Yixing pot qualities for tea type


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Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Alucard » Dec 15th, '13, 22:54

I posted questions here about yixing pots probably 3-4 years ago. I ended up getting two inexpensive pots (~$30-$40), but stopped using them shortly after. I've been using a gaiwan and a small 150ml glass pot since.

I have an interest in trying another yixing pot again but would like to what qualities to look for (i.e. clay type, hardness, etc) so that I look for the right pot for the type of tea.

My previous two pots were a dragon egg from Rishi and don't recall specifics around it but looks exactly like the one below. The other was from yunnan sourcing and say it's Qing Shui Ni clay. I used the Rishi for high mountain oolong and the ys for yunnan black tea. I seasoned both pots and used them numerous times using the same type of tea. The tea taste 'flat' compared to using a porcelain or glass and is the reason I stopped using them. Is this expected from yixing pots or is it the type and quality pot I am using?
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Yunnan Sourcing pot
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Rishi pot
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Tead Off » Dec 15th, '13, 23:24

I can't speak for your pots and how they brew tea, but the Yi Xing teapots I have do not flatten my tea. There are many types and qualities of clay used by modern potters. As you've probably read here, it is always better to seek out older (80's and earlier) teapots as the clay used is probably more pure, better prepared, and will perform as it should on good quality teas. This is not easy to find if you are not in an area where Yi Xing are not in supply. You are forced to take the word of the vendor when you buy online so look towards the vendors that are most highly praised here for knowing about and selling older Yi Xing work. Be prepared to spend more than you would normally spend. Do your homework. Having one pot of good clay costing $300 is much better than having 5 teapots of poor clay costing a total of $300. Good luck. :D
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby tingjunkie » Dec 16th, '13, 00:04

Although I generally agree with the advice Tead Off gives, I certainly don't think a $300 pot is required to get fantastic results, or that the pot has to be 30+ years old. I have $20 modern pots that perform great, but then again, I have been very lucky to know the right people and live in NYC where there were some hidden treasures in Chinatown. I think $150 will guarantee you a very nice tea pot from some online vendors, and as little as $40-50 can land you one from eBay if you know where to look and have the eye to pick one out.

Also, pairing teas with pots, which is an art all by itself, is crucial to get a match that will bring out the best qualities of tea. Just keep in mind, when comparing porcelain gaiwans to Yixing pots, the Yixing advantage may not come from better flavor or aroma. If someone is the type of tea drinker who only focuses on flavor and aroma, but ignores mouthfeel and other harder to quantify characteristics, even a very good Yixing pot may still "lose out" to a gaiwan in their mind.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Teaism » Dec 16th, '13, 00:50

Old Yixing pot is like analogue music...warm and full of soul. That is what you are paying for. The actual cost of the pot was US$2, and the rest is for the warm and full of soul feeling. :D
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby chrl42 » Dec 16th, '13, 01:08

First pot is no good for black teas, black tea wants higher shape as the soup comes concentrated and high-oxidated. You might wants it switched to greens or Puerhs.

Second pot seems jing-dian-tao-fang..they are ok studio. IMO, they go fine with mountain Oolongs if it's from that studio.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Tead Off » Dec 16th, '13, 02:24

tingjunkie wrote:Although I generally agree with the advice Tead Off gives, I certainly don't think a $300 pot is required to get fantastic results, or that the pot has to be 30+ years old. I have $20 modern pots that perform great, but then again, I have been very lucky to know the right people and live in NYC where there were some hidden treasures in Chinatown. I think $150 will guarantee you a very nice tea pot from some online vendors, and as little as $40-50 can land you one from eBay if you know where to look and have the eye to pick one out.

Also, pairing teas with pots, which is an art all by itself, is crucial to get a match that will bring out the best qualities of tea. Just keep in mind, when comparing porcelain gaiwans to Yixing pots, the Yixing advantage may not come from better flavor or aroma. If someone is the type of tea drinker who only focuses on flavor and aroma, but ignores mouthfeel and other harder to quantify characteristics, even a very good Yixing pot may still "lose out" to a gaiwan in their mind.


And, how many $20-$50 pots do you have now, that you would gladly trade out for a guaranteed old $300 teapot that you could appreciate at this point in your tea journey?

Yes, you can find something good for $150, even less. But if you don't know what you are looking for, your chances diminish greatly. $300 was an arbitrary figure, but tuition pots are a fact for most drinkers. There will be more mistakes than not for someone who doesn't spend a good deal of time on the subject. For most, it takes years to understand what a good pot is. Tough subject.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Alucard » Dec 16th, '13, 10:26

Thank you all for the feedback. I'll need to continue my research and sounds like I'll just need to wait until the right pot comes up for sale.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby tingjunkie » Dec 16th, '13, 18:43

Tead Off wrote:And, how many $20-$50 pots do you have now, that you would gladly trade out for a guaranteed old $300 teapot that you could appreciate at this point in your tea journey?


In truth, not that many. Once I "outgrow" a pot I'll often give it away or sell it. Luckily, since I avoided buying any truly awful pots, I've yet to lose any money and I have learned quite a lot from the journey. Any inexpensive pots I still have are now seasoned friends that I get a ton of enjoyment from. :wink:

Have I reached the stage in my tea appreciation where I have stopped buying inexpensive modern pots? Yeah, pretty much. Now I save up for the older nicer ones too, but I couldn't have reached the level I'm at without using my past stepping stones first.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Tead Off » Dec 17th, '13, 00:15

tingjunkie wrote:
Tead Off wrote:And, how many $20-$50 pots do you have now, that you would gladly trade out for a guaranteed old $300 teapot that you could appreciate at this point in your tea journey?


In truth, not that many. Once I "outgrow" a pot I'll often give it away or sell it. Luckily, since I avoided buying any truly awful pots, I've yet to lose any money and I have learned quite a lot from the journey. Any inexpensive pots I still have are now seasoned friends that I get a ton of enjoyment from. :wink:

Have I reached the stage in my tea appreciation where I have stopped buying inexpensive modern pots? Yeah, pretty much. Now I save up for the older nicer ones too, but I couldn't have reached the level I'm at without using my past stepping stones first.

Consider yourself lucky. Many people are inundated with junk, but junk can also give pleasure. I guess it is relative to what one perceives as being of quality. In my own case, it is nothing like I started with and it is still being refined. The biggest difference is the price of something good for me. Often, I can't afford it.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby chrl42 » Dec 17th, '13, 00:34

Tead Off wrote:
tingjunkie wrote:
Tead Off wrote:And, how many $20-$50 pots do you have now, that you would gladly trade out for a guaranteed old $300 teapot that you could appreciate at this point in your tea journey?


In truth, not that many. Once I "outgrow" a pot I'll often give it away or sell it. Luckily, since I avoided buying any truly awful pots, I've yet to lose any money and I have learned quite a lot from the journey. Any inexpensive pots I still have are now seasoned friends that I get a ton of enjoyment from. :wink:

Have I reached the stage in my tea appreciation where I have stopped buying inexpensive modern pots? Yeah, pretty much. Now I save up for the older nicer ones too, but I couldn't have reached the level I'm at without using my past stepping stones first.

Consider yourself lucky. Many people are inundated with junk, but junk can also give pleasure. I guess it is relative to what one perceives as being of quality. In my own case, it is nothing like I started with and it is still being refined. The biggest difference is the price of something good for me. Often, I can't afford it.

Very true. Even rich ones are stuffed with worthless expensive pots, if one knows where his money goes, it means the one already has 'the eye' for goods.

In Korea, very few people understand Yixings, and few monopolized sellers sell the same pots over and over..expensive (my heart sank :( )

Good teapots will be pricey more and more..looking at auctions 2013, the auctions are already no good place to purchase anymore

Best thing is to deal with SE/Taiwanese old men..who are not too conscious of trends :lol:

Factory-1 pots are still affordable...just numbers are fewer year by year...being affordable is also a relative thing though.
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby bagua7 » Dec 17th, '13, 00:43

Teaism wrote:Old Yixing pot is like analogue music...warm and full of soul...


or culture vs consumerism, but you are right.

Just compare:

1

and

2

To the OP,

Many pots to play with and finding out which ones will match the teas you like. Generally speaking zhuni (old and new) like raw puerh, various oolongs (dancong, wuyi rock, Taiwan), zini and duanni (cooked puerh and green tea the second clay type). Qing shui ni is a very versatile clay: I use it for raw puerh and dancong tea, and also, in my case, di cao qing is used for all types of puerh.

There is a modern clay called jiangpo ni which I use with cooked puerh. It behaves like zini but it has the looks of a zhuni subtype.

But again, you can play with whichever clay and pot you like and match it with a particular tea. The rules are meant to be broken...thankfully. There are other variables to bear in mind: shape of the pot, age, wall-thickness, etc.

Even $20 pots can brew outstanding tea: I am thinking here of zen8tea's small slipcasted shuipings (zini clay). :D
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby betta » Dec 17th, '13, 10:45

tingjunkie wrote:Also, pairing teas with pots, which is an art all by itself, is crucial to get a match that will bring out the best qualities of tea. Just keep in mind, when comparing porcelain gaiwans to Yixing pots, the Yixing advantage may not come from better flavor or aroma. If someone is the type of tea drinker who only focuses on flavor and aroma, but ignores mouthfeel and other harder to quantify characteristics, even a very good Yixing pot may still "lose out" to a gaiwan in their mind.


Suppose you find a teapot that matches well with a specific tea, will you get a reproducible result?

How broad is the match of the teapot? a pot for a specific tea or for a certain kind of tea?
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby Teaism » Dec 17th, '13, 11:03

betta wrote:
Suppose you find a teapot that matches well with a specific tea, will you get a reproducible result?

How broad is the match of the teapot? a pot for a specific tea or for a certain kind of tea?


I don't think we get reproducible result. Tea and teapots have many variables, just like analogue music, just enjoy the soul of it. Even if we can reproduce it to microscopic precision, we as human may not be the same in terms of taste, mood or awareness to capture it. We ourselves are part of the variables.

Cheers!
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby TIM » Dec 17th, '13, 12:49

betta wrote:
tingjunkie wrote:Also, pairing teas with pots, which is an art all by itself, is crucial to get a match that will bring out the best qualities of tea. Just keep in mind, when comparing porcelain gaiwans to Yixing pots, the Yixing advantage may not come from better flavor or aroma. If someone is the type of tea drinker who only focuses on flavor and aroma, but ignores mouthfeel and other harder to quantify characteristics, even a very good Yixing pot may still "lose out" to a gaiwan in their mind.


Suppose you find a teapot that matches well with a specific tea, will you get a reproducible result?

How broad is the match of the teapot? a pot for a specific tea or for a certain kind of tea?


Depends on how deep you are in the rabbit hole. Start with certain kind of tea to pot and go forward?
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Re: Yixing pot qualities for tea type

Postby betta » Dec 17th, '13, 15:09

Teaism wrote:I don't think we get reproducible result. Tea and teapots have many variables, just like analogue music, just enjoy the soul of it. Even if we can reproduce it to microscopic precision, we as human may not be the same in terms of taste, mood or awareness to capture it. We ourselves are part of the variables.

Cheers!


Teaism, your answer has a deep meaning; a peaceful mind with the right chemistry is a prerequisite for enjoying everything to the fullest.

Important is the ability to accept the imperfection while enjoying the imperfect present and this is not something that easily achieved. Therefore wabi sabi philosophy is very interesting. Thank you for your feedback there, too.

For me the simpler and the more affordable the whole setting (in terms of teaware) the better.
As one doesn't need to spend a thought if this good taste of tea worth the 1000$+ spent on a certain teaware or not, or if the lid of 300$+ worth teapot chipped on the edge because of some mishap, or if the patina on the pot doesn't spread evenly or if the teaware can one day fed a higher price when financial pressure increases, etc.

Personally I tried to recalibrate the focus to the bigger picture that I lost upon exposure to many "impurities".

TIM wrote:Depends on how deep you are in the rabbit hole. Start with certain kind of tea to pot and go forward?

Can you elaborate more?
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