• HOME >
  • Featured Articles

I would like to explain the points on how to choose the right type of clay teapot for a Japanese green tea.

The taste alteration by various clay teapots

The taste of tea will noticeably change depending on the type of clay we use. The outcome in the taste alteration using a clay teapot is not of many different ways in fact. The taste differs thanks to the clay used for the teapot and the existing minerals in the clay. Basically, there are two kinds of changes in taste in responding to the clay.

  1. Increase or decrease in Body
  2. Increase or decrease in After Taste

The body refers to the width, richness or the full spreading sensation in our mouth. If the body of the same tea is enhanced, you will feel that the tea flavour becomes stronger. However, it is not only the desirable flavour that is increased, but the less attractive flavour also enhanced when the body is enhanced. On the other hand, the after taste means the lingering taste/flavour, the transparency and the depth of taste. The body is the horizontal sensation while the after taste is the vertical sensation. If tea has both body and aftertaste in an equal extent of intensity originally, or, enhanced by using a clay teapot, we may feel that the taste and flavour of the tea is three dimensional, rounded; this will be a very nice cup of tea from a subjective point of view.

古琵琶湖急須

Selection of suitable clay based on two different types of Japanese green tea

When selecting a clay for Japanese green tea, it depends on the type of Japanese green tea that you intended to brew. In the view of selecting the clay, we can classify the Japanese tea in the following two groups.

  1. The majority of Japanese green tea: rich in amino acid that gives strong Umami taste
  2. Bio-Dynamic/Natural farming tea such as Zairai tea: rich in poly phenols and minerals that gives body and after taste.

Japanese tea that is rich in amino acid and gives a strong umami taste

In Japanese tea industry, there is a norm yet odd practice, where they would intensify the amino acid content and the umami taste in tea. Hence, the farmers would try very hard to produce a tea that could meet this criterion. Hence, the application of nitrogen fertilizer by the farmers is to increase the amino acid content in tea. Once nitrogen is applied, the tea trees would grow faster; in order to produce necessary carbohydrates, the tea leaves will increase the number of chlorophyll and speed up the photosynthesis. Thereafter, the appearance of the tea leaves is a very important element to determine the tea quality. Thus, during the production of Japanese green tea, majority of tea manufacturers try their best to remove the stems from tea. As a result, the tea will give the following characters.

  1. Less after taste
  2. Less body
  3. Strong umami taste or saltiness due to high theanine (amino acid) content.
  4. The distinctive sweet flavour caused by the amino acid when it is baked
  5. Seaweed flavour

Tea trees grow faster when fertilizers are applied. As a result, tea contains fewer minerals, such as iron, and its taste becomes flat and lacks aftertaste. As for the body of tea, it has something to do with the stem. Once the stems are removed, the tea would give a very light body. It is related to the calcium distribution that may only be accumulated in the stems of the tea and not circulated to the tea leaves.

日本茶
Therefore, nitrogen fertilizer accumulation will end up in the tea leaves. During the final process of Japanese tea, the crude tea leaves are fired in order to bring up the flavour. If tea contains high amino acid content, it would produce a very distinctive sweet aroma. This aroma is generated due to the oxidation of amino acid and sugar – the Maillard reaction. The mechanism of this reaction is very similar to the way a hot cake produces its sweet aroma when it is baked. Besides, the distinctive flavour produced from the amino acid will also develop a flavour like seaweed when the tea is produced follows the modern agricultural practice which uses fertilizers.

The majority of Japanese green tea available in Japan falls into the category mentioned above. Sometimes as you pay more, you will get the tea with stronger amino acid taste. For this type of tea, generally people would prefer a teapot that increases the after taste and decreases the body. If the clay increases the body, the distinctive oxidized amino acid flavour and the seaweed flavour will be very strong. Actually, not everyone enjoys these flavours. Hence, if a clay decreases the body, it reduces these flavours and increases the aftertaste. As a result, the flavour is more natural, similar to the flavour of fresh natural tea leaves; plus, it also increases the transparency and clarity of taste thanks to the enhancement of the aftertaste. If you brew a Gyokuro in the reduction clay, the seaweed flavour is cut down and its flavour turns out to be very elegant. I suggest the following clays that will reduce the body and increases the aftertaste.

  1. Nosaka Oxidation Fired clay
  2. Nosaka Reduction Fired clay
  3. Banko purple clay

The Nosaka oxidation fired clay gives a stronger body as compared to the Nosaka reduction fired clay. If you wish to drastically reduce the seaweed flavour, I would suggest the Nosaka reduction clay. However, if you wish to maintain a slight seaweed flavour, the Nosaka oxidation clay will be preferable.

佐渡 野坂 還元焼成 宝瓶

無名異焼宝瓶

 

Japanese green tea grown Naturally/Bio-Dynamically

春日の茶園

For Natural/Bio-Dynamic farming tea or organic farming tea, the nitrogen fertilizer is seldom or occasionally used. As a result, the growing speed of the tea trees is very slow. At the same time, the colour of the tea leaves would be yellow as they do not have to grow fast and does not necessarily need to conduct photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates. These kind of teas contain higher minerals and polyphenol as compare to those that grow faster. Thus, it has a floral flavour that reminds us of Taiwan high mountain oolong. These teas do not give the distinctive oxidized amino acid and seaweed flavour. For this type of tea, I’d suggest a clay that increases both the intensity of body and flavour. If you successfully increase the body of tea, you will enjoy a very rich floral flavour on your palate. For increasing the body of tea, I would suggest the following clays.

  1. Mumyoi Oxidation Clay
  2. Kobiwako Clay
  3. Shigaraki Clay
  4. Gisui Tokoname Natural Red Clay

The above theory is merely my recommendation. After all, you may need to understand which tea characters you are seeking for the most. If you enjoy an increase of the seaweed flavour or the distinctive amino acid flavour, you may use a clay that increases the body, even for the common Japanese green teas. If you use a reduction Sado clay for the natural/Bio-Dynamic farmed tea, it will minimize the flavour but drastically increases the aftertaste; the tea may be a little weak in character, but it has a very transparent and clear drinking feeling. However, if you are not very sure about your preference, I would suggest a clay that gives an intermediate effect in body such as the Shigaraki or Nosaka oxidation clay.

Related Articles

How to get the latest update on HOJO Tea?

1. Follow Twitter, 2. Click "Like" on Facebook, and 3. Subscribe in newsletter. You can have the latest tea news from HOJO Tea.

Subscribe the Newsletter to enjoy the privileges
You may receive a free sample upon purchase, or you may have the priority to purchase special products. So please remember to subscribe our newsletter as well as the social network.
HOJO TEA Malaysia online Shop

HOJO TEA Online Shop NEWSlist

New Release of Lan Yun Tie Guan Yin from Anxi
Lan Yun Tie Guan Yin from Anxi, is not just an ordinary Tie Guan Yin. It has a strikingly delightful flavor reminiscent of orchid flowers with silky-soft drinking sensation. Anxi, renowned as one of the three major Oolong tea production regions in China. Anxi is recognized as one of the three major Oolong tea-producing regions …
The new release of Bao Dao Shan Da Cha Tou Brick 2017, exclusively crafted from Da Cha Tou leaves
Bao Dao Shan Cha Tou Zhuan 2017 is a ripe pu-erh tea crafted into brick form. Bao Dao Shan is the name of the mountain situated in the southwestern part of Yunnan. “Cha Tou” denotes a distinctive type of ripe pu-erh tea. In the course of fermenting spring tea, certain tea clumps naturally develop, known …

NEW ARTICLES

Creating Muscatel Black Tea Using a Unique Blending Method
I would like to introduce the unique creation of black tea with a distinctive muscatel flavor profile. Acquiring Exceptional Mi Xiang Black Tea Have you ever heard of a unique black tea called “Mi Xiang Black Tea” or “Muscatel Black Tea”? This tea is crafted from leaves that have been delicately nibbled by leafhoppers, resulting …
New Release of Lan Yun Tie Guan Yin from Anxi
Lan Yun Tie Guan Yin from Anxi, is not just an ordinary Tie Guan Yin. It has a strikingly delightful flavor reminiscent of orchid flowers with silky-soft drinking sensation. Anxi, renowned as one of the three major Oolong tea production regions in China. Anxi is recognized as one of the three major Oolong tea-producing regions …
The Difference Between Fermentation in Tea and Fermented Foods
Black tea and oolong tea are often categorized as “fermented teas,” but the extent to which they undergo fermentation raises questions about whether they truly qualify as fermented foods. In this article, I endeavour to offer a thorough exploration of the distinctions between tea and traditional fermented foods, shedding light on the nuances of their …
Easy Way to Prepare Flavorful and Warm Tea at the Workplace
Have you ever experienced the transformation of tea stored in a thermos or water bottle at work, turning into a brown hue and acquiring a bitter, astringent taste? As this has piqued the interest of many, I would like to offer a more in-depth explanation for a solution. Tea stored in a thermos undergoes oxidation …
The new release of Bao Dao Shan Da Cha Tou Brick 2017, exclusively crafted from Da Cha Tou leaves
Bao Dao Shan Cha Tou Zhuan 2017 is a ripe pu-erh tea crafted into brick form. Bao Dao Shan is the name of the mountain situated in the southwestern part of Yunnan. “Cha Tou” denotes a distinctive type of ripe pu-erh tea. In the course of fermenting spring tea, certain tea clumps naturally develop, known …
We released Lapsang Suchong Qi Zhong Classic: Premium Lapsang Souchong
Lapsang Souchong is one of the earliest known black teas distinguished by a unique production method and flavour profile. Its origins are often linked to the Wuyi Mountains in China’s Fujian province, where Lapsang Souchong is traditionally crafted. Black tea production in the Wuyi region has a history dating back several centuries. Lapsang Souchong tea …
Regular Consumption of Umami Seasoning Can Influence Taste Preferences
Excessive consumption of artificial condiments, such as umami seasonings, is believed to influence one’s taste and preferences. I’d like to share my own view to explore how an overabundance of condiments can indeed influence one’s palate. Umami Seasonings Are Prevalent in Asian Countries I spend half of the year living abroad, particularly in China and …
Special Release Limited Set of Ancient White Tea from 5 Gardens
The ancient white tea is a very popular tea in our store. We produced this tea in spring. Following production, it was stored in an oxygen-free environment for several months to further enhance its flavor, achieving the expected maturation. The production of ancient tree white tea is limited in quantity per day, resulting in small …
The New Arrival of Da Xue Shan Wild White Tea Loose 2023
We have released the 2023 harvest of wild white tea from the Da Xue Shan. Fresh Green Colour of Leaves Achieved Through Custom Production Da Xue Shan’s wild white tea is an incredibly rare type of white tea, and it’s made from a unique plant called Camellia Taliensis that grows in the wild in the …
5 Years Aged Wu Liang Shan White Tea from 2018
In 2018, we introduced the Wu Liang Shan Ancient Tree White Tea. It became an instant hit, selling out quickly due to its exquisite taste and captivating aroma.Fortunately, we had the foresight to store half of the tea in Malaysia, where the consistently high temperatures create the perfect conditions for aging. Over the past five …

PAGETOP