How many teapots do I need?


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How many teapots do I need?

Postby ndw76 » Mar 11th, '10, 10:07

I have a bit of OCD, so if the question is how many do I want the answer is just one of each. But how many do I need?

I understand that I shouldn't mix different tea flavours in a teapot. Does that mean on teapot for Oolong, one for green, one for puer etc. Or does it mean one teapot for every different flavour of Oolong, one teapot for every different flavour of puer, etc?

How many teapots am I going to end up with?
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby IPT » Mar 11th, '10, 10:18

I figure I'll have enough teapots when I own them all. :D
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby Victoria » Mar 11th, '10, 10:20

Well that is also a matter of taste. But most agree one for lighter oolongs and one for darker oolongs. I would have a separate for puerh. You could do whites in the light oolong pot. So you could get by pretty well with 3 pots, a gaiwan and maybe a glass pot too.

This is assuming you want clay. If you buy glazed, of course you can get away with less.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby IPT » Mar 11th, '10, 10:28

It depends greatly on how many different kinds of tea you drink and how crazy you are. :D For example: I have about 6 pots for Oolong. 9 for Puer, 5 for cliff teas, 3 for Dark Teas, 3 for Red Teas, and of course some treasured teapots which I only use for very special occasions. I also have a large number of teapots which I haven't used yet.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby Victoria » Mar 11th, '10, 10:34

Well as shown by IPT, as you start getting into tea, you will loose the worry about "how many pots" do I need real fast. Don't worry. :shock: :lol:
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby ndw76 » Mar 11th, '10, 10:40

IPT wrote:I figure I'll have enough teapots when I own them all. :D


It sounds like you are a fellow OCD sufferer too. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, I have my wife to keep me in check.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby brian » Mar 11th, '10, 11:04

ndw76 wrote:It sounds like you are a fellow OCD sufferer too. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, I have my wife to keep me in check.

My wife gives me "the look" every time a box shows up in the mail. "More tea stuff?" But it's good that she does that,I'm a terrible collector and pack-rat, somebody needs to keep me under control.

But back to teapots -- what is the classic style(s) of teapot for Chinese greens? For sencha we have the kyusu, yixing for puerh, gaiwan for everything :) Is there a typical pot for Chinese greens, especially for brewing a family-sized pot (10 oz. or so)?

I'm currently brewing Chinese greens in my 9 oz. Den's glazed kyusu, and it works fine, it seems to be a good general purpose pot. I don't have any problem with that, but just wondering if there is a Chinese-style equivalent for brewing up 2-4 servings of green.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby debunix » Mar 11th, '10, 11:24

You *need* one nice fully glazed or glass teapot or gaiwan or mug.

Glazed or glass or other non-reactive surface vessel, if cleaned regularly after use, won't carry over flavors from one tea to the next.

Beyond that, sky is the limit. For brewing teas with very hot water, a heavy pot that can be preheated and holds heat well is nice. For brewing delicate teas with cooler water, lighter ware that lets heat dissipate can be nice.

And when it comes to unglazed ware that you can't fully clean because it is partly absorbent, the first level of addiction is one pot per type of tea, perhaps one for oolong and one for puerh. The second level is to differentiate your sheng from shu puerh, and lightly oxidized oolongs from darker roasted oolongs (this is the level I will confess to at this time). At some point you reach the "I need to have a collection of nice unused pots sitting around so that each time I buy a new tea I can try it in 3 or 5 or 10 pots and find one that suits it best."

Another accumulative tendency I must confess to is that I have two matched sets of 4 gaiwans (different sizes) so that I can do comparative tastings under controlled conditions to help educate myself about the differences between teas.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby Tead Off » Mar 11th, '10, 12:31

ndw76 wrote:I have a bit of OCD, so if the question is how many do I want the answer is just one of each. But how many do I need?

I understand that I shouldn't mix different tea flavours in a teapot. Does that mean on teapot for Oolong, one for green, one for puer etc. Or does it mean one teapot for every different flavour of Oolong, one teapot for every different flavour of puer, etc?

How many teapots am I going to end up with?


If you need any help with pots, let me know. I can show you where to look in Bangkok, IF, we survive this weekend. :roll: You can private message me.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby entropyembrace » Mar 11th, '10, 16:51

You only need one pot made from porcelain or glass...you´ll be able to brew anything in it. :)

But you might really, really, really want a lot more pots than that xD

´cause you know...pots are fun too ^.^
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby Tea_Rex » Mar 11th, '10, 17:28

I'm also trying to figure this out. Part of the problem for me is that so many teapots are so beautiful that I just want them. In fact, one reason I love teapots is that they combine artistry and function. To further complicate matters, there are all the references I am finding to how different vessels affect the taste of the tea.

Right now I have a couple of unglazed teapots sold as yixing that I bought years ago for their appearance - I had no idea what yixing pots were at the time or if these are genuine. I'm still working out what tea to dedicate them to. I've been using them for oolongs. Then I have a couple of glazed pots that I also bought for their appearance even though they are mass-produced. They work well for me, and I use them for greens and whites. But my workhorses are my two gaiwans, one about 8 oz and one about 4 oz. So far I've only done greens and whites in them, and I need two sizes because I like to brew expensive teas in small quantities. Eventually I will try making the expensive stuff in the larger one for serving more than one or two people.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby IPT » Mar 11th, '10, 22:43

Brian, you asked what the traditional method for brewing Green Tea was. In China it was the Gaiwan. People brewed the leaves directly in the Gaiwan and then drank from it. A lot of people still drink it that way today. The Gaiwans for Green Tea was larger than most of them on the market nowadays though. Now a lot of people use tall clear glasses so they can watch the tea dance, but like the Gaiwans, they drink it out of the cup that they brew the tea in. They do not pour the liquor into another vessel for drinking.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby brian » Mar 12th, '10, 00:06

Thanks IPT! So, is this also true for drinking tea in a small group, such as a family? Will each drinker just infuse and drink from their own cup, or is it more common to use a pot and pour into each drinker's cup? I'm sure there's some of both, and other ways as well, but just wondering what is most typical for a small group of 3-5 people.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby Chip » Mar 12th, '10, 00:19

The correct answer is always ... one more than you currently own. :mrgreen:

I am a bit OCD about this too, ndw76. I think this is getting worse than better.
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Re: How many teapots do I need?

Postby IPT » Mar 12th, '10, 00:23

brian wrote:Thanks IPT! So, is this also true for drinking tea in a small group, such as a family? Will each drinker just infuse and drink from their own cup, or is it more common to use a pot and pour into each drinker's cup? I'm sure there's some of both, and other ways as well, but just wondering what is most typical for a small group of 3-5 people.


For Green Tea, each person had their own Gaiwan and would brew their own tea. For other teas a teapot was used and many times a person (especially artists) would drink directly from their teapot. Also, many families would have a HUGE teapot and each morning would brew tea in it. it was used as the drinking water for the day. It was believed that if the water was hot enough to brew tea then it would be safe to drink. Of course, this was for families who could afford tea and specialized tea ware.
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