Why the big deal with YiXing ware???


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

Why the big deal with YiXing ware???

Postby tjkoko_off » Nov 13th, '08, 08:38

I love oolongs but fail to taste any difference with oolongs brewed gong fu style in a YiXing pot versus the same oolongs brewed in a typical teapot. You opinion on that statement appreciated.

I prefer drinking tea out of 8 oz teacup as opposed to the 1-3 oz YiXing cups. All that stated, is this just a personal preference or do others out there prefer the "real gong fu" experience? No put-downs here.

All these opinions are the reason why I'm considering selling my YiXing teaware.

EDIT: do YiXing teapots really gain a sheen after several years of brewing oolongs? If so, then I suppose that certain natural chemicals in the tea migrate from the tea to the outward surface of the teapot?
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Re: Why the big deal with YiXing ware???

Postby TIM » Nov 13th, '08, 09:14

tjkoko wrote:I love oolongs but fail to taste any difference with oolongs brewed gong fu style in a YiXing pot versus the same oolongs brewed in a typical teapot. You opinion on that statement appreciated.

I prefer drinking tea out of 8 oz teacup as opposed to the 1-3 oz YiXing cups. All that stated, is this just a personal preference or do others out there prefer the "real gong fu" experience? No put-downs here.

All these opinions are the reason why I'm considering selling my YiXing teaware.

EDIT: do YiXing teapots really gain a sheen after several years of brewing oolongs? If so, then I suppose that certain natural chemicals in the tea migrate from the tea to the outward surface of the teapot?


That's some very challenging questions. Maybe let's start with what teapot do you brew your oolong in, (sizes and materials) if you're used to 8 oz cup drinking?
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Postby chrl42 » Nov 13th, '08, 09:16

dear, yixing clay has been worshipped since ming dynasty. it was sold as 'fu gui tao' some clay cost more than gold even at that time.

but factory mass production drove this clay scarce. as a result, the goverment closed the mines decades ago. so most of pots are made with similar clays to yixing and sold as yixing pot.

so you ask. is yixing pot i am using real yixing pot?

zhejiang clay or other dyes contained clays are not absorbant so functions like porcelain.
tan xi or hu fu clays are too absorbant it eats smell and taste, no that's not good.

yixing huang long shan clays has highest firing temperature and has lots of silica/quartz/alumina/iron. the chinese says it has 'absorbing without losing aroma'

from experience, it sounds about right. it smoothes the taste but original aroma and taste remained. smoother and colorful than other clay. lots of quartz minerals becomes patina as time goes by. it's like anyone who sees this can say 'clay is good' and it also comforts my eyes by looking at it.

ya you can just drop my case, i am just yixing addicted guy. but you asked the question so i answered.

good luck.
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Postby tjkoko_off » Nov 13th, '08, 09:28

Tim stated:
That's some very challenging questions. Maybe let's start with what teapot do you brew your oolong in, (sizes and materials) if you're used to 8 oz cup drinking?


Presently I brew my oolongs in a english style teapot, shiney glazed over. Formerly my oolongs were brewed in some yixing pots whose origins and materials are unknown. Here are the two yixing pots formerly used and for, perhaps, your identification.

Image

Image
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Postby gingkoseto » Nov 13th, '08, 09:49

tjkoko's first one looks very Japanese to me. I have a few Japanese (I guess they are Japanese) mud-ceramic teapots. I use them for oolong sometimes, but keep wondering what they are supposed to be for, Japanese green or other teas, and what are their physical advantage, or they are made just for aesthetic purposes.
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Postby tjkoko_off » Nov 13th, '08, 10:04

Ginko:

The box that the Dragon came in was made in China and the card, printed in China also, states that the Dragon pot was made with purple YiXing clay in YiXing, China.

As to the simpler pot listed second, I've seen the exact same one used in a Chinese movie with the actor drinking directly from the spout which was placed in his mouth! Some of these pots are made for very personal use!
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Postby TIM » Nov 13th, '08, 12:25

tjkoko wrote:Tim stated:
That's some very challenging questions. Maybe let's start with what teapot do you brew your oolong in, (sizes and materials) if you're used to 8 oz cup drinking?


Presently I brew my oolongs in a english style teapot, shiney glazed over. Formerly my oolongs were brewed in some yixing pots whose origins and materials are unknown. Here are the two yixing pots formerly used and for, perhaps, your identification.

Image

Image


Hi Tjkoko, i am guessing these are 350-450 ml pots? And you are brewing your oolong from peets in an English teapot even bigger then this?

I think the problem is, you are cooking the oolong, instead of brewing them.... : (
Don't take this as a disrespect... but TGY or other Oolongs (specially the lighter ones) are very delicate. The way you are brewing the oolong would be like boiling a foir gras in hot water for a long time.
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Postby tjkoko_off » Nov 13th, '08, 13:57

Capacities: the top Dragon pot just shoy of 12 oz, and the bottom simple one just shy of 8 oz.

For the first infusion:

Remove teakettle at boil from stovetop. Pour about 10 cc over dry leaves. Allow water to cool to brewing temp which depends on leaf. TKY 185F at 1-2 min, Bai Hao 180 for 3 min.

For second and subsequent infusions: Longer brewing time at hotter pour temps. A previous poster states to lengthen the brewing time with water hotter than the first pour.
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Postby Space Samurai » Nov 13th, '08, 14:03

These are the two pots I use for my roasted TGY, a 9 oz and a 3 oz.

Image

There is a definite difference between the two. With the smaller one I can get more and better infusions with more complexity.
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Postby tjkoko_off » Nov 13th, '08, 14:10

Space Samurai:

Are you using proportionally more water and more tea leaves in the larger pot - both with equal brewnig times? Amd more importantly, are those pots made with different clays for the color of each one looks differen?

Chrl42 stated:
ya you can just drop my case, i am just yixing addicted guy. but you asked the question so i answered


I just want to be correct in my brewing of oolongs to get optimum flavor. Perhaps I need to work with these pots even more.

Incidentally, the price tag on the Dragon was, in 1997 or earlier, (EDIT) $26 USD.
Last edited by tjkoko_off on Nov 13th, '08, 15:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby stanthegoomba » Nov 13th, '08, 14:37

Space Samurai wrote:These are the two pots I use for my roasted TGY, a 9 oz and a 3 oz.


Wow—I really like that tiny dragon egg pot. Dark green clay?
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Postby wyardley » Nov 13th, '08, 15:17

I don't think it's our job to convince you. If you don't like the pots, sell them or don't use them by all means.

That said, if you're brewing tea in that big a pot, for that long a time, you're brewing tea the same way in a yixing pot that you would in a Western pot, and of course the taste is not that different. Any style of making tea you choose, though, a good quality yixing might slightly alter the taste in terms of smoothing out the edge of some tea, or might hold heat better than another pot, but usually, I don't think it's going to be a night and day difference. Brewing tea in a smaller pot with a lot of leaves, and paying attention to the differences between the brews is one common way that's popular here, though of course it's not the only way.

In terms of the outside of the pot picking up a shine, with proper care, and if you're using any extra tea to nourish the pot, it should start picking up a shine well before 1-2 years.

By the way, just because you saw something in a movie that looks the same doesn't mean it's the "exact same pot", simply that it looks similar.

Anyway, since you claim there isn't any difference, there's no reason not to use the pots if they bring you enjoyment.
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Postby tjkoko_off » Nov 13th, '08, 16:17

Wyardley stated:
I don't think it's our job to convince you.


Will some poster please provide a useful link to instructions for brewing oolong. Perhaps there's something amis in my brewing technique.
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Postby hop_goblin » Nov 14th, '08, 00:01

yeah.. I can tell the difference brewing my tea in a gaiwan from a Yixing. My Yixing brew is more aromatic and at times less astringent. I get what appears to be a better extraction in a much shorter infusion from Yixing than I would get from a gaiwan.
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Postby ABx » Nov 14th, '08, 06:55

wyardley said pretty much what I had to say, but I'll reiterate a bit. Gongfu brewing entails using much smaller pots than what you have, generally no more than about 4 or 5 oz with even 5 oz being a bit big. You then fill the pot 1/4 to 1/2 full with dry leaf, if not more, so that when the leaf is hydrated it fills the pot completely, though some/many of us generally try to avoid cramming. You then also pay attention to the heat - with many oolongs, especially the roasted ones, you keep it as hot as possible, and use very short steep times; often very quick steeps. This brings out a lot of the volatiles that generally become too dilute to really taste or smell when brewing in bigger pots with less leaf.

As far as what parameters to use, that depends entirely on the specific oolong you are brewing. Oolong is a big category with a vast array of types that range from very green to heavily oxidized and/or roasted, several leaves rolled into a dense little pellet to very light and fluffy, and so on. If you want to specify the type of tea you're brewing then we can certainly offer some help. I can say, however, that you probably won't want to try gongfu brewing with a large pot. It would probably require your entire bag/tin of tea and may still not produce great results. You might consider getting something like a 3.5 oz gaiwan that would be more versatile. Then when you know how to use it and know what teas you like best, then you can get smaller yixing pots to dedicate to those types of teas, you'll already know how to use them to their fullest, and the differences will be more apparent :)

Hopefully this doesn't sound too intimidating. The term 'gongfu' means "to do with skill" and does require skill to do well. However, even a novice can produce much better results than with western style brewing in short order, but then there is never any end to the improvement that can be made by refining your skill. :) So in other words it's really not that hard, but it's something that you never stop learning to improve :)

With some additional information most people here will be able and willing to give you specific advice to help you get good results right away :)
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