My signature cup enjoys shu for one
Tie Quan Yin in a lowrider
Puerh in a teapot on which I've been experimenting lately. Please note the elegant abandoned pie plate
which is setting a new style trend, replacing the démodé
bamboo tea tray some
people are still using.
I have been brewing something
-- indifferently sheng puerh or any-which-kind of oolong -- once a day in this poor pot. I have a dozen other yixing style pots, but about a month ago I decided to devote extra time to the care and raising of this pot.
I had been losing my patience with the decades-long dedication you're supposed to give the aging of pots and decided to experiment with a little time compression. This pot was very inexpensive and pours annoyingly slowly (about a 12 second pour time) so I wasn't worried about ruining it. I figured I could afford to donate its body to science, if worse came worst.
After each brewing session, I have been placing the pot and the spent leaves (of whatever tea) into a bowl, covering them with boiling water, and leaving them to steep for 8 to 20 hours. I usually strain the leaves out at some point: seems less likely to nurture ugly things growing in the tea water as it cools and sits. The teapot has been through this form of torture now perhaps 20 times. It started life as a so-called Huang Ni (Yellow Mud) pot. It really wasn't yellow, but it was lighter than it is now. Unfortunately, I never photographed it when it was new, so I don't know how much it has changed. It seems probably a little more shiny now than it used to be, and buffing with a soft cloth does bring out a nice little shine. To the touch, the feel is pretty smooth, but I can't remember how smooth/rough it was to start out!
My question is: Am I abusing this poor pot by feeding it all manner of sheng and oolong (roasted, green, old, light, dark) and then drowning it over night in it's own juices? At least I'm not exposing it to shu, hei cha, or hong cha. Gotta respect its youthful innocence!
I'm not sure what my initial goal with this process was except vaguely to "age" the pot. I don't notice any bothersome carry over of one tea flavor to another (but then mine is not the most discriminating palate). I might
notice a touch more softness to the brews in my recent sessions with this pot, a feature which I probably like more than dislike.
If the future of this experiment proves interesting, I may update this note in a month or two.