intelligen_tea_a wrote:I don't know much about aged oolongs, but I'm surprised that so many people are recommending a gaiwan for brewing an oolong! The big problem with this is that gaiwans do not hold heat well at all, and boiling water has to be in contact with the tea for as long as the steeping requires for one to get the best flavor out of it. The gaiwan just can't retain that hot temp for more than a few seconds.
There are a lot of variables there (and some gaiwans are thicker than others). The way you pour, the thickness of the gaiwan, how thoroughly the vessel has been pre-heated, what kind of kettle you're using, and exactly how hot the water is. In theory, boiling is boiling, but my experience is that by the time the water hits the tea, the results will be different depending on the type of kettle, and many people don't actually get their water to a full rolling boil. Having the open top may lose a little heat, but I am not sure that there's much difference in the heat loss in 5-10 seconds between a porcelain gaiwan and a porcelain teapot of equivalent thickness. Yixing pot, I think will have a little more heat retention.
While I do tend to use boiling or just off-the boil water for most oolongs, my experience has been quite the opposite of yours - I feel that oolongs, even some heavier style ones, many will benefit from an eggshell gaiwan. You may sacrifice a little thickness, but you often gain more fragrance. For example, I have Yixing pots dedicated to both Wuyi yancha and Fenghuang dancong, but I often opt to use a gaiwan instead. With greener oolongs, the same is true.
For aged teas, I will often use a pot, and I agree that such teas might benefit from a Yixing pot, but I think you can get good results (and sufficient heat) with a gaiwan too. And, while you can't as easily shower a gaiwan with hot water, you could also put the gaiwan in a dish just as you would with a teapot, to hold in a bit more heat from the hot water around it.
Anyway, I don't think folks were saying that a Yixing pot is a bad idea for this tea, simply that if one doesn't have a teapot devoted to this style of aged oolongs, a porcelain gaiwan or teapot will probably give decent results.