Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?


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Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby Balthazar » Mar 11th, '14, 08:20

Hi,

I registered on this forum yesterday, having been a longtime lurker (several years).

My "tea journey" (a somewhat cheezy term for describing my discovery that there is more than Lipton and Twinnings in the world of tea) started some six or seven years ago. However, I live in Norway, a coffe drinker's Mecca, but hardly a place to buy quality tea or teaware. I did buy a Yixing-pot quite early on, from Palais des Thés (they have a store in Oslo), and over the years a few more were bought. I expect these to be real, but certainly not of great quality. In any case, they did the job for me.

Then I lived for a year in Hong Kong (studying, 2012-13), I was able to buy some good puer (and actually taste it before buying) and what I thought was a decent yixing-pot (from a reputable (if somewhat commercial) vendor) which unfortunately turned out to have a terrible pour (small, single hole, which I definitely should have checked before leaving the store).

Long story short: Now I am back in Norway. I want a good pot, and by good I mean one that is real, pours well, and not too big. I usually drink alone, so I want to keep it at 140 ml or below (my smallest pot is 140 ml, the others all 150 or 160).

I will have to make my order online (and thus will not be able to hold it and test it for myself). I am willing to spend more than I have done on my other pots, but would like to keep the bill below 200$. The pot will be used for raw puers.

From Yunnan Sourcing I'm interested in this: http://www.yunnansourcing.us/store/product.php?id_product=303. I was also interested in another one, but it seems to have disappeared from the site since yesterday (in fact the one I linked to is the last one in stock, so it will probably be sold quite soon). I sent a mail to YS asking for the pour time (with water) yesterday, waiting for a reply.

I've looked at Hou De's selection, but everything within my price range is sold out (and what remains are rather large pots).

From Jing Tea Shop I like these two: 1) http://www.jingteashop.com/pd-jing-tea-shop-yixing-teapot-lhh.cfm; 2) http://www.jingteashop.com/pd-jing-tea-shop-yixing-teapot-byh.cfm. Unfortunately both are at 150ml. In any case I much appreciate the information Jing Tea Shop provides about the pots (and suggested tea pairing), wish more vendors would follow that line.

Tea Masters has a pot (http://teamasters.blogspot.tw/2013/03/2-yixing-xianpiao-teapots.html) that might fit the bill, only I'm a bit worried that I will have the same pour problem as with the one I bought in HK (small, single hole) if I use it with puer.

Essence of tea has some beautiful pots for sale, but all of them are above £400 (which, as a student, I can't cover right now).

Any other suggestions for where to look? Or perhaps I should just forget about getting anything decent within my price range, wait until I've finished my studies and found a job, and pray that there's still good pots on the market?
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby NPE » Mar 11th, '14, 08:53

I would suggest to try http://www.lifeinteacup.com/.
Gingko (the manager has a good eye - I think - for picking good teapots). She also has a number of one-off higher end yixing teapots on ebay http://www.ebay.com/sch/gingko_seto/m.html?item=231087974776&pt=Asian_Antiques&hash=item35cdeaa978&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562 that you could give a try.
The nice thing here is that if you like a single-hole teapot, you can ask Gingko to put a strainer in so that the spout never has clogging problems.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby theredbaron » Mar 11th, '14, 09:32

http://www.origintea.net/teaware/teapots

This shop has some nice pots available on a regular base which won't break your budget.

As to single hole vs. filter - i prefer single hole pots. I think they flow better, and if stuffed, are easily cleaned with a pincher tool.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby .m. » Mar 11th, '14, 10:26

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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby kyarazen » Mar 11th, '14, 10:48

you might want to look for pots with late 80s filter type or later.
here's a 65ml pot said to be made for the japanese market. makes me extremely happy to use it as it easily outperforms single holes in elution speed. used to be really common locally but suddenly they all disappeared.. i wonder who's hoarding them now or whether they were re-exported

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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby Tead Off » Mar 11th, '14, 11:02

kyarazen wrote:you might want to look for pots with late 80s filter type or later.
here's a 65ml pot said to be made for the japanese market. makes me extremely happy to use it as it easily outperforms single holes in elution speed. used to be really common locally but suddenly they all disappeared.. i wonder who's hoarding them now or whether they were re-exported


That would be very debatable, IMO. Good pours are often single hole and flat multi-hole. Often, these Japanese style ball filters have problems emptying all the water. The shape of the spout will usually determine the pour. Shuiping are usually quite okay. Main thing is clay quality. All the various filtering will work if they are made properly.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby kyarazen » Mar 11th, '14, 11:37

Tead Off wrote:
That would be very debatable, IMO. Good pours are often single hole and flat multi-hole. Often, these Japanese style ball filters have problems emptying all the water. The shape of the spout will usually determine the pour. Shuiping are usually quite okay. Main thing is clay quality. All the various filtering will work if they are made properly.


bad pours also can come from single hole or flat multi-hole too. the fit of the lid, the air hole also can the pour. having a pot with leaves that swell against the ball filter often reduces the problem of emptying all the water.

isnt clay quality an issue with all yixing.. rather than specifically shuiping? how would you define good clay?
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby the_economist » Mar 11th, '14, 11:41

theredbaron wrote:http://www.origintea.net/teaware/teapots

This shop has some nice pots available on a regular base which won't break your budget.

As to single hole vs. filter - i prefer single hole pots. I think they flow better, and if stuffed, are easily cleaned with a pincher tool.


+1 for Origintea, although it seems he's pot hunting at the moment. In a week there'll probably be a bunch of pots up.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby Teaism » Mar 11th, '14, 12:21

I personally won't buy any Yixing pot online. There are real and fakes and I prefer not to take any chances. The recents fakes that I have seen and handle physically is getting more and more sophisticated and very hard to tell. Gosh, they were just production pots of 70-90s and still the fakers put in so much effort to fake them.

Maybe I am silly for not joining the bandwagon and miss out some good chances to buy those real old Yixing pots at a bargain prices. Some of the old pots of 70s and 80s looks incredibly cheap online... I rather be silly to miss the chance of buying them. Hmmm...what I am saying? ...silly me I guess. :lol:
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby Tead Off » Mar 11th, '14, 13:27

kyarazen wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
That would be very debatable, IMO. Good pours are often single hole and flat multi-hole. Often, these Japanese style ball filters have problems emptying all the water. The shape of the spout will usually determine the pour. Shuiping are usually quite okay. Main thing is clay quality. All the various filtering will work if they are made properly.


bad pours also can come from single hole or flat multi-hole too. the fit of the lid, the air hole also can the pour. having a pot with leaves that swell against the ball filter often reduces the problem of emptying all the water.

isnt clay quality an issue with all yixing.. rather than specifically shuiping? how would you define good clay?

Yes, no guarantee a single hole will pour well. The shape of the spout is important. Shuiping are shaped well for good pours. That is what I meant to convey. Goose neck spouts that are slender will not pour as fast. But it all depends on how the pot is constructed. Not all teas are so sensitive to exact pours. Too much is made of fast pouring, I think. Many older pots are not fast and yet the clay is good. Sometimes it's a trade off. I'd much rather have a pot with good clay and a slower poor than a questionable clay with a fast pour.

There is still good clay being used today. Buyers just have to do some homework and sellers need to be transparent. It's silly to think that every new pot is in inferior, and every pot from the 90's a jewel. Good clay is pure zisha without the use of chemicals. The rest is the skill of the artist.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby wert » Mar 11th, '14, 14:02

I am also very interested in the speed of the pour on the various filters. In my own experience, single hole in theory should be the fastest. But I find that one of the big factors is the spout, its shape and how it is connected. Sometimes, the connection and the hole is big and smooth but there could be some clay flakes in the inner part of the spout.

The shape of pot also affects the speed of the pour and sometimes I wonder if the type of clay affect the speed of the pour in any noticeable way. Personally, I think the type of filter affects the shape of the pour more noticeably than its speed.

These are personal observations and intuition, with absolutely no basis in science so please do educate me where I am inaccurate in anyway.

p.s: I am sorry for going OT.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby Balthazar » Mar 11th, '14, 14:54

Thanks for all the replies! Very helpful.

Regarding the speed of pouring and filter type (or lack thereof), I may be wrong to write off single hole pots. In fact, the pot I mentioned is very slow even when it contains nothing but water; in none of my tests have I been able to empty it in less than 25 seconds. So obviously the lack of a filter does not explain this (which, for reasons unknown I didn't even think about until just now...)

"Life in Teacup" and "Origin Tea" both looks like excellent options. Very much appreciate these suggestions. Since the latter apparently will return from tea pot hunting in a few days I think I will wait until then to make my decision. I'm a little bit skeptical about the pots that are said to be Factory #1, though. For instance, there's a vintage pot at "Life in Teacup," claimed to be Factory #1 and going for 170$. I thought such prices were unheard of (even if the craftsperson is unknown)?

(As one of the other posters, I too am wary of buying online, but as far as authenticity is concerned I definitely wouldn't be able to tell the real from the fake in person either.. That leaves such factors as pour speed, lid fit, etc, but here I think most sellers will give honest answers (or, if they don't, get bad reviews).)
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby bagua7 » Mar 11th, '14, 18:30

Single hole + shui ping is a killer combo in terms of pouring. My first choice.

I personally don't favour golf ball filters and multi-hole only on high profile pots. I got a couple of shui pings with multi-hole and it is very tiring to use a chopstick to unplug the leaves that often interfere with a nice pour.

Another vendor that sells real Yixing:

Wisdom China

Tea Habitat offers some smaller Yixings.

The problem is the sizing, most are larger that what you are after. The Chinese rarely drink tea by themselves so it is hard for them to understand the Western mentality of drinking tea alone; it's part of their culture which we have imported in ours.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby ABx » Mar 11th, '14, 20:50

Balthazar wrote:Thanks for all the replies! Very helpful.

Regarding the speed of pouring and filter type (or lack thereof), I may be wrong to write off single hole pots. In fact, the pot I mentioned is very slow even when it contains nothing but water; in none of my tests have I been able to empty it in less than 25 seconds. So obviously the lack of a filter does not explain this (which, for reasons unknown I didn't even think about until just now...)

"Life in Teacup" and "Origin Tea" both looks like excellent options. Very much appreciate these suggestions. Since the latter apparently will return from tea pot hunting in a few days I think I will wait until then to make my decision. I'm a little bit skeptical about the pots that are said to be Factory #1, though. For instance, there's a vintage pot at "Life in Teacup," claimed to be Factory #1 and going for 170$. I thought such prices were unheard of (even if the craftsperson is unknown)?

(As one of the other posters, I too am wary of buying online, but as far as authenticity is concerned I definitely wouldn't be able to tell the real from the fake in person either.. That leaves such factors as pour speed, lid fit, etc, but here I think most sellers will give honest answers (or, if they don't, get bad reviews).)

It's my understanding that only the older pots are particularly expensive. Factory 1 pots from late 80s onward aren't necessarily that expensive.
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Re: Small (or moderately) sized yixing pots?

Postby kyarazen » Mar 11th, '14, 21:39

bagua7 wrote:The problem is the sizing, most are larger that what you are after. The Chinese rarely drink tea by themselves so it is hard for them to understand the Western mentality of drinking tea alone; it's part of their culture which we have imported in ours.


thats really interesting :lol: :mrgreen:
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