[Limited] HANA KIKOH - Pair (SAKURA / Iris) Reviews

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Author Sarah Longo   (United States)
Review I really Love the HANA KIKOH Series! They are beautiful and extremely useful to collect if you drink a lot of different Teas and prefer your Tea Ware to be handcrafted but also able to be used for other things besides Tea, and want something that is very high quality but really easy to clean up without any fuss. (I have been spoiled by using only my collection of handcrafted Tea Ware I thank HIBIKI-AN for always offering. I realized this recently when looking at Tea Ware in other places, even being able to see and hold the items in-store... I feel like I'm missing something during my Tea Times if I'm using an obviously mass produced item, it seems to just not be as nice as I KNOW it definitely CAN be!)

I now have, I believe, all the sets from this series. I get the sets because they are a better value price point :) plus I can never decide on just 1 of the Season's flowers. Most of all, I get A LOT of use out of these multi-cups! They are really a great shape and size for many things. I drink a lot of Matcha and I really Love being able to choose which flower I "feel" the most when I start to prepare my Matcha at any Time of day, or in any way (for example if I make a cold Matcha smoothie in the Summer, or a delicious hot chocolate blend made with the sweetly enriched Autumn Kuradashi Matcha, or even fresh from my local Farm crisp apple cider in my Persimmon multi-cup, as examples!)

These wonderful cups are so nice to use for a variety of things. Each cup is different in colors, size, etc. because they are uniquely handmade, which makes it very nice when I want to really treat myself, or one or more guests to a personalized, lovely and calming atmosphere. These are perfect for allowing each person to enjoy Matcha thickness to their own liking, instead of some people being left out because they don't want to share a large bowl together for whatever the reason and/or they want their Matcha to be a different thickness. I started out only using my first set as small Matcha bowls, but now I use these for so many different things and it's really fun and a greatly personalized experience to pick one that fits my mood and atmosphere I'd like.

The SAKURA cup, with white and shades of pastel pink petals, delicate green leaves, and accented with just a bit of modest gold to keep the feel cool, gentle, and modestly elegant I have found myself reaching for literally everyday at least once these past 2 weeks. Sometimes certain colors just sort of "speak out to you" at different Times, as I was using the Iris (the other flower that comes with this set) for awhile before wanting to use the SAKURA cup more often.

Each of these is so beautiful in it's handmade and painted individually feel. Some Season's sets will vary ever so slightly in size from each other, my SAKURA multi-cup is a tad smaller than my Iris... or maybe my Iris is a tad bigger... Either way, I really feel this specific cup is one of my favorites from the HANA KIKOH Series. It reminds me a bit of the Peony in this series and I can't decide which I like better, both are cool and relaxing shades of white and pastel pinks.

The Iris cup I started using a lot when it got later in Summer and am still choosing it often, now. I really like the pretty shade of blue on the cup, it is a strong looking blue, a nice color to contemplate when the day is feeling sort of gloomy it is a nice blue to see- it looks regal and strong, and the stems and leaves of this flower are also quite large and strong appearing. I think it worked out well that in my handmade pair the Iris multi-cup was slightly larger than the more delicate and small petaled SAKURA flower cup. The cup sizes matched their flowers well! :)

I realized something extremely helpful about these multi-cups- I have a strainer that came in a cast iron pot from a well known Tea store at many malls in the U.S. The strainer is supposed to be large enough to allow the tea leaves to expand and flavor the entire pot... well as many of us have come to realize, that is just not the case. BUT, that strainer fits perfectly right inside these multi-cups, it's the perfect shape and size, same size as the inside of these cups!
I simply set that strainer right inside these cups, as well as HAKU and the other multi-cups, spoon my leaves in, pour water over the dry leaves so I have the exact amount of water for the cup, then heat that amount of water, pour the heated water back into the cup holding the strainer and Tea, and then finally, after waiting for the leaves to steep just super easily lift the strainer right out and I know that I have a perfectly steeped cup of Tea, the leaves having had plenty of room to expand. If you have a strainer from a pot try it yourself, maybe. When steeping, I cover the cup with an upside down porcelain saucer.

I really enjoy this Artist's work, he is 1 of my favorite Artists of Tea Ware offered here, and I think the price for the set is a very good deal considering he handmade the actual cups from clay first, scraped away as he saw fit to add effect, then also not only just glazed the cups but took the Time to hand paint a lovely flower with little details added such as bees/insects, and each cup is accented with gold so the flower feels regal but still modest and natural, just as it is in Nature. I think it's really great he paints a bit on the upper inside of each cup as is done in the larger, regular sized Matcha bowls. It shows he puts an extra effort into these and they are definitely suitable for the best grades of Matcha. I'm glad he consistently paints that extra area on the inside upper area, it pulls the whole look and balance of things together I feel. These sets are really a wonderful addition to any Tea Lover's Tea Ware! Thank you so much, HIBIKI-AN :)
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 5 of 5 Stars!

Date March 12, 2016

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Reviews Posted by this Author: 138