Shiboridashi Tea Set with Free Gyokuro
Shiboridashi Tea Set with Free Gyokuro
Pre-order our limited handmade Shiboridashi Tea Set with a free pack of Gyokuro Cha Meijin. The shiboridashi tea set comes with the shiboridashi teapot as well as 2 small gyokuro cups. When you drink gyokuro, you are meant to savor not only the taste, but also the texture of the tea. When you serve tea in small quantities like this, it forces you to slow down and savor every drop. The best way to create this experience is by using the shiboridashi teapot to brew the tea and serving it in the gyokuro tea cups. With the shiboridashi tea set, you get both of these together. You’ll also receive a full pack of gyokuro tea, giving you everything you need to start preparing delicious teas in your shiboridashi tea set.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: delivery will be mid-october. Each of these Shiboridashi is unique. They are handmade by a Japanese artisan. However, there could be small variation in terms of final colors of the teaware.
Get a Free Gyokuro
In addition to getting the shiboridashi teapot and the gyokuro cups, you will also get a full pack of gyokuro tea with your shiboridashi tea set. This gyokuro is the cha meijin from Mr. Sakamoto, a talented tea farmer from southern Japan. This tea is made entirely from the saemidori cultivar, which is known for having a light and sweet flavor.
A Gyokuro for true tea connoisseurs
This tea is known as the masters tea, because it is meant for true tea connoisseurs. The tea has a warmer sweetness to it, with notes of caramel and brown sugar. The first cup of tea you prepare with your shiboridashi tea set should be nothing short of spectacular, and there isn’t a more deserving tea than the Cha Meijin. Gyokuro was known as “the emperor’s tea” because it used to be the tea of choice for the emperor of Japan. I’m sure even the emperor would approve of this special Saemidori Gyokuro.
Benefits of the tokoname shibooridashi
Thicker tea texture
Gyokuro tea has a much thicker texture, almost like an oil and when you prepare it with a high leaf to water ratio, you really concentrate both the flavor and the texture. You can feel the tea glide over the top of the tongue. This denser, more concentrated tea weighs heavy on the palate, giving you a richer umami flavor and a longer finish.
To create this richer tasting experience, you have to brew the gyokuro tea with 5 grams of leaves and 50 milliliters of water. This more enhanced brewing method is used to celebrate special occasions, and it's also used at high end tea shops in Japan. The tea master will lay out a bed of tea leaves and then drizzle a tiny bit of water on top, just enough to submerge the leaves.
Low profile and flat design
This is where the shiboridashi tea set comes in. Because of the low profile and flat design of the shiboridashi, it allows the leaves plenty of space to move horizontally as they expand. If the base of the teapot were too narrow, the leaves would be cramped up against the side and not able to fully release their flavor into the water.
Pouring of the shiboridashi tea set
Where the shiboridashi tea set also shines is when it comes to the pouring of the tea. You may notice that the shiboridashi does not have a proper mesh filter like the kyusu teapot. Instead, it has 3 small notches carved right before the spout. This creates just enough separation to allow water to pass through, but not so much that the leaves are able to get through into your cup.
Stop the extraction quickly
The benefit of the faster pouring is that it allows you to stop the extraction quickly. If you have a teapot that has a slow pour, the leaves will be in contact with the water for longer and you will get a more bitter tea. The shiboridashi tea set does a great job of moving the water through quickly, while still filtering out some of the larger gyokuro tea leaves so they don’t end up in your cup.
The spout itself is a great design feature of the shiboridashi tea set. Compared to the kyusu, the spout of the shiboridashi is much more understated, but it still does a good job of guiding the water through, and keeping the pouring on target. The shiboridashi is known for having a very minimalist design, but the few features that it does have serve important purposes.
Lid of the shiboridashi tea set
When you pour out the tea, you will be holding both the base of the teapot, as well as the lid. The small bump on the top of the shiboridashi tea set lid makes this easier, keeping your thumb from getting burned as you hold it.
When you pour a kyusu teapot, you have a nice hollowed out side handle to hold onto, but the shiboridashi is too flat to build a side handle into so you have to hold the teapot directly. While a houhin would require 3 points of contact, two fingers on each side of the teapot and one finger or knuckle on top, the shiboridashi tea set only requires 2 points of contact. You can put your thumb on the top of the lid and the rest of your fingers can rest flat on the base.
The finger position of the shiboridashi tea set is much more comfortable compared to other teapots. One of the benefits of the shiboridashi teapot is that although it is meant for more experienced tea drinkers, it is quite easy to use. The pour is quick and consistent and it’s easy to control.
Filter of the shiboridashi tea set lid
One distinct feature of this shiboridashi tea set is that the lid actually has a built in clay filter. This is optional, as you can actually turn this side of the lid away from the spout if you don’t want to use it. If you want an extra filter and a faster pour, you can turn the filter towards the lid and pour the tea through it.
While the 3 small notches carved into the shiboridashi teapot do a good job of filtering out large gyokuro leaves, they may let a few smaller leaf particles by. The built in clay filter can catch these leaves so less of them end up in your cup.
You’ll notice two small holes carved in the lid, right about the spout of the teapot. These are positioned behind the clay filter, and they increase the flow of tea. This means that the pour of the teapot becomes even faster, without allowing any of the leaf particles through.
The clay of the shiboridashi tea set
It’s worth mentioning another aspect of the shiboridashi tea set and that is the clay itself. This tea is made from tokoname clay. Tokoname is a town in Japan that has become legendary for its production of clay pottery. The clay here is thought to be the best in Japan, and it is such good quality that it can hold water even when wet.
The subtle leaf pattern painted into the lid of the shiboridashi tea set is a nice touch, adding in a little reminder of nature without being too distracting. The small carvings also help to make the teapot look sleeker, without detracting from its minimalist aesthetic.
The clay doesn’t only look nice, it’s also known for being the best material for brewing tea. The slight porosity of the clay can interact with the tea as you brew it and enhance the flavor. The clay can eliminate some of the bitterness and even enhance the umami flavor of the tea. Clay has been known to also contribute more minerality to the tea, which helps improve the mouthfeel.
The cups of the shiboridashi tea set
The shiboridashi teapot is just half of the shiboridashi tea set. The set also includes 1 handmade cup. There are a few different types of Japanese clay tea cups, the first are called “yunomi” and they are designed for everyday drinking. The second are the gyokuro cups, and these are brought out for special occasions.
These gyokuro cups are hand made out of oxidized black clay, and they have more of a matte finish. Because there are two of these tea cups included in the shiboridashi tea set, you can share gyokuro with a friend. This is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, even if that occasion is just getting to drink tea with a good friend!
There is something about small cups that makes the experience more special. When you have a small quantity of tea, you have no choice but to savor it, sip by sip and drop by drop. With a larger tea glass, it takes some of the significance away.
The tea cups are also made from tokoname clay, and they have matching leaf patterns on them, which really ties together the whole look of the shiboridashi tea set under a common aesthetic theme.
Elevate you tea routine
Whatever your reason is for choosing this shiboridashi tea set, you are sure to fall in love with it. Everything from the handcrafted clay finish, to the artwork is nothing short of perfection. This truly is teaware worthy of the emperors tea.