Since I was documenting my teaware anyway, I thought Id share a bunch of photos here. I've been brewing loose leaf tea for years, western style. I just got into gong fu brewing 2 months ago, and have tried to build up an inexpensive collection of functional items via Ebay that I can learn with. I have no idea if there is a photo limit for these posts, so please forgive me if this is too long.
First, my favorite place to drink tea in the backyard, perfect for watching the gorgeous San Diego sunsets:
The family portrait:
None of my pots are more than $12. In fact, the most expensive piece was the tea tray at $40. I didn't try to make these photos overly pretty, mostly they're just to document what I started with and how they progress through use.
My first pot is this 150ml Shuiping style. Thin walled, but that's all the info I have on it. I pair it with lighter oolongs and TKY.
It has a ball filter with tiny holes and poured really slow, until I hammered a nail in through the spout to punch a hole in the bottom side of the filter. You can't see the hole, and now it pours like a champ.
For dark oolongs, I chose this 130ml pot with thicker walls and a lower profile. I didn't notice the yin yang design on the lid when I purchased it, if I had, I would not have bought it.
This little 50ml pot I use for my more expensive teas and have been getting a bit drunk off of him.
I bought Mr. Panda because I was drawn to his quiet dignity, but he doesn't seem to brew very good tea, so he stays on the shelf.
My friend gifted me my first celadon cups last week, and I've been using one like crazy. Take a guess which one.
When I'm not using my tea tray, I use this bowl and saucers. I stumbled across them at a clearance sale and stocked up, 4 for $5. I bought a bunch of saucers, but only one bowl. When I went back a couple days later, they were all sold out, of course.
With so many saucers, I got the bright idea to sacrifice one as a little boat for the pot. Drilling the hole was harder than I thought, but it drains into the bowl quite nicely. Turning it upside down give a smaller diameter lip which holds the pots better.
Of course, most of my tea is drunk in front of the computer while browsing TeaChat. The teapot shelf is actually a display case of a tea brick.
Now back to boiling some more water.