Different pots for different teas


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Different pots for different teas

Postby mcmoogly » Sep 4th, '07, 19:14

So I've been gradually learning more about tea everyday but I'm still a bit confused on one thing. As far as Yixing and Tokoname pots go. What teas are better for these types? I know there are other pots do but I'm not familiar with them. I've mainly read about these and I know that your supposed to only use specific ones as the clay retains the essence of the tea. But is a Tokoname pot better for green tea... just the way it's made? Also the same goes for Yixing. Also if you have to dedicate a pot to a certain type of tea, how far can you stray in types? Can you brew all greens in a pot and all blacks or is it only strands that should be?
I know it's a lot of questions but I've been looking around and haven't found a definite answer yet! I'd like to get a Yixing and Tokonome in the future but for now as a beginner, I think I will just stick to my adagio infuser until I become a more experienced tea drinker :)

Thanks all.
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Postby Eastree » Sep 4th, '07, 19:24

I'm not familiar with Tokonome, so I can't vouch too much for it. But it seems that they're good for greens (besides being made for more of a 'green tea culture') since they give the leaves plenty of room to expand.

Yixing pots, I've read, can be dedicated very specifically -- this TGY vs. that one -- or not so specifically -- like 'green oolongs' and 'heavily roasted oolongs'.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Sep 4th, '07, 19:46

Tokoname is generally used for Japanese green tea, but that's not to say nothing else will brew in them. The only thing to look out for is brewing vastly different teas in unglazed teaware, which is also important for Yixing (mentioned later).

Conventional wisdom says greens and whites are too delicate to brew in Yixing-ware, but there are some who disagree. Just try it out and see what works for you.

Yixing dedication can be as specific as you want it to be-- it mostly depends on how picky your palate is and how much money you want to spend on your teawares. :)

For example, I have one teapot for Wuyi and other high roast, heavy feeling teas; one for Low-roast, low-oxidation oolongs like some kinds of Taiwanese gao shan and some kinds of TGY; one for cooked puerh; etc.

What is most important is making sure to not mix conflicting and/or strong flavors. You may notice that cooked puerh is the *only* thing that goes into my cooked puerh teapot because it is so strongly flavored, but that I will brew either Wuyi oolong or certain dark-roasted in the same pot because they don't clash too much. Some would say they are not similar enough, and would probably use two different pots, so it's really a matter of preference.

Anyway, hope this helps!
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Postby Space Samurai » Sep 4th, '07, 20:11

Scruff pretty much covered it, so I'll only add a bit.

Usually Tokoname is larger than yixing. Most (and when I say most, I mean most that I have seen browsing/shopping around the internet) yixing pots tend to be 6 oz or smaller, while almost every Tokoname pot I've seen is 8 oz or larger. Which is more prefered, depends on your brewing style.

I think smaller pots yield better gong fu results, so I use yixing and/or gaiwan for puer and oolong. For blacks, whites and greens, I prefer to make tea 8 oz at a time, so I use Tokoname.

Also, and again this is based on my own observations, so take it with a grain of salt, but Tokoname pots have better filters. The different styles, sasame (clay mesh screen), obi-ami (stainless steel wrap around scree), or ita-ami (stainless steel screen) will all do a good job of filtering out small leaves and particles. Yixing, intended to be used with large quanitites of tea, often with larger leaves, doesn't often require a filter as fine as that. Just something to think about.

Any other differences mostly boil down to aesthetic or cultural preferences.
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Postby Mary R » Sep 4th, '07, 21:34

Scruff and Space really covered the tokoname/yixing aspects really well, but I thought I'd add my two cents anyway. :)

I prefer to use a tokoname pot for Japanese greens only--particularly senchas. The senchas are usually chopped and therefore finer than whole leaf Chinese greens and whites. For the whole leaf greens, I prefer a gaiwan. (Gasp! Moar teawarez!)
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Postby mcmoogly » Sep 5th, '07, 07:11

Thanks for all the input everyone! It helps a lot. Is there anything I should be looking for in a pot to know it's quality? There are so many on the net and I wonder how good quality some are.
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Postby Wesli » Sep 5th, '07, 11:14

mcmoogly wrote:Thanks for all the input everyone! It helps a lot. Is there anything I should be looking for in a pot to know it's quality? There are so many on the net and I wonder how good quality some are.


Ah, and thus the problem of ordering off the net. The truth is, mcmoogly, that you can't. Your best bet is to shop where others here have had luck. Both Rishi Teas and Red Blossom Tea Company have delivered to me excellent quality teaware.
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Postby Space Samurai » Sep 5th, '07, 15:06

I second Rage's suggestion. Rishi and Red blossom provide wonderful tea ware and service. I've reccomended the Fukugata from Rishi before, and I think others agree with me that its a great pot. You wont find a better one that costs less.

http://greenteapictures.blogspot.com/2007/08/fukugata-tokoname-yokode-kyuusu.html
http://anotherteablog.blogspot.com/2007/07/kyusu.html

Also, artisticnippon has a great selection of Tokoname pots that are fantastic quality, but they do cost a bit more.

In general I judge Tokoname pots by the quality of the screen/filter, and I only buy pots that have a sasame. That's not to say that all quality pots use sasame and not a stainless steel filter, but you don't put a high qulity filter in a cheap pot. So if you have a good filter, you probably have a good pot. Its a good starting point. Other than that, I stick to artists that I know I'll like, like Shimizu Genji.

I don't know much about yixng. I have one from Imperial Tea Court thats nice. I think a lot of people here get theirs from Yunnan Surcing LLC from Ebay. Funalliance also has a large selection.

Hope some of this helps
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Sep 5th, '07, 15:38

Yunnan Sourcing LLC (often abbreviated here as ysllc) is a good place for entry-level and slightly above entry-level Yixing. There are other stores on ebay that sell them too (Chinese Teapot Gallery, Silk Road Trade, etc.), but they are generally expensive and/or crappy. I think ysllc is a good place to start.

Funalliance certainly has a large selection, and I hear they are good quality items, but they sure ain't cheap.
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Postby rhpot1991 » Sep 10th, '07, 14:13

I have a Yixing teapot that I use for my morning cup of Golden Monkey:
http://www.enjoyingtea.com/trpuclte.html

and I use this Tokoname for my unflavored green teas:
http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/product. ... =25&page=1

One thing to keep in mind: both of these types of unglazed pots have porous clay and are said to absorb some flavor of your tea. So you do not want to use any flavored tea or you may end up giving that flavor to everything brewed in the pots.
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Postby mcmoogly » Sep 21st, '07, 16:12

Can anyone post some more good tea sites? I'm looking for a Yixing teapot and more teaware in general. I want quality stuff :)

I bought a Fukugta and Yohen Tetsuki Samashi from Rishi and really like then. Only wish I got more teacups. I also bought some Organic Sencha and Dragon Well tea. So far all I have brewed in it is Sencha. As for other greens, would it be OK to brew them in there too without inflicting taste? Would a Dragon Well be OK to brew in it or should I just go for another pot that can be dedicated to several greens? Are there particular pots that brew whites, oolongs, or blacks better? In the future I was thinking about getting a Yixing pot for black tea, another Kyuru for Whites, and wasn't sure about Oolongs... Any suggestions? I was looking at Tetsubin's but wasn't sure if they were better for any particular type either. Also, would a ceramic pot be a good all-around pot for experimenting with any type of tea?

Lots of questions! Thanks all.
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Postby Space Samurai » Sep 21st, '07, 17:56

Hi, I'm glad you like the Fukugata and samashi.

1) I've had my Fukugata for over a year or so and used it for all green tea and haven't had any problems. The same thing with my Kabuse Ushirode; I've used it for dian hong, keemun, and darjeelings without any ill effects. While Tokoname are porous, and you want to be careful, they dont seem to be as porous as yixing, so you don't have to be as specific.

2) This is just my opinion, but I don't think you'll have great results using yixing for black, but I haven't tried it myself, so what do I know.

3) I definitely reccomend another kyusu for white, I use the kikumaru from Rishi for my white tea.

4) For oonlongs I'd start with a non porous gaiwan. You'll get great results and the freedom to experiment, as oolongs vary drastically from one to the next. That's what I did back in April or May, and now I'm ready to start picking specific yixing pots.

5) Tetsubin...I'm not wild about them myself. There isn't anything about them that will make a better cup of tea. Because they use an infuser basket instead of a filter like the sasame, your tea probably wont come out as well. But, if you like them, they can be a good all purpose pot, or like you said, something ceramic will do just fine, too.

6) If you find any good yixing, let me know. The majority of yixing pots are just not to my taste. I guess that's why I ended up with so much tokoname to my one lonely yixing pot.
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Postby mcmoogly » Sep 25th, '07, 23:45

Thanks, your response as helped me a lot!
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