This is pretty straight forward and simple.
It is also my first "Matcha Chawan". This is classic Japanese, over-deliver and under-price. Although anyone may easily overlook this as not being a "work of art", I would challenge anyone to go look around at other "clay bowls", made from mud or dirt of unknown origin and without any heritage, nor tradition, and then compare that with what we have here. You can easily go get a $50 "clay bowl" from any local coffee shop or from some new age type clay maker, but what are you really getting? Is it something with the lineage of hundreds of years of real Chawan experience in it's form and construction? Or just some lump of cheap clay, from who knows where, quickly whipped out by anyone and glazed with who knows what? Think carefully before forking over your money.
Clay bowls are clay bowls, but these are unique and not from "Pottery Barn" or a questionable "Muddy Patchouli Shop".
Your $41 is buying you a rock bowl basically. Following a very precise protocol and traditional method of craftsmanship, the artists here take rocks, from a set location of known origin and free of contamination, and reduce them into a clay, which is them formed into the Matcha Chawan here. The glaze applied to the bowl is produced in the same manner. Very painstakingly and methodically.
Well worth $41 and these things are as tough as Russian tractors. Mine has been dropped many times on hard concrete, wood and carpet floors. Mainly from friends I have shared matcha with and who have stated how weird yet nice it is to have "tea in a bowl" as they put it.I have had mine a few months now and I use it 5 or 6 days of every week. I only rinse it out and do not use soap on it. I also only use it for matcha, no food or any other teas.
It looks better in person than it does on the website. When flipped over, you can see the very coarse texture of the clay that once was rocks. There are bits of rock in the clay and this texture is nice to the touch as it is under a nice thick coat of ultra high quality glaze. They could charge more for this bowl, say $100, and I still would have bought it, in the principle of sustaining this cultures legacy.
I have a good bit of other traditional Japanese tea ware, both metal and clay, and this Matcha Chawan is my favorite of my collection.
Now I need to start saving for a real Chawan, like the AKA or KURO MAKUGUSURI...
This is a no frills, simple, clay-made-from-rocks matcha bowl. It's representative of the culture and sustains Japanese heritage, not cheap Chinese copies or other bowls of questionable origin. It's as authentic as it gets, for entry level price. Four Stars without a doubt.
Buy mine and I'll wash it so I can get a KURO MAKUGUSURI!