Proinsias wrote:I'd aim a little higher pricewise for a yixing, ~$20 is likely to be much more of gamble buying yixing as opposed to kyusu. I'd venture spending $30-50 might put you in safer territory.
I completely agree with this statement. When I first started buying teaware online I picked up a couple of questionable Yixings that I wouldn't even use. Rather than throw them away (I didn't trust the safety, quality, or authenticity of them) I gave them to a co-worker for display purposes only; I made her promise she would never use them to brew tea! I then realized I needed to pay more and buy from vendors I trust, like Hou De and Jing Tea Shop.
Although choosing and buying teaware, including Yixings, can be fun and rewarding, it can also be expensive, frustrating, and the source of mistakes and disappointment. It may be better starting off with a general-purpose, moderately thick porcelain gaiwan with a built-in filter and spout that comes with two cups. You can brew just about any Chinese of Taiwanese tea in this setup with good results and a minimum of mess and frustration. This type of set is available from both China and Taiwan.
This link is to a set I purchased a while ago from Pure Puer. It's no longer in stock, but has worked so well it has become one of my most-used pieces of teaware. It is very convenient and without the mess of a standard gaiwan. I have brewed various Chinese and Taiwanese greens, Dan Congs, Wuyis, and other oolongs, as well as Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese black teas, all with very good results. Although I prefer Yixings for oolongs overall, this set is often just more convenient.http://s895.photobucket.com/albums/ac15 ... Dragon.jpg