[Shouraku] AKA MAKUGUSURI CHAWAN (by Shohraku III) Reviews

Author Monica Miller   (United States)
Review The AKA MAKUGUSURI CHAWAN is beyond words. Visually, it is STRIKING and definitely substantial. It takes command of the spotlight next to my other matcha chawans. Although Aka raku is called ‘red’, this one is not a red in the sense of a brick in color. The aka on this chawan is more subdued due to the layers of white glaze and all of the FU. The Fu marks go all around and each has an almost iridescent quality to it, especially near the bottom. The wavy pattern of dripped glaze is beautiful, very thick and dimensional, and I love that it is uneven all the way around. Definitely Wabi-Sabi! When it arrived I was a little surprised as it looked a bit different than the one on the Habiki-An website. The basic ‘look’ was there, but mine has a lot more Fu, is less ‘pink’ and the general glazing is different. Each chawan has its own ‘personality’ and unique differences that make each an individual masterpiece.

Initial impressions:

When I did the water initiation, it felt like it was coming to life. There were so many bubbles and even sounds coming from it. Surprisingly, it absorbed about two ounces of water. Afterwards the deep earthy scent was intoxicating. It’s amazing that a piece of pottery that is glazed can still be gas permeable. Matcha has a different taste in the aka raku chawan. Whisking a large amount of froth was a breeze (perhaps I’m getting better at it). I can detect a faint scent of matcha has been absorbed into the raku even after only one week of use (probably a sort of ‘seasoning’ if you can describe it that way).
The first time I made Matcha in it was a special experience. I had read that raku chawans are soft and warm but all I had felt was a coolness from the chawan being moist in a cool room…that is, until I warmed it up. The chawan retains its heat for a good time. Even after you dry it off and finish your Matcha it is still warm (which helps your Matcha stay warm, too). Just be careful when you rinse it off after use that you don’t ‘shock’ it with water that is too cold as it could crack from the temperature difference. I also feel like the wide bottom and taller sides makes it easier to whisk vigorously, thus making the THICKEST foam seem almost effortless. It was so delicious. There is something to be said about drinking from a high end Raku chawan. It is an experience that has to be lived in order to know what is being described.

Final thoughts:

The Aka Makugusori Chawan is a functional masterpiece that has history, as well as expert craftsmanship and skill behind it. It can only be properly appreciated in person, because even though it is beautiful in the pictures, it is even more beautiful in person.

Thanks Hibiki-An for your great support. I had many questions regarding use and care and your staff was ‘right there’ to answer my questions to help me progress with confidence. The order was shipped in a double box and everything was very well protected.

If you can afford to purchase one of these for yourself (or its black counterpart, Kuro Makugusuri), you will not be disappointed. Once you have one of these high end raku chawans, you most probably won’t want to use anything else as it really is ‘quite the experience’ :-)

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 5 of 5 Stars!

Date March 15, 2021

Verified Purchase

Reviews Posted by this Author: 50