Over the years as my teaware collection has grown, my teapots, gaiwans, and shibos have gotten smaller in size. When I look back at it, I’m astonished at how early on in my tea journey a 10oz teapot was considered petite and today I have no interest in anything larger than 150ml. These days I reach for my 120ml shibo or 80ml gaiwan for most teas. There are a few reasons for my teaware shrinking: gongfu brewing, limiting caffeine intake, and stretching my pricier teas.
This mini kyusu is the most recent addition to my cupboard and at 65ml is the smallest tea vessel that I own. Teaware House started selling them a few years ago and since then I’ve seen them popping up everywhere online. They are mass produced in China (where else?) and come in an assortment of colors. I bought mine for $14 shipped from AliExpress. I chose the white ruyao as its glazed inside and can be used with any tea.
In person, the kyusu is super tiny and almost looks like a toy. But in the hand it feels solid and has a nice weight for such a small teapot. There are 7 medium sized holes inside near the spout that seldom get blocked. It is suitable for all but fine leaf teas such as Japanese greens. I’ve brewed Chinese green tea, blacks, and oolongs without issue. The pour rate is reasonably fast but during the pour it has a tendency to drip a little if overfilled or tipped over too quickly. To use properly, grip the little handle in between your index and middle fingers and use your thumb to hold down the lid as you angle the teapot just so. Same as my 150ml clay Japanese kyusu, but this one isn’t quite as comfortable to hold due to the small size. It also takes a bit more effort to clean because you can only fit one finger inside. While this teapot performs well, I find myself reaching for my $5 Yunnan Sourcing 80ml gaiwan more often. I’ve found that when it comes to <100ml teapots, the handleless ones (gaiwans And shibos) feel more ergonmical in the hands than teapots.
All nitpicking aside, this is a very functional teapot and a tremendous value for the price. The size is perfect for one person and the biggest benefit for me is cutting back on caffeine while still being able to do proper gongfu. And less caffeine isn’t just about insomnia. By not blowing through my daily caffeine allowance in one go, it gives me an opportunity to have more than one kind of tea during the day.