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Sake Set Recommendation Please

As the title suggests, I am looking to purchase a simple but decent sake set. I have more or less narrowed down to the following two. (I understand a sake set is not really a cookware, so please feel free to move this to a more acceptable board, moderator)

The Four Season:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004...

and the Alcohol Character:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

Both are made in Japan, and both look to be good quality. I am wondering which one looks better to you (the readers). Thanks for your input. If you have another set to suggest, please let me know too. I also like this following set as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Miya-Blue-Splat...

Unfortunately, it only comes with two cups.

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  1. You probably know that there's quite a bit of disagreement about which sake glasses are suited to which type of sake you're drinking. The ones pictured to my mind are most often associated with warm sake (though not always)...Many people who prefer ginjo that is cool to chilled prefer clear glass or something that's translucent. I have several types, including the thimble kind of cut glass but the one that works best for ginjo and daiginjo is pictured in the following link. It's pricey but beautifully made:

    http://shop.cooperhewitt.org/p/355/Sa...

    3 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Really appreciate your help. That is beautiful. I am looking more about warm sake. Does that little "pin" or whatever in the middle of the glass serves any purpose -- beside looking beautiful?

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I'm not sure whether it's the last stage of the mouthblowing or just decorative--it also balances the cup when you hold it and sake's in it...

        Of the three you list above, I personally would prefer the first: the decanter is nicely etched and the four glasses seem well designed and made.

        You might want to subscribe to John Gauntner's Sake Newsletter (it's free) and look through his homepage. There are examples of sake cups, too.
        http://www.sake-world.com/

        1. re: penthouse pup

          :) I just placed an order of the first set this morning. Good.

    2. How do you feel about rectangular decanters? I kinda like this one myself: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-sake-s...

      (There's another listing of what seems to be the same item, minus free shipping, that looks lighter in color, for reference's sake: http://www.amazon.com/Porcelain-Drago... )

      1 Reply
      1. re: MikeG

        Thanks, Mike. Actually, that was one of the few which I was really considering getting. I actually like the rectangular tokkuri . I think what got me away from the set was really the cups. I thought the cups are too "tall" for what I am looking for.

      2. I realize i am too late, but you should have just come to Japan and I could show you some great places to get sake items :P I bought my father a set, well really I bought myself a set with 8 glasses since i could buy them separate and then decided i should give them to my dad. Where I am living now is famous for Bizenyaki style which is pretty cool

        http://japanesehandcraft.blogspot.jp/...

        but my favourite style is Aritayaki

        http://www.utsuwadouraku.com/x_os/os0...
        http://www.jmarket.com/Arita-yaki-Mus...
        http://guinomiya.com/SHOP/8ARI0002.html

        Can get very nice sets here for very good price, though you would need to spend $1,500 getting here and back :P

        9 Replies
        1. re: TeRReT

          Wow, these are some really nice pieces? Do you drink Sake? I used to drink a little back in college, and then stopped and focused on beers and Scotch. Recently, I suddenly have a change of heart to get back to Sake. I know very little about Sake. Partly I am taking up Sake because I am enjoy more sushi and thought it is a good combination, you know.

          After I get mine, then I will post the dimension of the pieces. I don't claim mine will be some great pieces (which they won't), but I think the dimensions will be helpful for others.

          TeRReT, beside Japanese kitchen knives and Sake sets and possibly green tea sets, have you found anything you enjoy/interest in Japan? (No, Japanese Anime does not count).

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I do enjoy sake though I am still pretty inexperienced with it.

            Before Japan, I was interested in beer, whisky, rye, scotch, wine, coffee, food, knives.

            Since being in Japan, I am interested in Japanese beer, Japanese whisky, sake, coffee in Japan, Japanese tea, Japanese knives, beer, whisky, rye, scotch, wine, Japanese food, food and anything to do with them.

            Aside from knives, I love coffee things most. I have a porlex coffee mill, I have a hario v60 drip, and a syphon coffee unit. All are Japanese. I do enjoy sake sets, rice bowls, chop sticks, tea sets, etc.

            1. re: TeRReT

              I do enjoy Japanese beer. I like their take on beer as well as dessert. Very different. I don't know anything about Japanese whisky, but I have seen them around.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                The desserts and beer here are amazing, and not just Asahi, Sapporo , Kirin or Suntory, there is a small microbrewery here that I maybe visit a little too often, but it is pretty good. They always have different beer like oyster stout, or coffee stout, or mint beer and many others including more regular ones. Its not my fault I have to try at least one pint of each beer (6-9 at any time) per visit, its a law or something.

                http://kibidote.jp/

                The whisky is pretty good. They drink a lot of highballs, whisky and soda or various other mixers, but i have also tried an aged single malt

                http://www.suntory.com/whisky/en/hibi...

                It was quite good.

                I want to drink more but i have no money, and the rye i drank in Canada is so cheap here, so i often find myself drinking it or wine as I can get a quite decent bottle of wine for $3-6 :P

                1. re: TeRReT

                  <not just Asahi, Sapporo , Kirin or Suntory>

                  I only know the first three.

                  <I can get a quite decent bottle of wine for $3-6 :P>

                  Cool. Are these wines from Canada/USA or wines from Japan?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    The ones I normally buy are from Italy but I have seen from France ($6-15) and have had from Chili ($2) and have seen wine from all over. Got a docg Italian for $5, crazy price and very good.

                    I had not heard of Suntory before coming here, but its a huge company, they make all beverages including alcohol

                    1. re: TeRReT

                      By the way, I am glad that you are liking Japan more and more, which means you are adapting well. This is great.

                      1. re: TeRReT

                        Since you're in Japan, buy a copy of "Drinking Japan" by Chris Bunting (Tuttle 2011.)
                        It provides detailed information about the range of Japanese produced products (beer, sake, sochu, whisky) and precise information about the best bars across the country--with excellent photos. You can get it on Amazon. For Chem--I suggest getting this too since you'll get some useful information about sake (should check Gaunter's books or free site as well.)

                        1. re: penthouse pup

                          cool thanks I will check it out, obviously I need more bars to go to :P

          2. My Four Season Sake set has arrived. Admittedly, it is not an expensive set, but it does look attractive. It also includes 4 cups and the tokkuri is of the size I want (not too small).

            Here are some photos. The tokkuri (bottle) is shy of 6 inch tall. It has a circumference of 2-3/4 inch. The cups are 1-1/2 inch tall and slightly wider than 2 inch. Hopefully, the dimensions are helpful for further buyers.

            (Yes, I am now using my super cheap cutting board as the background).

             
             
             
            1 Reply
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Very cool, like the different colours, great set, where is the balance shot though?