What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby lamppost » Apr 6th, '11, 23:51

David R. wrote:
Ambrose wrote:Glad you liked the tea :D

I have one of the new reduction fired sado clay pots. [...] I've tried lots of teas with it, so far everything works well with it. Expect more in 1-2 months. :mrgreen:


Same here. I was afraid at first it would take away too many details. It doesn't. I have found some teas for which I prefer other teapots. Some come out dry, less sweet. But according to Akira it is normal for a new teapot and it won't be the case in anew weeks.

Best pairing for me is with japanese green teas. But I have no taiwanese gao shan cha to try it with.


I tested my reduction fired sado clay pot today with aged (2006) puerh. The result is very promising. The pot takes away a lot of aroma from gao shan cha.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby David R. » Apr 7th, '11, 03:23

Thanks. I think that new red Shimizu Ken clay pots work better with aroma, but black ones seem to do a better job boosting the after taste.

I haven't tested the new red ones... yet :wink:
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby deftea » Apr 7th, '11, 21:52

Stephane at Teas Masters has a pot he says is perfect for high mountain oolongs -- high fired, thin wall, etc.
http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2006/03/zhuni-baotai-teapot.html
Stephane is totally trust worthy but this pot is pretty expensive, more than 100 USD.
I gotta say, the gaiwan makes high mountains so well. I think we all take the "lidded cup" for granted. To justify an expensive pot, it has to make the tea taste better than a gaiwan. IMHO.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby David R. » Apr 8th, '11, 03:02

I happen to own one of Stéphane's baotai pot (yes, I can't help buying every pot I see :lol: ) I read somewhere on TC that the clay was good. As far as I am concerned, it is, but I am not a pro.

It is very thin and the impact on tea is minimal, compared to others I've tried. It rounds up very slightly the edges, doesn't take away much aroma. I like the effect it has on Baozhong very much. But I can't say you're wrong about gaiwan, especially for very pricey gao shan cha such as good quality Li Shan or Da Yu Lin.

In addition, as far as I may give advise to beginners, being one myself, I would really advise to stick to the "lidded cup" as long as possible. I found that I have bought teapots way too soon, and the day I went back using procelain was the day I really started to enjoy tea. Don't get me wrong, I am now very happy to have some beautiful pots, and I love them, but I know I have to be resonable and use porcelain first, especially when I am discovering a new tea.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby Tead Off » Apr 8th, '11, 09:37

David R. wrote:Thanks. I think that new red Shimizu Ken clay pots work better with aroma, but black ones seem to do a better job boosting the after taste.

I haven't tested the new red ones... yet :wink:


Can you post photos of the reduction Sado pots. I've never seen these. What does Hojo say is the purpose of reducing the sado pots? They are black and not purple?
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby David R. » Apr 8th, '11, 09:56

Akira's selection : http://hojotea.com/item_e/available.htm (reduction clay pots are about 2/3rd down).

For him, they are his best pots to enhance aftertaste. It may cost some loss in aroma though. So far I agree completely.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby Ambrose » Apr 8th, '11, 11:39

oh nice kyusu, I cant wait for mine to arrive :D

taken from Mr Hojo's facebook

We brought in a new series of clay from Sado Island. This island was very famous in Japan ever since the Gold Mine was discovered in year 1601. Over 200 years, it had produced 78 tons of Gold and 2330 tons of Silver.
The red clay was found inside the mining tunnel.
We used to introduce a number of Sado clay tea pot which is red in color. For this new lineup it is black in color and gives a very solid appearance.
The clay was developed by the collaboration work between Shimizu Ken and Hojo.
Together we carried out a lot of research work to identify the source of clay, the suitable baking temperature and technique to optimize the performance of clay.
During baking, the clay was buried in rice husk and baked with reduction fire (no-oxygen baking technique). The iron oxide that originally exists inside the natural red clay is reduced and this resulted in clay with dark color.
This newly formulated clay performs very well in terms of the depth of after taste. It gives even stronger and deeper after taste than Shigaraki clay that used to be the best clay in our previous lineup.
Please visit Hojo Tea Shop at The Gardens Mall to find out more about the latest lineup.


I havent noticed much reduction in aroma. Are you guys using a kyusu or a smaller pot for the oolongs? I wonder if its a heat retention thing going on. With less heat you get less extraction of these oolongs from what Ive noticed. YMMV

Here are mine :mrgreen:
100ml "yixing" style pot, 180ml kyusu
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby David R. » Apr 8th, '11, 12:53

Ambrose wrote:I havent noticed much reduction in aroma. Are you guys using a kyusu or a smaller pot for the oolongs? I wonder if its a heat retention thing going on. With less heat you get less extraction of these oolongs from what Ive noticed. YMMV


Thanks for the quote. I have noticed an aroma reduction when trying this pot with dan cong, but as I am only using porcelain for these teas, I guess the difference is normal. I often use boiling water with my oolong.

Nice ones also, congrats !
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby Tead Off » Apr 8th, '11, 13:07

All of them are very nice looking. Hojo has a good eye. Not to be disparaging of him, I found his story changed on Sado clay when I questioned him further. He told me that it was not totally natural, maybe 75%. I asked him why? It was due to the difficulty of making the pots with this clay. That he was working (slowly) on getting pure clay produced. Maybe this new potter, Shimizu Ken, was the result of his desire to produce better pots. This was more than 2 years ago when I questioned him.

I also sat in his shop and tested out Sado vs Yixing vs Porcelain with various teas. I really wanted to buy one of the Sado pots but I felt it didn't measure up to the zhuni it faced off with. Plus, the original Sado pots he had were not made meticulously. Lids fit terrible. Hopefully, that's changed.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby David R. » Apr 8th, '11, 13:45

Tead Off, I own one of the first model of Shimizu Ken Akira used to sell. I have to say that it doesn't perform very well. Before buying a new one, as I was a bit sceptical, I asked him, even though I had already heard some good feedback about the new clay. Akira told me that he worked hard with this artist to come up with a better new clay. My doubts vanished when I tried it.

I can't say you would like it for sure, but I can assure you the clay is very different from the previous one, "better different" from my point of view. Better than a Yixing with oolong ? I don't know. It would require some serious seasoning and not a couple of tastings. And I am dedicating this one for sencha, so I won't be able to say. Perhaps, if I buy another one... :wink:
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby lamppost » Apr 8th, '11, 14:53

David R. wrote:I own one of the first model of Shimizu Ken Akira used to sell. I have to say that it doesn't perform very well.



Here are my Shimizu Ken pots:

Image
Image

I use the houhin (first batch) for young puerh and have good results with it; I don't like to brew Ali Shan or Li Shan oolong with it though.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby Tead Off » Apr 8th, '11, 23:39

David R. wrote:Tead Off, I own one of the first model of Shimizu Ken Akira used to sell. I have to say that it doesn't perform very well. Before buying a new one, as I was a bit sceptical, I asked him, even though I had already heard some good feedback about the new clay. Akira told me that he worked hard with this artist to come up with a better new clay. My doubts vanished when I tried it.

I can't say you would like it for sure, but I can assure you the clay is very different from the previous one, "better different" from my point of view. Better than a Yixing with oolong ? I don't know. It would require some serious seasoning and not a couple of tastings. And I am dedicating this one for sencha, so I won't be able to say. Perhaps, if I buy another one... :wink:

The Sado pots that Hojo markets on his site and the ones I saw in the shop were by Watanabe Tozo. (Why doesn't he show any of these new ones on the website?). I found most, if not all, not very well made for the money he asked. I have no experience with the new ones but it concerns me that he markets these as natural when he specifically told me there was artificial clay (25%) added to it for easier manufacture. On his site, he says 'In Japan, it is only Sado Island that produces the natural red clay teapot.' This contradicts what he told me that the Banko pots he carried were the only ones made with natural clay and that all Tokoname were made with artificial clay. As tea drinkers, we are very influenced by people we place in authority positions. Belief often has nothing to do with our actual experience. Enjoy those beautiful pots.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby lamppost » Apr 9th, '11, 11:38

Tead Off wrote:The Sado pots that Hojo markets on his site and the ones I saw in the shop were by Watanabe Tozo. (Why doesn't he show any of these new ones on the website?). I found most, if not all, not very well made for the money he asked. I have no experience with the new ones but it concerns me that he markets these as natural when he specifically told me there was artificial clay (25%) added to it for easier manufacture. On his site, he says 'In Japan, it is only Sado Island that produces the natural red clay teapot.' This contradicts what he told me that the Banko pots he carried were the only ones made with natural clay and that all Tokoname were made with artificial clay. As tea drinkers, we are very influenced by people we place in authority positions. Belief often has nothing to do with our actual experience. Enjoy those beautiful pots.


Hi Teadoff,
Sorry to jump in. I may have some additional information that some what can answer some of your concerns.
After having a good number of transactions with Hojo. I have noticed that most of his latest teapots are stored in Nagano where his wife serves Japanese customers. 99% of my orders were sent out from Nagano Prefecture. On the http://hojotea.com/item_e/available.htm, you can find at least 1 teapot that has “Stock in Malaysia” description. If you check the Japanese website, you cannot find Watanabe Tozo teapots. http://hojotea.com/categ/teaware.htm
I assume that Shimizu Ken is the current main supply of Sado teapots, and Hojo did state on his website that Ken mixes two types of clays (red and yellow.) Hojo does not mention about mix clays on the Banko pages.
I often find Hojo’s language can be extremely/offensive to some people. I suggest that you send him an email to question the information that he provided to you in the past. Hojo is an open-minded person, and there were times that I corrected some of his mistakes that he posted on his website.
For all who are planning to purchase Hojo’s teapots, Hojo usually use plastic beads to measure his teapots’ size. Therefore, the measurement is not as accurate as Water measurement. You can request his to use water measurement for the pot that you are interested in.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby Tead Off » Apr 9th, '11, 12:17

Thanks for the link. He does seem to have replaced Tozo with Ken. And, he is now publicly talking about Gisui as the only Tokoname potter using old, pure clay for some of his production. He certainly has his own odd way of marketing.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby lamppost » Apr 9th, '11, 13:09

Gisui :D This is my pot.
Image

I purchased it not because of his marketing skill but because of the teapot's shape. The pot performs very well with Deep Fermented Dong Ding Oolong and Phoenix Oolong. Of course, I use it with Hojo's teas. :wink:

IMHO, taste in teas/teapots is very subjective subject.

I only can say that his tea is very good, and so far I am happy with what I purchased.
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