Advice on a Yakishimei Houhin Teapot Set
I’m new to this forum and looking to find a general use, but attractive, teapot that can be used for different types of teas. I already have a yixing tea pot that I bought in China, only to learn later that it is best to use with only one tea (mine with oolong). Does anyone know about this teapot set – it looks glazed, so it may be functional with other teas: (except for sencha, etc.).
If this isn’t appropriate, any suggestions?
The houhin teapot is meant for brewing gyokuro. I would use it for that purpose only, for other Japanese teas a kyusu may be better.
Keep in mind the differences between cups, cups for gyokuro hold less liquid than other cups, because gyokuro is meant to be a concentrated brew at low temperature.
Of course, at the end is a matter of personal preference, but be warned that a houhin generally holds little water, so you cannot brew many cups of teas that use a lot of water (such as bancha types, 120 ml per cup).
Ricardo is right on in his assessment. If you’re looking for something for brewing a variety of teas, this probably isn’t the one you’d want. I have a porcelain houhin that I can only use for gyokuro. If I put water in it over about 160 deg F., that little puppy is way too hot to touch. One needs a teapot with a handle for brewing with hotter water. I have a couple of Bizen houin’s and one from Greenwood Pottery (Shawn post’s on this list) and the clay they are made of can be handled with hotter water. Shawn’s is glazed but the Bizen ones aren’t. But the O-cha houhin looks to be a fairly light style clay.
Oh yeah, almost forgot that you asked for alternatives. I’m guessing that you’re looking for a small pot since you like O-cha’s pretty little houhin. Den’s tea sells a small kyusu that I have and like a lot. It is a bit on the plain side however. I love the little kyusu from Red Blossom Tea. Looks to be a Korean celadon and is quite attractive. If you’re more graceful than me, gaiwan’s are a nice alternative as well. If I remember right, the two kyusu’s mentioned were about the same price as the Yakishimei Houhin. And if you like a handmade touch, Shawn at Greenwood Studio on Etsy has a nice selection of small pots. I’ve bought one of his kyusu’s, a futanashi, the shiboridashi houhin mentioned in the previous post as well as a yunomi. He makes nice teaware. The futanashi is unglazed and doesn’t work so well for lighter oolongs but it has become my favorite little pot for brewing black teas gongfu style.
Thank you both for your input. I realized that the aesthetics are what drew me to this pot (and the ability to stack them, so less storage space). But overall, it will probably be something I revisit when I get to that point. Right now, I decided to go minimal and start with a glass gong fu, since I can use it with my black, oolong, and green. From there, I will probably expand to get a kyusu, since I feel more drawn to green teas on a daily basis.
I gave up coffee last month when I had the killer flu. It’s weird – I lost complete interest – and a blessing. It’s been a great change to enjoy the complexity of tea, but it’s easy to get absorbed in all the information that is out there. Finding steepster has been great for keeping the focus on the process first, and then see what I need next.