Paying teaware tuition


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Paying teaware tuition

Postby Ms Kita B » Feb 14th, '10, 14:19

On the quest to brew the perfect cup of tea we've all purchased a lot of teaware. Some were cute or had a cool description but later you find out it really isn't all that great. That's what I mean by paying teaware tuition.

I was looking through an old box of teaware and found countless amount of teaware that will never get used again. Most were because they were poorly made and(or) was made from poor quality material. Others were too large for gong fu and just simply not practical. So to start off this thread here's pics of a couple of mine. I'll post more soon. Don't be shy let's see what teaware you may have purchased because it may have looked cool or sounded like the perfect teaware. Also state the reason why it's not used often, if at all.

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It looked cool even had it's only little tea tray but it was poorly made. The pot is about 200ml and the cups hold about 30ml which I could've overlooked that but the clay was poor quality as well. I guess you get what you pay for. :lol:

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Yes that's by Jay and before anyone flames me I am a fan too but this piece has it's flaws. Though it looks gorgeous, it leaks pretty bad. I just use it as a display piece now.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby debunix » Feb 14th, '10, 15:16

Hmmm.....what the heck was I thinking when I bought a 1 liter teapot with a glass infuser insert? That was probably my most expensive pot, and while it should be nice to brew up a couple of quarts of herbal tea to serve to company at brunch, the tiny slits of the infuser get clogged by little tea bits and are virtually uncleanable. I liked the glass look so much that I bought several other mugs-with-inserts and pots with the glass infusers before I realized how difficult they were to use, and then broke them.

My three larger (150-180mL) clay pots were bought for gongfu sessions (one for sheng, one for shu, one for oolong), before I realized just how many infusions I would be getting from these teas, and they're nice enough but just don't get used much at all. After playing with them a bit, I bought a new set of the tiniest pots I could find at my local shop (50-60mL). Fortunately, they're cheap enough that it wasn't too expensive a lesson, and the larger pots do come in handy for those occasions when there's a guest to share the gongfu session.

I think one thing I have done well is stay away from the expensive teaware until I know what I'm really going to want for the long run.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby Victoria » Feb 14th, '10, 16:44

An EIGHT oz (236ml) gaiwan from TenRen:

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Holy cow, what was I thinking!!! Cool looking though,
beautiful white interior.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby geeber1 » Feb 14th, '10, 18:20

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This is a cute set (it has six cups) but the porcelain is so thin that you have to have heatproof fingers to use the gaiwan. I tried it one time and since then it's been living in the china hutch.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby Victoria » Feb 14th, '10, 18:24

Yeah, but you can still use the little cups - and in fact, I use one of my gaiwans as a cup itself. Sans lid and saucer, it has a beautiful shape and makes a sweet little cup. Try it??
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby debunix » Feb 14th, '10, 19:56

Most of the time I put my thumb on the topknot of the gaiwan lid and my middle finger on bottom rim of the base, which doesn't give me quite as much control as the two fingers on the rim and one of the topknot technique, but leads to fewer burns.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby beachape » Feb 14th, '10, 20:03

Not only have I paid some teaware tuition, but also some tea tuition. I bought a ton of oolong tea, and a number of small yixing pots that were pretty cheap. Thought I would dedicate each one to a type. I liked the pots and the tea I bought was good too. Just turns out that I really don't drink much oolong tea. Whenever I want tea I've just been drinking green tea or puerh. The tea pots are still fun to look at, and every so often I feel like having some oolong. It'll be pretty sad when all the tea goes bad. I'm always buying more tea than I can drink. And then there is tea you get as gifts and then it really adds up.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby debunix » Feb 14th, '10, 20:49

I think I've paid more in tea tuition than teaware tuition. Bought too much of a lot of things....such as a bunch of silver needle tea, nothing wrong with it, but I bought it after some frustrations with a series of green teas, and soon after I bought it, I found a green tea that I like, and then several more, and now the very fancy silver needles is sitting there quite unloved in the back of the green tea box.

And there was the many ounces of really nice enough oolongs, but that was just before a shipment arrived of some much nicer stuff, so again, back of the cabinet....
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby beachape » Feb 14th, '10, 21:01

Ha, I wish I had more time to put some tea on teaswap but i really don't have time to deal with the post office. I try giving it away to friends but most of them don't know what to do with loose leaf, ha.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby Chip » Feb 14th, '10, 22:00

Geeber, try brewing greens at 160-170* in your gaiwan. :mrgreen: Thin wall gaiwans are great for greens.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby debunix » Feb 14th, '10, 22:03

I'd love to participate in tea swap but I'm not elegible yet. Haven't served my 60 days. Soon, though, hope to have a partial solution to the overpopulation of tea....beyond that which is easy to give away to friends. The overly generous purchases of jasmines are always easy to rehome.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby gingkoseto » Feb 14th, '10, 23:24

geeber1 wrote:Image

This is a cute set (it has six cups) but the porcelain is so thin that you have to have heatproof fingers to use the gaiwan. I tried it one time and since then it's been living in the china hutch.

Thicker wall gaiwan will burn fingers even more, :( unless you hold the saucer when using it.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby geeber1 » Feb 14th, '10, 23:55

Thanks for the helpful tips, Chip and Victoria!
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby subdude1 » Feb 15th, '10, 01:25

There are two in my collection which rarely see use. First, a really beautiful kyusu...
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...that I bought when I decided to try my hand at green teas. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into them, and the pot is a little too large for me to brew oolongs. Maybe someday it will see use again :mrgreen:

The other is my avatar pot...
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...I had ordered a gaiwan, but this pot arrived instead. Figured I got a deal since the gaiwan cost a lot less :D Just can't find a tea that brews great in it though.

Victoria and Geeber, nice wares.
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Re: Paying teaware tuition

Postby Oni » Feb 15th, '10, 03:00

gingko wrote:
geeber1 wrote:Image

This is a cute set (it has six cups) but the porcelain is so thin that you have to have heatproof fingers to use the gaiwan. I tried it one time and since then it's been living in the china hutch.

Thicker wall gaiwan will burn fingers even more, :( unless you hold the saucer when using it.

I think you should get used t the heat while brewign tea, eversince I got my tetsubin, when I brew gong fu tea, sometimes the heat is unbearable, I can hardly put my index finger on the knob of my yixing, and when you use a gaiwan (120 ml designed for gong fu cha) the steam that escapes from under the lid while you pour can be a bit hot for the hand, specially with a preheated gaiwan and short infusions, I used 10 second infusion, and water at 99 C, it is very hot, my impression is that the tetsubin gives of water at a much higher heat that my conventional electric induction kettle, and the heat lasts longer, I mean it took longer to cool. P.S. I burned my hand a lot of times while learning, I think I am getting resistant to pain or something.
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