As a limited collector of tea ware, I find myself many times ordering unique pieces that catch my eye. I tend to prefer the more earthy tones and items that reflect the essence of nature.
I struggle with the concept that though these works are artistic creations they are created with the purpose of being used.
My collection has grown over the years, and though brings me much joy I have yet to use many of the pieces that delight my vision daily.
So to address this shortcoming, I decided to examine one type of teaware that I have in my collection shiboridashi.
I have read somewhere that this tea ware was created for use with Japanese green tea like Sencha and Gyokuro though I have used them for many types of tea.
And in other excerpts it has been classified along with Houhin a small Japanese teapot without a handle similar to a gaiwan.
I choose to differentiate and consider the more upright tea vessel such as these as Houhin and those with shorter bodies and raised sides that protect my fingers, shiboridashi.
One must be cognizant of the construct of the shibo, as it may become damaged and crack if the water temperature used is too hot. When investing in a shibo purchase, you can always consult the seller for guidance.
My first exposure to this style was in a post by Gingko, Life In Teacup. Gingko featured tea ware by artist Petr Novák, and the rest is history.
At the time I was much too late to acquire any of those treasures, though smitten, I became obsessed with these artisan creations.
I have rectified this by scoring some of Petr’s works, and he remains one of my favorite artisans.
I began my “shibo” collection with the more readily available and practical pieces.
Once I started using them, I found the handling simpler than a gaiwan where the “practice makes perfect methodology” must be employed and scorched fingertips come with the territory.
As my collection grew, based mostly on the appearance and design of the artisan, I searched for more unusual (though practical) pieces. Note the tiny holes that act like a strainer for your brew others may have ridges as shown in the last image.
This evening I used a new acquisition, attracted to the unusual shape and deep rich color that paired nicely with two cups I am fond of.
I brewed a new tea I just received from Yunomi, a Yuzu Green Tea with Matcha.
I liked the color contrast when presented in this shibo.
The brew was delightful, combining deep green vegetal notes with a lingering hint of citrus.
Just recently, I conducted an online pu’er class and took the opportunity to use one such shiboridashi I had ordered a few months ago and never used.
I’ve nicknamed it “Voyager to TRAPPIST- I” as it took me on a new journey.
I was amazed in how this item handled, and the ease of use gave me the opportunity to focus more on the instruction and less on the handling of the tea ware.
These items are practical and beautiful and come in an array of styles and shapes a pleasant addition to any tea ware collection.
So, do you “Shibo”? Thank you for reading.