Presenting, the newly acquired sibling of my yixing: a tokoname kyusu.
Specifically, a dragon pot!
I've been stalking artistic nippon for the longest time ever since I came upon the kyusu appreciation thread on teachat. Was originally looking for a houin or a shiboridashi since I like the gaiwan's ergonomics, but couldn't find one that had both the aesthetics that I wanted at the right price point. Then this pot came up and it was quite love at first sight...and over budget, but splurging on teapots is one of the privileges of having a paid internship.
First the packaging.
The lid has really good tolerance, very much appreciated. Same with the fancy paper and the neatly tied ribbon. Even the bubble wrap was neatly folded like how you would for gift wrapping. On top of that, the packaging tape was orderly taped, which is a feat in itself. Overall it goes to show the care by both the craftsman and the seller. I (and teachat people) highly recommend ordering from AN.
Bonus points for prompt email replies from AN, one of my biggest pet peeves.
Onto the pot itself.
I didn't expect to like a rather ornamental tea pot, but the dragon got me. In fact I might make it a rule to only purchase pots with some animal tie-in since my yixing has a lion on the lid too.
The lid tolerance on the pot is great too, it indeed passes the test in which water stops flowing out of the spout when you cover the air hole on the lid. This pours oh-so-wonderfully, I'm tempted to say that it drains faster than my smaller yixing. I tried filming the pour, but I have terrible depth recognition from looking at the screen and ended up spilling half of the pot. One downside of this pot is thatt the filter holes don't go right against the edge, so there will always be some water left inside the pot, which can increase the bitterness of subsequent steeps.
Brewed some chinese green tea as a test run since I have no japense greens left. It brought out more of a beany smell to the wet leaves, and helped mellow out the bitterness. I surprisingly tasted some perfume-y floral at the earlier steeps, and some unami in the later ones, will have to confirm these with subsequent sessions.