random person wrote:-- but I've just purchased two Yixing pots from Jing's Tea Shop -- one of them is zi ni, which I will use for Wu Yi tea exclusively, but the other one -- they claim -- is actually Zhu Ni! They also said that the "Huang Zhu Ni" pot would be best for low-oxidized teas, by which I assume they mean high mountain oolongs.
My problem is that so far I haven't met a high mountain oolong that I like. To me, they are too bland and vegetal and lack the sweetness that I look for in a classic oolong. So I may end up dedicating the Zhu Ni to something more classically oxidized, like Formosa Fancy Silvertips at 50% oxidation.
I just recieved my 4th Jing Tea Shop order and my 2nd JTS Yixing, and I am very happy with everything. I am especially pleased at how well their recommended tea pairing works with the particular pots I purchased.
I know which two pots you purchased from Jing. The one you decided to use for Wuyi is IMO a very good choice for that tea.
The second, which they recommended for lightly oxidized oolongs, is probably best kept for that purpose. Clay isn't the only issue with tea/Yixing matching; capacity, lid size, shape, thickness, weight, whether the pot has feet, etc. all factor into the equation. These mostly affect heat retention, with high retention typically better for heavily oxidized teas and quick heat release preferred for lightly oxidized teas such as Taiwanese high mountain oolong.
Jing probably made their recommendation based on all of these criteria. It wasn't until I purchased my 12th Yixing that I finally had one that was suitable for high mountain oolong. When brewed in the more suitable Yixing, the taste difference was like night and day compared to the others. The heavy background taste was replaced with a very light, clear, and refreshing taste I had only witnessed before when brewing in an extremely thin and light gaiwan.
random person wrote:-- Can I find happiness with a ZhuNi if used for more traditionally roasted oolongs? Maybe even for Oriental Beauty?!
You can certainly try, but for the reasons above I don't think this match will be optimum. However, I've found the darker oolongs to be more forgiving of an incorrect choice of pot. The wrong pot often results in a lighter taste which is tolerable, but not ideal. The high mountains aren't anywhere near as forgiving. The wrong choice of pot gives a heavy, clouded, and unpleasant taste. The problem may not be obvious unless you compare it to the same tea brewed in a proper Yixing or a thin, light gaiwan. Without the comparison, it may be written off as just another mediocre, over-priced tea.
random person wrote:-- I sent this question to Jings too but they haven't replied. Go figure!
I had the same problem. There may be two reasons for this:
1. I believe both Jing and Sebastien are travelling in Europe for at least the first two weeks of July.
2. Jing Tea Shop seems to have a problem with certain e-mail addresses either never making it through or being placed in the junk mail folder. I tried re-sending from a different e-mail address and promptly received an apologetic, friendly, and complete response.