In defense of "big" pots.


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: In defense of "big" pots.

Postby MEversbergII » May 29th, '13, 10:45

My first, and still primary, tea pot is 500ml of simple earthenware. At only about 2 cups, I thought that was a small pot until reading an article on yixing.

When not using that pot, I have a 250ml kyusu and some gaiwan(s?) (What is plural for gaiwan? I don't Mandarin :( ). I'm actually in the market for a aprox. 250ml porcelan tea pot for smaller servings if anyone has some leads.

Also eying some inexpensive 4-6cup affairs on Amazon for company.

How do larger pots affect brewing? The larger the pot of a given shape, the longer it will retain heat. Might be an invite to reduce leaf to water ratio?

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Re: In defense of "big" pots.

Postby yanom » May 30th, '13, 08:21

I still struggle with the concept of why/how:

add 100ml hot water to tea, wait 30 seconds, pour into mug and drink
vs
add 50ml hot water to tea, wait 15 seconds, pour into mug, THEN add 50ml more hot water to tea, wait 15 seconds, pour that into the mug too, and drink
...
would make the first version taste worse than the second?
If the high temperature isn't a massive issue then:
it must be because some flavours in tea leaves will not release if you steep for 15 seconds, rinse, and resteep -- but will release if you steep for 30 seconds with no break?

Is that true? Any chemists here?

If temperature isn't so crucial (and I tend to think it's less important for puerh than for some wulong) ... then for me the main point of smaller pots must be for when you want to use smaller amounts of tea leaves.

Of course, if people like them because they how like small pots look or they like drinking in little sips that's obviously fine too!
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Re: In defense of "big" pots.

Postby theredbaron » May 30th, '13, 10:12

yanom wrote:I still struggle with the concept of why/how:

add 100ml hot water to tea, wait 30 seconds, pour into mug and drink
vs
add 50ml hot water to tea, wait 15 seconds, pour into mug, THEN add 50ml more hot water to tea, wait 15 seconds, pour that into the mug too, and drink
...
would make the first version taste worse than the second?
If the high temperature isn't a massive issue then:
it must be because some flavours in tea leaves will not release if you steep for 15 seconds, rinse, and resteep -- but will release if you steep for 30 seconds with no break?

Is that true? Any chemists here?

If temperature isn't so crucial (and I tend to think it's less important for puerh than for some wulong) ... then for me the main point of smaller pots must be for when you want to use smaller amounts of tea leaves.

Of course, if people like them because they how like small pots look or they like drinking in little sips that's obviously fine too!



It all depends on what you call small. What i call small is in the range of 60 ml to 80 ml (smaller than that gets problematic for proper tea sessions). Larger than that can get expensive for very high grade teas, and the amount of liquid just can get too much. Many high grade teas can be steeped 10 or 15 times, some top Pu Erh even 20 times, or more. Imagine the amount of liquid in a 200 ml pot if you drink alone... ;)

As to tea ratio vs size of the pot - i never count the weight of the tea i use. I look at the size of the pot, and measure the tea according to the size of the pot, with different teas filling pots to different ratios, depending on the particular tea, and adjust brewing time according to taste of the tea as it develops over the steeps.

Each tea is different, and we have to find the optimal ratio for each tea (which of course will be different again for each person). That's why i am so averse to trying to standardize with weight, etc. There are so many factors involved (not the least is the particular mood we are in) which we cannot possibly control, but can only adjust to at best.
Different pots can also be for many reasons better for some teas than others, and most of the time i would have not the slightest clue why that is so. I just know that i have some pots that sing with one particular kind of tea, why for some reason they dull other teas.

As to mixing different steeps - i find part of the beauty of drinking the Chinese way of tea is to see how the tea develops over each proceeding brew, like a symphony. Like in a good Wu Yi tea, which often reaches a peak after 4 or 5 steepings, slowly descends, and then, if you are lucky, right at the end, when you steep it for just one more time, to get the last bit out of it, for maybe ten or 15 minutes, and suddenly an almost ethereal experience ends the session.
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