Monday, November 15, 2010

Shizuku-cha at World O-CHA Festival

sizuku” means trickle, drip or drop. We tried shizuku-cha, one of the ways of preparing gyokuro, at Yame gyokuro booth at the World O-CHA (Tea) Festival. It is used with a cup with a lid, instead of using a teapot. It is called sizuku-cha at Yame region (Fukuoka). There are some other names for this style of gyokuro preparation.

You put tea leaves and hot water in the cup, and wait for two minutes, and drink it directly from the cup. You hold the cup with your left hand, and tilt the lid with right hand, and drink the tea from the aperture (tiny opening). The point is trying not to have tea leaves to come out with the tea. So you don’t want to tilt the lid too much, and make a big space between the cup and lid. Other than not using a teapot, other conditions for the preparation are pretty much the same as ordinary gyokuro brewing.


  1. ...seems like it's based on the same technique as sipping tea right from Gaiwan while it's still being brewed, which is quite common in China
    This, however, is the first time I see any Japanese tea being consumed like this. Very interesting!

  2. Hi, Michal-san,
    Thank you for the link for a picture of Chinese sipping tea. I don’t know much about Chinese tea. But,I believe this style of tea drinking originally from China. We've seemed to learn a lot from China (^-^)

  3. However the proportion and the shallowness of the bowl resembles the gyokuro tea cups (shiraboshi?) rather than the chinese gaiwan, which are taller and narrower.

    Would like to get one of these Japanese inspired tea cup. Wonder how well they brew. The traditional gaiwan don't give very much space for the leaves to expand. But this one is a different story...

  4. In my eyes, the main difference between Shiboridashi and Gaiwan is that you can drink directly from Gaiwan, as the lid is moving and doesn't fit to the body of brewing pot - just like in this pot. Shiboridashi is used just for brewing, not drinking and you have to pour the tea into the cup from it.
    Shiboridashi pots also usually have a simple spout, as you can see here:

    About brewing, from my experience - these teapots won't allow the leaves to expand more than they do in Gaiwan, as Shiboridashi are usually quite small - this, however, isn't a disadvantage in Gyokuro preparation.

  5. Michal-san, Thank you for your nice explanation and the pictureヽ(^。^)ノ

    I didn’t call “the tea cup with lid for shizuku cha” a giwan. Gaiwan is not a common name for the kind of cup in Japan. But for convenience, let’s call “the tea cup with lid for shizuku cha” Japanese gaiwan, here.

    StationerMad-san, As you say, Japanese gaiwan resembles shiboridashi, doesn’t it? Japanese gaiwan is not so popular, so that I haven’t seen many Japanese gaiwan. But they usually look like a regular sencha cup. So, Japanese gaiwan seem to have a certain depth. Shigoridashi is a teapot, and some of them are shallow, and some have a depth. It depends… I don’t know about Chinese gaiwan. So I cannot tell which are taller and narrower (^_^;) I would like Japanese gaiwan for myself to try sizukucha at home!