Teapot for gyokuro
I have been doing a bit of research on ideal teapots for brewing gyokuro and it seems like a small Houhin would be the best choice. I would like to know if anyone here has purchased a houhin online and your opinion of it.
This one looks like a pretty good deal to me:
That’s the first time I’ve seen that kind of teapot!
I have a probably stupid question that I’m gonna ask anyway— since it has no handle, how would you use it without burning your hands?
It’s just an unglazed teapot without a handle. I’d go with a gaiwan since it’s much more simple and practical for properly steeping tea (I could definitely see the houhin’s mesh getting messed up, and also be harder to clean). Theoretically the unglazed clay would develop a patina over time, but I can only imagine getting a bad pot that was made wrong and it always smelling like earth- this would completely ruin the experience for me personally. The only reason I speak of that last part is because it’s not yixing, and clays vary drastically.
But hopefully it’s a wonderful pot…cup…gaiwan if you do end up getting it! :D
I agree Wonks. Certain clays would ruin Gyokuro and other greens, but I use a Tokoname, or a small porcelain teapot. Yeah porcelain is more versitile.
It’s just such a shot in the dark trying to pick out a good clay. I’m probably saying this because my last experience was less than great, and I have a terrible pot that has always smelled like earthy clay. Porcelain on the other hand is a fantastic invention, and if I had to pick a single pot “to always have around” it’d be my porcelain pot.
I have no idea how good that teapot is for Gyokuro, but I just wanted to say I LOVE how cute some of their other teaware is. Especially the ones with frogs or cats, omg so cute! (I thought about getting some but I already have more than enough teaware.)
Thank you for the post Wonks. I personally do not have any experience with clay teapots and I can see how getting a crappy one would ruin ones experience. That is kind of the reason why I made this post. I want to find someone here that has found a good clay piece and can verify its quality. Knowing myself, I will probably end up gettin a gaiwan AND a houhin :x
And to your question Erin: there is no handle because gyokuro is brewed at a lot lower temperature than most teas, so you don’t have to worry about melting your hand :p
That’s the thing. I think yixing is one of the most standardized production methods among clay teapots, and even those can vary so drastically. My ultimate advice on this topic is to make sure that you order from someone who has a great return policy just in case. :]
Not only is gyokuro brewed at a lower temp, but if you look carefully at the rim of the pot, there are two grips where your fingers can go. These grips insulate a bit and help protect your fingers.
Well, don’t look now, but I think I’m going to complicate your decision by sending this link! If you want to see some unique teapots (and TONS of them) check this out:
(Clicking on the pictures will bring up several views of each pot)
I have bought from them, and it is a very easy process… just email them what you’re interested in, ask questions, and if you like it, you can pay via Paypal.
Thank you so much! This is exactly what I was looking for.
Instead of a houhin I think I will go for this: http://www.tokoname.or.jp/teapot/maker_profile/jinshu/jinshu012.htm
And, that isn’t even all of their selection… I’m pretty sure if you search the site, you can find a ton more (but, this page with the pictures is the nicest and has the most helpful information).
If you go for it, let us know!
Ok, my decision has been made… and my wallet emptied :p
Just ordered this little baby from O-Cha.
And of course a bit of sencha to keep it company on its journey from Japan :)
Now I wait in anticipation.
That looks like a nice set, Rogue.
I used to have a teapot kind of like this one:
I bought it at a Japanese supermarket called Mitsuwa, for about $15. Sadly, I dropped it and broke it, so now I need a new one.
Perhaps I don’t have a discerning palate, but I didn’t notice a difference in the flavor of tea brewed in the tokoname style teapot versus my regular teapots and brewing baskets. I think I just liked the idea I was brewing Japanese tea like a Japanese person would :) I’m a little obsessed with all things Japanese.
Enjoy your new teaware!
Artistic Nippon has some awesome hand crafted tokoname ware for Gyokuro, Sencha, etc.
I ordered these from them, Kyusu and Yuzamashi for pouring water: