Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

Member reiviews of teaware related products.

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Mar 26th 11 12:44 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by teafarm » Mar 26th 11 12:44 am

I would love to own one of the Kyusus. I'm sure the prices are justified with 50% craftsmanship and 50% TLC.

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Mar 26th 11 1:19 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by David R. » Mar 26th 11 1:19 am

Those black Shimizu Ken have sold out rapidly. Anyone here responsible for it ? I won't judge, I am guilty as charged ! :lol:

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Mar 28th 11 1:42 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by mountainhugger » Mar 28th 11 1:42 am

David R. wrote:Those black Shimizu Ken have sold out rapidly. Anyone here responsible for it ? I won't judge, I am guilty as charged ! :lol:
I was able to get one of them. Beautiful kyusu. My first :)
B410 150ml JPY10500.JPG
The craftsmanship is suburb, and Hojo's customer service was spectacular. It arrived in about 5 days with EMS in perfect condition. I ordered an Ali Shan and Phoenix Mi Lan Xiang, and Akira threw in a couple samples.

I'm really happy with my purchase. Having been my first high-end teapot, I wanted it to be a nice, simple, hand-thrown while appearing a little classy, and within a relatively low price-range.

I haven't performed any tests regarding the teapot's affect on the taste of the Ali Shan, but will soon enough.

Which of Shimizu Ken's were you able to purchase?
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Mar 28th 11 2:57 pm
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by David R. » Mar 28th 11 2:57 pm

Hi, welcome to Teachat black Shimizu Ken brother. :wink:

You'll be able to see my model here.

I happen to have the same model you own, but in red. It was the first model of Shimizu Ken teapots Akira sold, before he worked with him to improve the clay, this collaboration ending up with the actual pinker red kyusu. Even if the clay of the first model was not the best, it has always been on of my favourite teapots, although I don't use it anymore.

So I am very excited to own a new one, one I will definitively use a lot. So far, my tests are showing very good results.

I am very happy with this purchase ! :)

Mar 29th 11 12:58 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by Chasm » Mar 29th 11 12:58 am

Does anyone know what semi-handmade means in this context?

The methods I'm familiar with for making unglazed teapots are:
  • hand-thrown on a potter's wheel
  • beating the clay into a flat sheet and cutting out sections, then hand-forming those sections into a complete pot
  • same as above, but beating the clay into a mold instead
  • pouring a diluted clay slurry into a mold

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Mar 31st 11 8:38 pm
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by mountainhugger » Mar 31st 11 8:38 pm

Chasm wrote:Does anyone know what semi-handmade means in this context?

The methods I'm familiar with for making unglazed teapots are:
  • hand-thrown on a potter's wheel
  • beating the clay into a flat sheet and cutting out sections, then hand-forming those sections into a complete pot
  • same as above, but beating the clay into a mold instead
  • pouring a diluted clay slurry into a mold

I think it may refer to using a mold, but I'm not positive. Are you referring to the semi-hand-made banko teapots? I had thought about those a bit myself. If you haven't already, I'm sure Hojo could better explain what is meant by that description. I'm kind of curious myself.

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Mar 31st 11 9:56 pm
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by David R. » Mar 31st 11 9:56 pm

I own a semi handmade banko clay kyusu from Hojo. I like it a lot. That is what made me lean toward another reduction clay teapot : Shimizu Ken's.

The semi hand made is from the fact that some of the parts were slipcast I think, then manually assembled. But it is the same clay than 100% handmade banko pots from Tachi Masaki. A cheap way to try this clay. Obi-ami filters used are great also.

Mar 31st 11 11:56 pm
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by Rayuela » Mar 31st 11 11:56 pm

What kind of teas do you use the Shimizu Ken teapot with? I have one of the later red ones and I'm still confused. I'm not sure I like what it does to Japanese greens (too much heat retention) and Hojo says best with oolongs, but despite much experimentation, I'm still a bit lost. It works wonders with extremely yin infusions of roasted oolong (e.g. Dong Ding), but seems to smother them at more normal parameters (i.e. 8-10ish grams for 150ml) and the clay just seems too thick for high mountain teas.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Apr 1st 11 8:59 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by David R. » Apr 1st 11 8:59 am

I am sorry I really don't have an answer for you here. A friend of mine likes the result with Japanese greens teas. But I've heard the new red models are quite different from the one I have, and my new black also seems to be. Maybe someone else will be able to help.

Apr 1st 11 10:37 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by Chasm » Apr 1st 11 10:37 am

Thanks for the answers to my question. Slipcast parts that are then hand-assembled makes sense, but as you say, asking Hojo is the way to be sure.

Apr 1st 11 10:45 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by Chasm » Apr 1st 11 10:45 am

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure that the thermal properties of slipcast ware will not be the same as for ware that starts from the same clay but is otherwise handmade.

When you get into oolongs, I've heard some learned opinions on why slipcast doesn't cut it. I'm not in a place to have an opinion just yet, though the arguments make sense to me.

But for something like Japanese greens, I'm not sure slipcast is a disadvantage.

Or it may all come down to the clay -- it might be that if you slipcast a good clay, you get something that makes good tea.

Okay, now I've just found several hundred experiments' worth of more questions I'd like to investigate in time.

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May 4th 11 8:32 pm
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by shinobicha » May 4th 11 8:32 pm

So....

Has anyone actually seen or own one of these?
A Satetsu tetsubin? They look amazing! But, they are quite costly (I think I saw the price list as ranging from 60000 JPY to 120000 or something)

http://hojotea.com/newsletter/NL_malaysia_5.html
or
http://hojotea.com/item_e/suzuki.htm - scroll down to tetsubins 24 - 27 and 29.

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Dec 17th 11 3:56 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by auhckw » Dec 17th 11 3:56 am


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Mar 2nd 14 2:53 am
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Re: Hojo's teapots and tetsubins

by Ratbert » Mar 2nd 14 2:53 am

I managed to pop by Hojo a few days ago, and tried out some of their teas and pots.

Teas i tried included their Phoenix Dancong Mi Lan Xiang, Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong, and another dancong which name i do not recall.

Throughout most of the session, the Kobiwako Hohin stood out to me the most. According to their staff, clay has a very high calcium content. Which makes water and tea "sweeter" (not sure how else to describe it). we even tried running water through it and then using the water for coffee, and there was a difference!

My opinion on it, is that the Kobiwako Hohin can add a certain sweetness to water, which in turn helps to give some teas extra body. However, when compared with a trusty gaiwan, i found that the clay absorbed certain characteristics of the tea as well, though to it's credit, not much. In terms of aroma, the Kobiwako clay did not seem to take away much as compared to a ceramic gaiwan.

So my final verdict on that Hohin... it's a great piece to have. and if u don't mind it tweaking your tea's profile a bit, even better. Heck u can even use it to pass hot water through before making coffee to make it better. So there's definitely a use for this piece one way or another. would be interesting to try it with WuYi rock teas though :P

Also managed to try a couple of their pots made from other clays, one of which was the Sado Mumyoi Clay Oxidation Fire pots if i remember correctly.

While the pots are BEAUTFIULLY made. I did feel that they took away more than i was happy with in terms of flavour and aroma profiles for the teas i was trying (as compared to the Hohin and ceramic gaiwan). perhaps those would've worked better with puer or liu bao teas.

Just my two cents