough".
And so it is... there really is a reason why they sell dollar bancha and sencha at 100 yen stores in Japan. Reason: it sells! Many Japanese people are not supremely knowledgeable about tea, that is for sure. But I will add that the hyaku en tea is definitely better than the tea you get at American dollar stores!

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Aug 8th, '14, 12:33
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by blairswhitaker » Aug 8th, '14, 12:33

based on personal experience I would say the type of tea here dictates the cup size...

sencha:
I have never been served or seen anyone serve good sencha in larger than 4oz's. between 2oz and 4oz is the standard for good sencha. a 12 ounce teapot is definitely one for sharing considering you would like to get three good steeps out of a nice sencha, in an 8oz serving that would have you drinking 24ozs of fluid from just one tea, and when most people I hang out with gather for tea you can be sure we go through more than one type of sencha.

gyokuro:
I most often see gyokuro served in cups that hold between 1 and 2 oz of fluid, and it is not uncommon to get served about 20ml of super strength gyokuro, from small cups often included in sencha-do sets.

bancha/hojicha:
in our dining hall we have a pot that holds (I kid you not) four liters and is full at the start of lunch and dinner. the cups for this kind of tea range from 4 to 12oz's and are usually served quite full. this is all day drinking tea, Most Japanese residents I know drink this as americans would water, anytime they are thirsty.

konacha:
This stuff is rarely seen outside of restaurants and is served in large cups, 8 to 12oz's, most people are using it to wash down sushi and noodles. refills are typically free or very inexpensive.

don't take it as fact. this is just what iv'e compiled through observation.

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Aug 8th, '14, 17:04
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by Se7en8ight » Aug 8th, '14, 17:04

beforewisdom wrote: 3 x 5ounces = 15 ounces, which is > 12 ounces :). I'm assuming that yunomi cups are typically filled all of the way up?
I can't remember who told me this... or if I read this somewhere but apparently you should never fill a tea cup all the way.

The saying goes something like: "Fill only two-thirds of a cup with tea, the last third should be filled with friendship." :lol:

78 :mrgreen:

Aug 8th, '14, 18:23
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Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by Pig Hog » Aug 8th, '14, 18:23

I read somewhere that a cup should be filled to around 80% of its volume.

Whether true or not, it's a good rule of thumb for me.

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Aug 8th, '14, 18:55
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by JRS22 » Aug 8th, '14, 18:55

beforewisdom wrote:If I believe what o-cha.com says, I should a specialized pot for particular types of green tea: gyokuro, fukamushi, etc. Is that really necessary to get the FULL enjoyment out of each special type of Japanese green tea?

Is there a generalized ceramic tea pot good for several types of Japanese green tea, that can hold at least two cups ( 16 ounces ) ?
I read the o-Cha pot information differently. If you don't want a lot of fine tea leaves in your tea then you need a pot with a strainer that keeps the tea leaves in the pot while letting the tea flow into the cups. Since fukamushi is a very fine tea a pot designed for it will work best for fukamushi. But o-Cha also says that the same pot will work for other Japanese greens.

Of course if you're generous enough to serve your friends gyo you may want a smaller pot for those occasions, perhaps something that you can also use to brew Sencha when you're alone or with one other person.

Aug 8th, '14, 23:34
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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by daidokorocha » Aug 8th, '14, 23:34

Pig Hog wrote:I read somewhere that a cup should be filled to around 80% of its volume.

Whether true or not, it's a good rule of thumb for me.
I think so too. Somewhere between 65 to 80 is a good number, depending.

I think blairswhitaker sums it up quite well, although it is best to remember such lines as "I have never been served or seen anyone serve good sencha in larger than 4oz's". GOOD sencha is the important bit in there. I think it goes back to what I said about my personal preference of only brewing teas like bancha and konacha in large quantities. This isn't even something I picked up from Japan, but just happened out of habit. In this way, I feel that it really IS the best for each individual tea and that you feel this out when drinking them overtime. Of course, nothing wrong with drinking them any other way if you like it best.

Still, don't be afraid to buy a dobin. If you don't use it for tea that often you can always have a whirl with it and make some dobin mushi. (Do a google image search!)

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Re: Recommend a pot for Japanese green tea?

by theredbaron » Aug 11th, '14, 02:13

Generally speaking - the better the tea, the smaller the pot and cups used (within limits, of course). People in tea cultures don't drink high quality tea to quench thirst, but for the taste and experience. And of course, it's also an economic question - if, for example, you use a large pot to brew high quality qyukuro, a single pot can easily set you back 50 or more US$ for one single session.

As to your question regarding iron tea pots - they are rubbish. Iron kettles are used to heat water, and good ones will be *very* expensive. These iron pots glazed on the inside are useless for brewing high quality Japanese tea, and are only for the western market.

I find that the currently most exiting tea pots for Japanese tea you find here:

http://hojotea.com/item_e/available.htm

they are not cheap, but worth it.

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