Tobin, what does it really mean?

(The above photo was taken in Takeno Shuzo/Yasakaturu in Kyoto.)


Given that there are many sake terms that are daunting to the uninitiated, sake names can be confusing at times and could lead to one missing out on an amazing sake. 

The term 'Tobin'(斗瓶) is a word you may have read or heard about sake, in short it refers to the 18-liter glass vessel that is used to collect the sake after it has been pressed. But as part of a sake name it actually relays the pressing method used, a method called gravity drip (雫).

Where breweries usually use the Yabuta, an automatic sake press machine to separate the sake-lees from the sake, the gravity drip method hangs the moromi (fermented sake mash) in bags which allows the sake to seep through, then with the help of gravity, drips to the vat below to be collected by the Tobin. 

The gravity drip method is the most precious way of pressing sake, and can not be replicated by machines. With a limited yield, rare status and unique texture, 'Tobin' sake are expensive yet sought after by sake enthusiasts around the world.

Looking for some 'Tobin' sake? Click here

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