futurebird wrote:I'm glad I'm not really going crazy think it's hard to find simple small pots. That said. I've found a few. And they are very functional and lovely. I don't know how "authentic" they are, but I'm not that obsessed to care.
I do think that tea culture is becoming more popular. Especially in NYC.
Naturally this will annoy those of you who keep it real and were there back before it was cool... but the bright side is someone will start making pots for less.
How hard can it be to make a simple small clay pot, with un-glazed walls that brews tea well?? (hard apparently)
When i visited No 1 factory in '96 (or so) a master potter there explained to me that making small pots well is more difficult than large pots, and that large pots draw much better prices as the Asian collectors preferred larger pots. Her pots were then already priced way beyond what i could afford - starting from several thousand dollars up. She had though a box with very nice older shui ping pots to present visitors with, which she gave me one. It's a bit larger - maybe 150 cc, or so, and i use it for when i have several guests.
I don't see prices of pots going down. I have prices only going up, especially for older pots or very well made pots, since i began drinking Chinese tea 22 years ago.
The market is hardly driven by westerners now increasingly exploring Chinese tea, but to the most part by mainland China itself. While back in the 80's/90's the market was driven by Taiwan and Malaysia, nowadays many mainland Chinese are actually going and buying back pots (and stored Pu Erh's) which overseas collectors and sellers from bought back then from China. Mainland China's rising middle class is now finding Tea culture and has the wealth to indulge in both precious pots and teas. Unless China's economy collapses, prices will only continue to go up for the foreseeable future.
I haven't bought a Yixing pot in about ten years, and don't plan to either (unless i win the lottery). I feel very lucky that i began drinking Chinese tea. But i also stock up on Pu Erh - i have almost a lifetime supply now. I still need to get a stock of good Yancha, as i have seen prices for really good Yancha going up massively as well.
All dealers and tea people i know have said to me that this does not look like a bubble this time around, but a real growth. More mainland Chinese finding tea - and a limited amount of tea gardens that grow the top quality, and rising labor costs for hand picked and processed teas, and of course for handcrafted pots.