Totally handcrafted Kyusu made from red clay which has been fired in low oxygen to turn the clay a black colour. This kyusu incorporates the Gyokko Yohen style of bronze brown patches.
The shape of the Kyusu is more upright than our other Gyokko Yohen style Kyusu making it a little more versatile to brew teas which may expand in all directions (like ball oolongs).
The weighting and balance makes it a joy to use and the lid is tight fitting to reduce leakage. The handle is offset slightly under 90 degrees for a very comfortable pouring action.
The filter is made of clay as opposed to stainless steel which not only make the appearance more attractive but means that your tea is brewed completely in clay.
The Tokoname clay is unglazed and rich in minerals (the low oxygen baked black clay tends to be higher in Hematite). In our experience, Tokoname clay is less porous than Yixing and similar to high fired Chaozhou clay which means that it will season very slowly. Therefore it is not a big deal for you to mix different tea types in the Kyusu - it will season but it will be very subtle so it depends how purist you are! The mineral rich content does affect the body and taste of the tea, making it slightly smoother and rounder.
This kyusu is great with all kinds of tea. Of course the Japanese greens take center stage but you could brew almost any tea type. However, because it is a clay filter we would say that Fukamushi (deep steamed tea which breaks up into smaller particles) will need you to pour through another fine mesh filter when serving.
Seasoning and washing your Kyusu
It is generally not necessary to season Tokoname teaware in the same way as Yixing clay. You can follow the same instructions as Yixing but really all that you have to do is rinse this kyusu in boiling water a few times and then begin brewing. If you would like to speed up the very subtle seasoning of Tokoname clay then you can leave your chosen tea type to brew for 15 minutes in the kyusu every so often.
As always with clay teaware, do not use any detergents! To clean, all then you have to do is thoroughly rinse out the tea leaves and leave to dry with the lid off.