spacesamurai wrote:I am about to jump into the fabulous world of oolong. I was going to wait, but I just tried some tung ting, and it opened my eyes to what I have been missing.
So now I need a new tea pot. What should I buy? I have been wanting a gaiwan for a while, but would it be better to brew oolong in a yixing pot?
I would start using a gaiwan, especially one made from celadon or porcelain. As someone on this thread previously stated, having a gaiwan handy is excellent for trying different kinds of oolongs. I also like versatility and easy clean up when it comes to brewing and drinking my tea. Usually, I drink my teas directly from the gaiwan. If I am working at my desk or walking throughout my apartment while drinking tea, it is easier to carry around my gaiwan than to have to lug around a pot, or having it take up space on my work station.
Once you have found your "holy grail" (my term for a favorite blend of tea), then I would think about getting a Yixing teapot. Or, get the best of both worlds and invest in a Yixing gaiwan. There's a reason why I suggest this though. Yixing clay is very porous, absorbing the flavors and aromas of liquids poured into it. Many tea connoisseurs don't like using a Yixing vessel for many different types of tea. Therefore, they will use a Yixing pot or gaiwan for one specific kind of tea.
Again, my motto is this - do what is most favorable to your tastes, eschewing what many "high standard" connoisseurs will suggest. You don't need a Yixing pot manufactured by blind Buddhist monks in order to enjoy oolongs. I've been drinking oolongs for several years now, and I don't even own one piece of Yixing pottery (I find them to be superfluous since I love trying different kinds of tea).
And welcome to the world of oolongs, by the way.
I often call oolongs the "snowflakes of tea." You'll find that like wine tasting, no two batches, or in some cases, no two cups, are the same.