What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)


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What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby fire_snake » Apr 2nd, '11, 23:21

I recently discovered this type of Oolong (thanks, Ambrose) and I've really taken to it. It's rich and smooth. No harshness. Lots of flavour. I could go on and on! I'm having a great deal of success with it using a gaiwan. In fact I'm having a great deal of success with most Chinese teas in a gaiwan (at least with the ones I've tried recently.)

I'd like to get a nice little clay pot for this kind of Oolong at some point. Any recommendations for what pot would truly be ideal for Li Shan Oolong in particular? I'd like a small size, but big enough for the leaves to expand adequately.

My guesses: Duan Ni? Green clay?

Something like these?:

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=592

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=321

Thanks,

Christian
Last edited by fire_snake on Apr 3rd, '11, 19:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby bagua7 » Apr 3rd, '11, 03:05

Requirements:

1. High fired

2. High-profile

3. Thin-walled

None of the pots you linked are good for Lishan oolong.

Examples of adequate pots:

Image

Image

In the end you can always use a gaiwan or a porcelain teapot to be safe.
Last edited by bagua7 on Aug 28th, '11, 02:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 3rd, '11, 08:41

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Almost there (well, never really there, but it's alright to get close) :wink:

So I've narrowed my search down to a few candidates, some from Yunnan Sourcing, some Chao Zhou pots from TeaHabitat, and a couple from www.zishateapot.co.uk. I like the look of the Chao Zhou pots. However, doing justice to the tea is most important.

The Yunnan Sourcing pots seem rather inexpensive. I hope the clay is of high quality. Again, the experience of others will really help me here.

Yunnan Sourcing:

Da Hong Pao clay

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=982

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=747

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1072

Golden Zhu Ni

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1548

Lao Zi Ni purple clay

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1277

TeaHabitat - Chao Zhu pots:

http://www.teahabitat.com/store/index.p ... cts_id=234

http://www.teahabitat.com/store/index.p ... cts_id=239

http://www.teahabitat.com/store/index.p ... cts_id=258

http://www.teahabitat.com/store/index.p ... cts_id=227

www.zishateapot.co.uk

http://www.zishateapot.co.uk/chinese-yi ... p-122.html

http://www.zishateapot.co.uk/chinese-yi ... -p-35.html



If there are other, better choices, please let me know. I'm willing to pay more if necessary. After all, I'd like whatever pot I get to last for years, if not a lifetime.

Thanks again,

Christian
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby David R. » Apr 3rd, '11, 11:59

I have bought a couple of good quality teapots for such oolong, and as a matter of fact, I am always coming back to porcelain... Actually, I have now bought a better quality gaiwan for these teas.

I am not saying that it will always be better than a teapot, but that is what I prefer. You always have the risk that a teapot will rub off too many fragrance and floral notes. It depends on what you are looking for in these teas.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 3rd, '11, 12:17

David R. wrote:I have bought a couple of good quality teapots for such oolong, and as a matter of fact, I am always coming back to porcelain... Actually, I have now bought a better quality gaiwan for these teas.

I am not saying that it will always be better than a teapot, but that is what I prefer. You always have the risk that a teapot will rub off too many fragrance and floral notes. It depends on what you are looking for in these teas.


Interesting. I certainly do love my gaiwan set. What a brilliant device the gaiwan is.

So what is the draw of, say, a dedicated pot for Li Shan or these high mountain oolongs? What's the "big feature", if I may put it that way?

Obviously, they look lovely and traditional and will look even better with age. But if there is no improvement in the tea, or worse, if these will take away from the tea, then what is the point?

I'm not trying to knock clay teaware, I'm just trying to understand what they will do to oolongs that makes them sought-after.

If some people's experience is anything to go by, there is definitely something going on there. I mean, let's take Herb's testimony here:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15269

Just reading it is pretty mind-blowing. I'm going to want to get in on some of that. Sure enough, there's a clay pot involved!

Christian
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby tortoise » Apr 3rd, '11, 12:23

I am a big fan of Li Shan and I think it's notoriously difficult to pair with a pot from the cursory research I've done. Green Gao Shan teas are easily robbed of both flavor and aroma by porous clay. I am content to use a gaiwan until I've had the chance to taste the tea in the pot available for purchase.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 3rd, '11, 12:29

tortoise wrote:I am a big fan of Li Shan and I think it's notoriously difficult to pair with a pot from the cursory research I've done. Green Gao Shan teas are easily robbed of both flavor and aroma by porous clay. I am content to use a gaiwan until I've had the chance to taste the tea in the pot available for purchase.


Really? So I guess Li Shan is quite a different class of oolong.

How would it compare to Bai Ji Guan? I really must try this after seeing Herb's post.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby tortoise » Apr 3rd, '11, 13:32

fire_snake wrote:
tortoise wrote:I am a big fan of Li Shan and I think it's notoriously difficult to pair with a pot from the cursory research I've done. Green Gao Shan teas are easily robbed of both flavor and aroma by porous clay. I am content to use a gaiwan until I've had the chance to taste the tea in the pot available for purchase.


Really? So I guess Li Shan is quite a different class of oolong.

How would it compare to Bai Ji Guan? I really must try this after seeing Herb's post.


I've never had it, but from looking it up, Bai Ji Guan is totally different from Li Shan. Apples and Oranges. Li Shan is a high mountain oolong from Taiwan, BJG is from WuYi in mainland China and considered a rock tea.

Regarding my comments about a pot for lishan, I'm just sharing the advice others have given me. The specs provided by Bagua are good ones, but they don't necessarily guarantee a good match.
Last edited by tortoise on Apr 3rd, '11, 14:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby wyardley » Apr 3rd, '11, 14:14

If you're getting good results with porcelain, I'd stick to that approach. Personally, I prefer that for this style of tea, when I do drink it. I have some pots which roughly fit the criteria that most people seem to think is good, but I usually get better results with a thin porcelain gaiwan.

Also, I would avoid a Chaozhou clay pot for this style of tea. Even tho it looks like it should work, my understanding is that they're much, much more porous than Yixing clay.
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 3rd, '11, 18:24

Well a porcelain gaiwan is always a safe bet. It reveals a tea's true character, warts and all. I've learned this much on my own.

However, say I want to dedicate a single pot to Bai Ji Guan exclusively (assuming one pot is enough) what characteristics would I look for?

I assume it needs to be small - 50-100ml, not more than 130ml or so. I also assume it needs to be more flat than round or tall. If this is correct so far, the next questions are: What type of clay? Who is a trusted vendor?

Instead of diving head-first into Oolongs and trying everything at once I'd rather concentrate on a tea or teas I like, and then dedicate pots to them (aside from just going the gaiwan route all the time.)

When it comes to clay, I',m concerned about the Bai Ji Guan's character changing too much, especially the sweetness. Porcelain is great for revealing sweet, caramel-like notes, and I'd hate to lose that.

I'd also appreciate advice on a pot for Yu shan oolongs. The sweet, honey notes are just amazing. Also has a slightly biting aftertaste which makes for a nice finish. Again, I assume that a smaller pot is better but I can't be sure of other requirements.

Thanks,

Christian
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby wyardley » Apr 3rd, '11, 18:38

fire_snake wrote:However, say I want to dedicate a single pot to Bai Ji Guan exclusively (assuming one pot is enough) what characteristics would I look for?

I'm confused. Are you looking for a pot for lishan or for baijiguan? Is there a particular baijiguan that you're drinking a lot of?
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 3rd, '11, 18:56

wyardley wrote:
fire_snake wrote:However, say I want to dedicate a single pot to Bai Ji Guan exclusively (assuming one pot is enough) what characteristics would I look for?

I'm confused. Are you looking for a pot for lishan or for baijiguan? Is there a particular baijiguan that you're drinking a lot of?


A pot for Bai Ji Guan.

As for the tea itself, it's what Teaspring has.

http://www.teaspring.com/Bai-Ji-Guan.asp

I'm looking to try Jing's when they have it:

http://www.jingteashop.com/pd-jing-tea- ... ng-bjg.cfm
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby David R. » Apr 3rd, '11, 19:10

If you want to save you some efforts, just be aware of the fact that a lot of people in Wuyi drink their tea using a gaiwan. :wink:
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 3rd, '11, 19:13

David R. wrote:If you want to save you some efforts, just be aware of the fact that a lot of people in Wuyi drink their tea using a gaiwan. :wink:


Yeah, I had a feeling I'd end up right back at a gaiwan. It's just too perfect for tea. :mrgreen:

So in other words, all else being equal, ideally, oolongs (specifically Wu Yi) are best enjoyed from a porcelain gaiwan, especially when we're after the true character of the tea? ;)
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Re: What kind of pot for Li Shan Oolong? (Or Bai Ji Guan)

Postby David R. » Apr 3rd, '11, 19:39

Not just oolongs, but all kinds of tea I would say. The best way to know a tea is to use porcelain. You learn a lot using a gaiwan.

A teapot changes the experience. It silences some aspects of the tea while improving some others. You have to know the tea and what you want in order to be able to choose the right teapot, with the right clay, the right size, etc.

Of course, you can collect plenty of styles of teapots and try every combinations. I won't lie to you, that is a bit what I am doing. :lol: But I am always using porcelain when discovering a new tea.
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