The Best Sake Sets

Just like with all things in Japan, there is a certain way of doing things, and drinking sake is no exception. Sure you could take large gulps straight out the bottle as I do late at night when no one is watching, but then you run the risk of being labeled an uncultured savage by the good people of Japan. Fortunately, they invented sake sets. Here we will reveal the typical components of a set, what the are made of and review some of the best sake sets you can buy.

Sake sets from Japan

Typical components of a sake set

Every sake set (shuki in Japanese) is made up of one container vessel and two to four drinking cups. The vessel is known as a tokkuri while the cups have different names depending on their shape. In this section, we will go over the different components that make up a complete set.

Tokkuri

A tokkuri is a container vessel that holds your brew and is used for both heating and pouring. Most can hold up to 360ml at a time and have spherical shapes with long thin necks which helps the aroma travel upwards.

Ochoko

The small cylindric cups used for drinking is known as o-choko or choko. They are slightly narrower at the bottom and wider at the top so that the aroma of the sake can, just like the tokkuri we mentioned earlier, easily travel upwards.

Guinomi

A guinomi is exactly the same as an ochoko but only smaller in size and with a curvier shape. They can be used for drinking but are also popular as collector items among sake enthusiasts. Using a guinomi is a less formal way of drinking sake and can also be used for drinking tea.

Masu

A masu is a wooden box originally created during the Edo period to measure soy sauce, sake, vinegar, rice, and other grains. It was eventually used as a sake drinking cup but is no longer a popular choice since the wood interferes with the taste and smell of premium brews. It is, however still used today by traditionalists at izakaya’s (traditional Japanese pubs) and at special ceremonies. Masu’s come in two sizes – 144ml and 180ml.


What are sake sets made from?

The sets are usually made from ceramic but can also be wood, glass, metal or plastic. Wooden sets used to be popular a long time ago as it had a pleasurable effect on the taste; however, in modern times people do not want anything to alter the taste of their drink, especially when drinking premium brands.

Glass sets are best used for cold sake while ceramic sets are more versatile and can be used for both hot or cold. This is something to keep in mind when choosing a set.


The best sake sets from Japan

Four seasons ceramic sake set

The four seasons ceramic set is made in Japan and consists of one tokkuri and four o-chokos.

The beautifully glazed tokkuri is imprinted with the kanji characters for the four seasons – summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Also, each of the four drinking cups is a different color to represent the seasons.

The red cup represents autumn leaves, white for the snow in winter, blue for the summer ocean and green for the grass in spring.

Ideal for: Cold and hot sake.

Product dimensions are 10.6 x 7.5 x 4.3 inches with a weight of 1.35 pounds.

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Turquoise black ceramic sake set

This stunning black glazed ceramic set has been handmade in Japan and consists of a tokkuri and four cups.

Ideal for: Cold and hot sake.

Product dimensions are 8 x 6 x 3 inches with a weight of 1.25 pounds.

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Three-piece tanuki raccoon sake set

This kawaii brown colored ceramic sake set which resembles raccoons consists of one tokkuri and two cups.

The high-quality set which is made in Japan by the Miya Company is both microwave and dishwasher safe and comes packaged in a beautiful black gift box.

Ideal for: Cold and hot sake.

Product dimensions are 2.8 x 2.8 x 4.8 inches with a weight of 1.55 pounds.

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Blue glass sake set

This blue glass sake set comes with a tokkuri and two matching cups. You will also notice an indentation in the tokkuri vessel which is for crushed ice to keep your drink cold for longer.

Ideal for: Cold sake.

Product dimensions are 6 x 6 x 8 inches with a weight of 14.4 ounces.

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Japanese square wooden masu sake cup

No Japanese sake set is complete without a wooden masu cup. These cups were first used in the Edo period as a measuring tool and later used as a sake drinking cup.

The masu, which is handmade in Japan from hinoki wood, slightly alters the taste of your sake in a favorable way. Also, many Japanese believe that hinoki wood has antibiotic properties.

Ideal for: Cold and hot sake.

The masu has dimensions of 4.4 x 3.6 x 3.4 inches and a weight of 6.4 ounces.

Get the latest price from amazon.com.


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