I’ve been looking at getting a side-handled Kyusu – does anyone have advice on what to look for, or some good vendors in the US? I live in the California bay area, so there may be a good source here that I’m unaware of! The Ichibankan near me sells some very small (and cheap ones).
Claire, is there a size preference you’re looking for? How about price range and material (porcelain, stoneware, glazed/unglazed, wood-fired, etc.)?
I’m looking for one that will hold at least 12oz. For price range, I think under $100 would be my limit right now.
I don’t know much about how the different materials affect brewing and would totally appreciate more info if someone has a good article or good advice. I really like the ceramic ones I’ve seen, both glazed and unglazed.
This little beauty is on Etsy right now: http://www.etsy.com/listing/104813779/antique-taisho-japanese-stoneware-teapot . She says it’s about 13 oz. I’m personally looking for ones more suitable for gong-fu brewing, so in the 4-6 ounce range. harder to find.
My favorite hand-made item off of Etsy was from this one: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/77300746 She does excellent work and happens to be in the Bay Area. But she’s been in Japan for about the last six months for her parents health and her shop has been closed. I’m eager for her return as we had been discussing a custom made pot.
Thanks for the links GuyOne! Checking those out now.
I like the ones from Den’s, and he is in California. http://www.denstea.com/teapots-cups-c-275.html
I have two from his store, and I love em’.
Claire, here’s another link to a “vintage” Etsy item although it looks unused: http://www.etsy.com/listing/111109672/japanese-teapot-and-teacups .
I’d go for it but again it’s a bit bigger than I’m looking for, she says 12-15 ounces. It’s unglazed, hard to tell just what type of pottery it is from the pictures. She says Banko, I would have guessed Bizen. Her price is good for whichever it is.
I was hoping someone else would chime in with suggestions as I ain’t an expert, just know what I like. A consideration is what type of connection it has from the teapot body to the spout. I have all five of the main types. First is a large single hole, bad news if you brew loose leaf as leaves travel up the spout which prevents pouring due to clogging. Second is a stainless steel filter, I don’t like them because I worry about it influencing the taste of the tea. Third is a machine made ceramic mesh filter called a sasame, really good if you’re brewing a fine tea such as sencha (fine meaning small leaves that clog up filters). Fourth is a ceramic ball filter such as this pot has. Doesn’t affect the flavor of the tea, but they annoy me a bit as the leave wrap around them and get caught on top of the filter. (fussy ain’t I?) My favorite for any teapot is just a bunch of holes poked into the body of the teapot where the spout attaches.
And a shout out to Spot52 for the Den’s mention. I don’t care for most of them since they have the steel filters but they do have two 5-6 ounce models. I just wish they were a bit cheaper.
GuyOne and Spot52, thank you both so much for the information and the links! That teapot on etsy is beautiful, I will definitely have to show the link to my partner tonight.
And nothing wrong with being fussy. I get totally ticked off when leaves get stuck to my steeper basket!
Claire, sorry to bug you again but here’s a handmade kyusu on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/78188905/teapot
And he has a white one as well. I emailed him awhile ago and they hold about 14 ounces. His price is very reasonable for handmade, you could buy this and one of the vintage models and still be in your price bracket. Zentealife is the fellow I mentioned from Canada who used to have an Etsy store.