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Richard Kilgore

Let's See Your Teaware!

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Is it a separate part that comes off, or permanently attached? I've been trying to figure that out since I first looked at these images.

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The simple bamboo tea tray I bought a couple of weeks ago--the top lifts off to clean it up.

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and the character on the tea tray, which I presume means 'tea'

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And a pretty small cup for drinking, which doesn't show the liquor color, but I'm quite happy with it anyway--the darker glaze sparkles.

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I don't know much about the different teas but I do like teapots. Here are photos of my two Japanese ceramic pots. The little blue one was purchased from Pier 1 over a decade ago, along with 4 matching cups. The other pot, along with matching cups was given to me by my mother several years ago. She knew I always coveted the set but I have no idea where she got it nor how long ago. All I know is that I have found similar tea items on the internet that have described it as somayaki.

PierOneTeaPot.jpg

GreenCrackleTeaPot.jpg

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Regarding the chrome pots WMC, they are lovely but won't they possibly get rusty? I had a Chantal and the top was difficult, it got mineral deposits on it and it would stick making it hard to open and clean.

My everyday tea water maker is now an electric stainless steel.

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I will have to find out....should be delivered tomorrow. I'd prefer it if there were stainless, definitely. But really, the most important part is that it not be glass, after I just broke another small glass one last week. I've been more careful with the little yixings, but I'm still not probably not ready for a really nice breakable pot.

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I don't know much about the different teas but I do like teapots. Here are photos of my two Japanese ceramic pots. The little blue one was purchased from Pier 1 over a decade ago, along with 4 matching cups. The other pot, along with matching cups was given to me by my mother several years ago. She knew I always coveted the set but I have no idea where she got it nor how long ago. All I know is that I have found similar tea items on the internet that have described it as somayaki.

Yes, I would agree that your pot most likely is a somayaki. I have an old Japanese somayaki tea cup that is similar.

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Thank you Richard. I spoke with my mother today to see if she could remember when and where she purchased the tea set. We have narrowed it down to the mid-1970s when she was living in Carson City, NV. She says she bought it used from an antique shop. One thing I have noticed is that the cups have the horse motif in the bottom of the bowl and I have not seen that on the new cups I have found on the internet. Does your tea cup have the horse in the bottom of the bowl? Thanks again.

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I have an international teaware question for you all.

Years ago in grad school I had a friend from Brazil who made amazing tea in a hollowed-out gourd. Dry leaves and things went into the vessel, hot water poured on top, and the mug was passed around until all the tea was gone. I vaguely recall the tea being called "shee-ma-hown" or something similar.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Have now had my stainless simplex tea kettle for several weeks. It has a lot of water spots, but a few seconds of rubbing with a clean towel and it is again brilliantly shiny. It whistles gently, and the build of the whistle is slow--gives you a chance to get to it before it goes full bore shriek. It pours much more neatly than my revere pot, which is now officially retired and heading for goodwill.

I'm quite pleased with my little collection of teaware now, and have only a couple of small gaps that I'd still like to fill in. The sencha and gyokuro teas are cut so small that they rapidly clog the built-in strainer holes on the spouts of my little chinese teapots; and my larger japanese teapot with a metal mesh strainer is too large for brewing just a few grams of these teas at a time.

If I could just stop breaking the glass pots....

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One tip for pouring Japanese green teas out of your Chinese teapots or even a Japanese kyusu - pour very slowly and you may avoid serious clogging. I have to slow waaay down when going from Chinese teas to Japanese greens.

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This is a Yixing teapot from the 1970s with high quality Zi Ni clay. I am playing with different teas right now and it probably will be dedicated to either Aged TGY or high roast Wuyi Oolongs. The capacity is 90 ml. The characters on the side of the pot translate to "Drink Chinese Oolong", these pots being part of a famous marketing campaign in the 70s and 80s.

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Here are three Japanese houhin (or houbin) tea pots, each with about a 5 ounce capacity. They are designed for brewing gyokuro and high quality sencha, and each of these has at least a little wabi-sabi.

This one is a Bizen houhin, made about 1980 by the Japanese ceramic artist Shemeko Kaneda. It's beautiful, but is useless as a teapot due to dripping not just a little.

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This is a Shigaraki houhin, made in recent years by the Japanese ceramic artist Takahashi Rakusai.

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And this one is a Hagi houhin, made in the late 1950s or early 1960s, signed but I have not been able to identify the artist.

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do any of these use a built-in or a inserted strainer? or do you simply hope the leaves sink by the time you're pouring that first cup?

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All three have spouts with multiple holes on the inside of the pot. The holes are flush with the side of the pot. No metal screens. I'll take more pictures in coming weeks and show these houhin from more angles and the interiors.

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I should add that I have learned to pour very slowly and now never get a serious clog unless I am not paying attention and rush. 99% of the time it goes very smoothly.

The other houhin I have (not pictured above), which came from yuuki-cha.com, has a ss screen that also works very well, but you still have to pour more slowly than you do with Yixings and gaiwan. Houhin of any type are very hard to find and this one is made of Banko clay that tends to smooth, integrate flavors and take the astringent edge off senchas and gyokuros. And it's inexpensive.

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This is a Taikai-Chaire Japanese tea caddy made by the ceramic artist Teiichi Okitani in Kyoto Prefecture, likely in the late 70's - early 80's. It is protected by a shifiku of silk and the wooden box signed by the artist.

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My teaware is far more pedestrian than the beautiful pieces in this topic. (Aside from my gaiwan, which I mainly like to look at) I use a plain white porcelain Muji teapot with inset mesh infuser for all of my teas - oolongs, mugichas, nokchas - the lot. I prefer drinking from a Japanese-style teacup (yunomi), and have a small collection - my every day ones, which are also from Muji and match my dishes, but a couple of handmade ones from local potters as well. They're good for warming up your hands this time of year.

I also have two tea caddies - a stainless steel one for Japanese teas, and a porcelain one I bought from a housewares design shop in Shanghai. Neither are particularly traditional, but I do like the way they look on my kitchen counter!

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This is a Kuromatsu Tokoname teapot made by Tokoname craftsman Gyokko that I got from Yuuki-cha.com. At a 120 ml capacity it is good for brewing about 60 - 90 ml of higher quality sencha or gyokuro. I love the texture of the unglazed clay.

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Ha! I have this too :laugh: Although I seldom drink Japanese green tea, I just love this teapot so much. I use it for oolong and it drains water thoroughly between infusions. And the teapot just looks so pretty and feels so nice in hands!

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My teaware is far more pedestrian than the beautiful pieces in this topic. (Aside from my gaiwan, which I mainly like to look at) I use a plain white porcelain Muji teapot with inset mesh infuser for all of my teas - oolongs, mugichas, nokchas - the lot. I prefer drinking from a Japanese-style teacup (yunomi), and have a small collection - my every day ones, which are also from Muji and match my dishes, but a couple of handmade ones from local potters as well. They're good for warming up your hands this time of year.

I also have two tea caddies - a stainless steel one for Japanese teas, and a porcelain one I bought from a housewares design shop in Shanghai. Neither are particularly traditional, but I do like the way they look on my kitchen counter!

I would really be interested in seeing pics of all of these when you have time, Erin.

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Finally saw some really small gaiwans yesterday at Wing Hop Fung. The smaller standard ones like those I already have hold between 2 and 3 ounces; these smaller ones came with travel tea kits including a small padded zippered case, 4 impossibly tiny teacups holding maybe 15-20 mL, and the gaiwans looked to hold about 40mL. They didn't have separate bases for the gaiwans.

These are the size I was looking for for comparative tastings of oolongs or puerhs where I want to sample many infusions of 2-4 teas at a time, but it feels very wasteful to buy the whole travel kit (admittedly cheap enough at $10.99) when I just want the little gaiwans. In time, if I don't find another source, I'll probably cave in and buy a couple of sets of them. Maybe I'd be able to give the cups to someone whose doll could use them....

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