I totally appreciate all the links, not bugging me at all!
You can’t go wrong by buying a tokoname or bankoyaki kyusu, they are popular in Japan.
Pay attention to the infuser/filter part. There isn’t a perfect type, but these are some things to keep in mind:
Is it easy to clean, remove? Some filters are fixed, after some time you’ll have to clean them and it will be harder to do.
Does it filter well? If your tea leaves are too small, it won’t filter well, could even clog.
Does it leave enough room for the expansion of the tea leaves? This is a problem of small kyusu with an infuser basket. Then again, the infuser basket is very easy to clean.
Does the infuser have a large surface area? If the infuser has small openings that filter your decided tea, it can also clog easily if the surface area is too small, and it’s difficult to pour.
I personally like stainless steel infuser, the more area it covers the better. It’s good for fukamushicha.
However, it’s really up to you.
Thank you so much for the input Ricardo. I really appreciate everyone’s responses to this thread and they have been so helpful!
At the Ichibankan store near me they sell some very small and inexpensive kyusu and I did notice that the filter was removable, but had not thought about how that would ultimately affect the brewing experience.
I second the Den’s recommendation. I have two as well from him and I highly recommend the blue one (it’s one of the cheaper ones) if you want an everyday teapot that’s pretty to look at. I carried mine on outings and it always came back without any chips, and makes great tea.
I was thinking about getting a Kyusu teapot..can they be used to brew “green teas”? Do they have to be dedicated to one tea, such as with the Yixing teapots?
Yep, they’re mostly used for Japanese greens! In general I don’t think you have to dedicate them to one type of tea, but I’m not sure about the unglazed banko clay ones
Claire, if you are interested I can show you the kyusus that I brought back from Tokoname. We experimented with selling them for Christmas, but actually experienced more success including them with our office packages. You can still get one on our website (http://tealet.com/gift), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to purchase it separately because right now you can only purchase it as a complete set with our subscription service.
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The highest quality Kyusus made by Japanese artist have handmade filters. A high quality teapot; will not drip when pouring, will be light weight and well balanced, will have a quality filter (not metal) either bulbous type (handmade) or sasame (machine pressed) and will maintain temperature for some time. I have found them at these two reputable sites;