Jing Tea Shops Phoenix Gaiwan


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Jing Tea Shops Phoenix Gaiwan

Postby britt » Jun 21st, '08, 15:42

On the June 18th Daily Poll there were some questions about the phoenix Gaiwan from Jing Tea Shop. The thread is now locked so I'll post what I know about it here.

The pic posted by Bi Lew Chun is of the 90cc phoenix gaiwan that has the very tapered look i.e. wide top, narrow bottom. Technically, it doesn't match the cups but in reality they're close enough to call a match.

The second and very similar phoenix gaiwan that is out of stock and no longer shown on the Jing Tea Shop site was 100cc, has a much wider bottom, and does perfectly match the two small phoenix cups. It was a Qing Dynasty style gaiwan and the description referred to it as an "ancient phoenix design."

I preferred the wide bottom of the one that was no longer available, figuring the leaves of ball or pellet shaped Taiwanese High Mountain oolongs would benefit from this should I choose to brew them in a gaiwan. It was also specifically stated as being of extremely thin, light porcelain which would be suitable for green and white teas. The description of the narrow bottomed version was incomplete, but it appeared that it was also a very high quality, thin, light gaiwan.

Although both were a bit too flowery for my taste, tea quality comes first. I needed a brewing vessel that would properly handle greens and whites, so I ordered the one shown by Bi Lew Chun because the other was supposed to be out of stock. I actually received the out of stock one. The only complaint I have is that the Qing style gaiwan drips and spills pretty bad. Other than that, I have never used a brewing vessel that produced such great tasting Chinese or Taiwanese green tea. The one that is now posted on the Jing Tea Shop website is claimed by customers who reviewed it to have perfect lid fit, which would take care of my only complaint.

I've used this for a week now and I highly recommend this gaiwan and matching cups to anyone looking to brew green or white tea. It is so thin that you can see the outside design from the inside of the cup or gaiwan. I am now tasting the tea, not the brewing vessel. I assume, but am not absolutely sure, that the one currently listed will be as good or even better than the Qing version I have.

If other teas are brewed in this, like a Wu Yi or Dan Cong, the result may be a lightening of the flavor and color due to the light weight and thin porcelain, which will allow the heat to escape too quickly for these teas. I haven't actually tried to brew other teas in this; I use my Yixings and Taiwanese pots for those.

Currently listed phoenix gaiwan:

http://www.jingteashop.com/pd_qing_hua_phoenix.cfm

Matching (almost) cups:

http://www.jingteashop.com/pd_pheonix_pattern.cfm

Note: When I edited to add the links, I noticed the currently listed gaiwan is called Qing Hua. So was the one I ordered, which is slightly different. As good as the quality and service from Jing Tea Shop have been, the website listings are quite sloppy. Now I'm not really sure which one will be shipped if an order is placed.
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Postby Smells_Familiar » Jun 21st, '08, 16:12

Very nice rewiew and very helpful! We need more product reviews like this.
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Postby britt » Jun 21st, '08, 16:32

Smells_Familiar wrote:Very nice rewiew and very helpful! We need more product reviews like this.


Thanks very much for the positive comments. I would like to write shorter posts on items like this, but unfortunately there are so many factors to consider that detail is often necessary. Your comments make me think I should continue adding the details.

I've only been into high quality tea for a year now, and it's been a long and costly process, so I hope others can avoid making the same mistakes I have. I'll probably make many more, but I think tea is a very worthwhile "hobby" with many benefits.

Now, off to try the Silver Needles I just found in my mailbox. Using the phoenix gaiwan, of course!
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Postby Salsero » Jun 21st, '08, 19:33

Smells_Familiar wrote:Very nice review and very helpful! We need more product reviews like this.
I so totally agree, doods.
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Re: Jing Tea Shops Phoenix Gaiwan

Postby chrl42 » Jun 21st, '08, 21:00

britt wrote:Note: When I edited to add the links, I noticed the currently listed gaiwan is called Qing Hua. So was the one I ordered, which is slightly different. As good as the quality and service from Jing Tea Shop have been, the website listings are quite sloppy. Now I'm not really sure which one will be shipped if an order is placed.

Qing Hua (blue-and-white 靑花) is the most common method used on porcelain since Yuan dynasty. Shaped pot - drawing with a cobalt - glazing - heated at 1300C.

The most popular method used during Qing dynasty is Fen Cai.
http://www.jingteashop.com/pd_teacup_12flowers.cfm
Shaped pot - glazing - heats at 1300C - drawing on the glaze - heats at 700C

Or Tou Cai, which is using both methods above.
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Re: Jing Tea Shops Phoenix Gaiwan

Postby britt » Jun 21st, '08, 21:38

Answer to chrl42

Thanks for explaining "Qing Hua" and providing the links to illustrate.

I guess both gaiwans are "Qing Hua" as far as the painting on the porcelain, but I believe the delisted one's shape was also referred to as Qing Dynasty. It was much rounder and wider towards the bottom, and looked more like gaiwans on other sites that that are labeled as Ming style. I assume these labels refer to shape, as some of them have no design on them; they are porcelain-lined with plain clay exteriors.

Either way, I am very happy with the quality of the gaiwan I purchased, and I imagine the one currently listed would be equally excellent.
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Re: Jing Tea Shops Phoenix Gaiwan

Postby chrl42 » Jun 21st, '08, 22:13

britt wrote:Answer to chrl42

Thanks for explaining "Qing Hua" and providing the links to illustrate.

I guess both gaiwans are "Qing Hua" as far as the painting on the porcelain, but I believe the delisted one's shape was also referred to as Qing Dynasty. It was much rounder and wider towards the bottom, and looked more like gaiwans on other sites that that are labeled as Ming style. I assume these labels refer to shape, as some of them have no design on them; they are porcelain-lined with plain clay exteriors.

Either way, I am very happy with the quality of the gaiwan I purchased, and I imagine the one currently listed would be equally excellent.


Frankly, I don't know how Ming dynasty gaiwans look like, most of antique gaiwans I've seen are Qing dynasty's.

And telling from what I've seen or heard, those gaiwans usually looks short to the bottom and straight-lined upward, like the one you posted above.

Then it became too hot to handle for southern Chinese who brew mostly Oolongs (most common traditional type was green) which are brewed at very high temperature. So they developed different pattern which is curve-lined upward to leak the heat and made it thin, like most of gaiwans we can see nowadays.

But Jing De Zhen (center of porcelain) still seems to be producing lots of 'traditional' looking gaiwan as well.
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Re: Jing Tea Shops Phoenix Gaiwan

Postby Smells_Familiar » Jun 22nd, '08, 01:18

chrl42 wrote:Frankly, I don't know how Ming dynasty gaiwans look like, most of antique gaiwans I've seen are Qing dynasty's.

And telling from what I've seen or heard, those gaiwans usually looks short to the bottom and straight-lined upward, like the one you posted above.

Then it became too hot to handle for southern Chinese who brew mostly Oolongs (most common traditional type was green) which are brewed at very high temperature. So they developed different pattern which is curve-lined upward to leak the heat and made it thin, like most of gaiwans we can see nowadays.

But Jing De Zhen (center of porcelain) still seems to be producing lots of 'traditional' looking gaiwan as well.


I always find your posts to be most informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
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Postby britt » Jun 22nd, '08, 08:31

I agree that chrl42's posts are informative and helpful. My main interest is Japanese tea and teaware and there are plenty of expert sources to help navigate through that area.

Chinese tea and teaware seems much harder to sort through.

First, there's so much tea and teaware and so many varieties and sources for each.

Second, there's the counterfeiting/pirating problem.

Third, there's the safety issues.

In spite of the frustrations, misinformation, and outright fraud, there's a lot of value to be found in Chinese tea culture if one can sort through the massive amounts of information that is available.

It is appreciated when those with knowledge in this area contribute so freely.
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Postby chrl42 » Jun 22nd, '08, 09:32

britt wrote:I agree that chrl42's posts are informative and helpful. My main interest is Japanese tea and teaware and there are plenty of expert sources to help navigate through that area.

Chinese tea and teaware seems much harder to sort through.

First, there's so much tea and teaware and so many varieties and sources for each.

Second, there's the counterfeiting/pirating problem.

Third, there's the safety issues.

In spite of the frustrations, misinformation, and outright fraud, there's a lot of value to be found in Chinese tea culture if one can sort through the massive amounts of information that is available.

It is appreciated when those with knowledge in this area contribute so freely.


Well, the problem for confusing I blame a communism.
Communist goverment has done very little in informing outside China of their culture - including tea.

Lots of Chinese immigrated too, but not many from mainland especially Zhejiang, Jiangsu or Anhui which are main area of tea cultivation and culture.

Truth is, tea industry is bigger in China than I thought. Lots of labatories, universities or enthusiasts experiments are being done even now, from people who speak no English. Or visit Maliendao tea market in which, appr. 1000 stores opening daily - 1000! or visit chashu.cn you will find over 60 books just on Puerh!

I am not even Chinese, I am Korean. But Korea surely shares culture with China more or less than America, and there are people who understand Chinese letters too. Especially with a sudden popularity of Puerh, Chinese tea interests arose to the peak. Lots of translations have been done by Koreans in China or whom majored in Chinese letters. Also lots of experts have been invited and opened exhibitions, seminars..and that's how one culture is introduced to others, with time and efforts.

America has followed closely, more and more Americans come to China to study and more Americans will be interested in teas, too. And then one day, Asian tea enthusiasts will be seen as often as wine's - who knows?
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Postby britt » Jun 22nd, '08, 11:43

chrl42 wrote: Well, the problem for confusing I blame a communism.
Communist goverment has done very little in informing outside China of their culture - including tea.


In fact, the communists destroyed much of China's culture when they took over in the 40's and continued to do so for several decades after. That affected many cultural and artistic areas, including Yixing artisans and craftsmen.


chrl42 wrote: I am not even Chinese, I am Korean. But Korea surely shares culture with China more or less than America, and there are people who understand Chinese letters too.


I think Western languages are so different from the Asian languages that this makes it very difficult to cross the cultural gap. I only speak, read, and write in English, but if I see something in French or Spanish I can usually figure it out. Not so with Chinese characters. I do, however, have quite a few Chinese friends and co-workers who will interpret for me if necessary. Some of these people also interpret Japanese for us! They've bridged the language barrier much better than I have.
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