I NEVER thought I would purchase one of these highest priced Matcha bowls but after over a year of thinking on it I decided to treat myself since I absolutely adore Matcha!
This replica is so beautiful and just wonderful! I Love thunderstorms, the show of lightning, and the sound of rain. It seems no matter how loudly the rain pours it still only helps me sleep and feel calm.
When I first recieved my bowl I could not stop just looking at it, feeling it, and thinking about the History as written here on this site. I decided to give it it's first soak in water. I placed it in a large clear bowl filled with water so I could continue looking at it and admiring it. I noticed that water is indeed retained by this bowl, it literally soaked water up! I had to add a bit more water to the large bowl because I realized the water level had dropped and the top of the Matcha bowl was no longer under water. I thought that was interesting. I also noticed tiny air bubbles flying out of the natural holes in the material as it soaked. When I took the bowl out of the water I heard an odd sound like crackling or bubbles popping or something sort of like sizzling... it was so funny to realize it was the Matcha bowl still soaking water!
After the soak the bowl felt heavier and more sturdy so I'm always sure to follow HIBIKI-AN's instructions to soak to keep it strong and durable.
The First Time I used this, right after it's soak, I could smell a definite scent of "wet stone/rocks" the material it is made of. This was a bit strong but faded by the 3rd use. It was not horrible at all, though, because it was a natural scent, a bit like a river with alot of stones or rocks around, especially after a rain.
I had kept a completely sealed up, never opened can of the Competition Grade Matcha and decided this was the exact and Perfect Time to enjoy that. The Competition Grade Matcha offered by HIBIKI-AN is so wonderful, it really makes you speechless! I Love the Asahi breed when used for Matcha and wish I could enjoy that very limited Matcha more often, I admit.
The color of the Matcha against the rich black is SO mezmerising! I was never able to admire this before because none of my other Matcha bowls are black. (Now I'm really imagining how a red Matcha bowl looks against the vivid green as HIBIKI-AN describes. It just always seems these things REALLY JUST MUST be experienced in Person! )
I Honestly keep making excuses to use this Matcha bowl! I used it the other day to enjoy quite a large amount of the amazing Customer Appreciation Gift of Matcha Karigane, after I had finished drinking my Matcha from it. I just did not want to stop using my awesome new AMAGUMO!
After every use I rinse it for a full 30 seconds as well as before each use. Inbetween uses I have it sitting out on the folded cloth that came with it on the nice dining room table and even though this is a desigh hundreds of years old and from a completely different part of the World, it still looks lovely and matches the elegance of the cherry wood table, it all just comes together.
A few things I noticed are that it really will suck up and retain water! I think of it as a Friend drinking my Tea with me!! To reduce it from soaking up as much Tea, I run water over it a full 30 seconds at least before I use it. Also, about the "sweating," I have never noticed this. The only Time anything close to that happened was when I had alot of cold-brewed Matcha Karigane in it but that was just the usual condensation formed by all cold drinks. Also, if I went a few days without using this or long enough for it to "dry out" enough to a certain point, I noticed that natural scent of wet stones/rocks reappearing, but never as strong as it originally had been and once I ran it under water for about 1 minute I could not smell it while drinking my Matcha as I had the first few uses.
If you LOVE Matcha like I do and History as well, I do recommend this beautiful and wonderfully useful work of Art and piece of History. I cannot wait to see if HIBIKI-AN once again offers the Competition Grade Matcha again because the 2 together is just Perfect!