a few weeks ago I received my chaouzhou kettle, which I already posted in the showoff thread.
Today I am off from work, so instead of my usual routine I thought to give myself some (deserved) good time. In the morning I had a pastry session. The result is two Pastiere
(an Easter cake with many many symbolic meanings from southern Italy). In the afternoon I was planning to go to the gym, but I thought it was a perfect occasion for trying out my chaozhou stove: I am free tomorrow as well, so I can enjoy tea in the afternoon, being not anxious about passing the night asleep. I had some hooka charcoal, plus some bamboo charcoal, already exhausted from water purification. It's not my first trial with charcoal, but all the kettles I had, being too big for my stove, did a perfect job in turning my coals off. I knew I had to light the charcoals very well in the beginning, particularly for bamboo, which burns very hot but needs a lot of heat to be lighted on. I put the charcoal on a wire over the kitchen gas flame, and in ten minutes I loaded my stove.
The kettle was soaking with water, and this time I noticed no leakage at all. I think the leakage I had was just water oozing out of the clay after being soaked for a long time. Now the kettle was thoroughly dry, and it showed no sign of leakage. Fanning the fire is quite an exercise, but in ten minutes the kettle started singing and I was ready to pour.
As I expected, my puerh was completelly transifured by the water boiled in this manner: the chaozhou clay changes the water to such an extent that my tea has none of the harsh notes I dislike so much in puerh teas (it has never been my favourite). The tea has no bitterness at all, even if I push it further and further with hotter water and longer infusions. The flavour is a little subdued as well, but the feel is great and the aftertaste is endless. So far it has been the best puerh I ever had.
Next time I really am curious to try if and how this works with green tea.
PS Sorry for my really bad pictures...