When you cook, you will choose a saucepan or grill or oven depending on what ingredients you are going to cook and how to cook. Likewise, when you brew green tea, it is recommended to choose a suitable Kyusu (Japanese tea pot) depending on tea leaf type including gyokuro, sencha, konacha, hojicha and bancha. This is because the size of each tea leaves are different, and also brewing time and temperature are different depending on tea types.
Gyokuro, High grade Sencha
Gyokuro and high grade Sencha are made of fine tea leaves and need hot water of which temperature is 40~50℃. Because of the relatively low temperature, use a Kyusu called “Hohin” which does not have a handle. Hohin is made of ceramic and it looks like a cup with a lid and spout. Its appearance is extremely elegant and suitable to serve such fine Japanese tea as Gyokuro and high grade Sencha. Usually, Hohin has a built-in strainer. If the strainer holes are too large for the tea leaves, mesh type strainer may be added.
There is another type of Kyusu for Gyokuro and high grade Sencha. That is called “Shiboridashi”. The literal meaning of Shiboridashi is squeezing out. This Kyusu looks like a Hohin but does not have a built-in strainer. Instead, there are some streaks made around the spout, with which you can squeeze the tea leaves to extract the taste and aroma of the tea. Shiboridashi is suitable when serving a small amount of Gyokuro or high grade Sencha.
Sencha (High quality and Standard)
To make tea with the high quality or standard Sencha leaves, use a standard Kyusu which has a side handle. The standard Kyusu is made of ceramic and has built-in strainer. The holes of the strainer vary from small to large sizes. If the size is too large for the tea leaves, you can use mesh strainer. Ideally, the Kyusu that has a built-in strainer with small holes should be used. This is because you can secure more room in the tea pot so that the tea leaves can well expand and good taste and aroma of the tea can be extracted.
Fine tea grain: Konacha
Konacha is the gathering of fine tea grains and needs fine strainer. Usually the holes of the built-in strainer are too large for Konacha, and therefore you should use a mesh strainer. In some types of Kyusu, a mesh strainer sheet is already attached in the pot around the spout entrance, and this type is ideal since the inner space of the pot is secured so that the tea leaves can have enough room to expand in the pot. If the Kyusu does not have a mesh strainer attached, you can use a basket type strainer which is removal. In this case, the taste and aroma of the tea may not be extracted so much. Also thorough cleaning of the mesh strainer is required as the fine mesh can be clogged with grains of Konacha.
Coarse tea leaf: Hojicha, Bancha
Hojicha is a roasted Japanese tea and Bancha is a Japanese tea harvested between summer and autumn. Both have coarse tea leaves and usually boiling water is used for brewing. These tea leaves also need enough room to expand to produce good taste and aroma. For these reasons, a large Kyusu is suitable. You can use ceramic type of Kyusu but also an iron type can be used. When using the iron tea pot, you can put it on heat sources directly to boil the tea as well.