Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.


Jun 11th, '17, 10:30
Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 5th, '17, 12:50

Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by MmBuddha » Jun 11th, '17, 10:30

Hello Teachat,

I made a tangentially related post in another section, but I wanted to open this up to broader discussion. Lately I've been looking for a pot (or brewing vessel of any kind) to bring out the best in gaoshan, or rolled Taiwanese oolongs generally. There seem to be a few schools of thought on this, so I hoped to ask teachatter's what they've found best for brewing this style of tea.

It seems the classic recommendation, for lighter Taiwanese teas at least, is either porcalin or highly-fired hongni/zhuni—something which stands to preserve the high notes and influence the taste minimally. Others have recommended Tokoname shudei and other high-fired clays often used for kyusus and Japanese tea.

With this variety of options I'd love to know what teachatter's have found best, or settled on personally.

I'd also love to hear preferences in terms of pot size. Some seem to prefer smaller vessels in the 60-85ml range to allow for more economical lone-brewing and maximum resteeps (much as one might with yancha etc), and i've heard others suggest that larger pots (120-150ml perhaps) brew these rolled oolongs better. Any opinions here would be very interesting too.

Thanks for your help.

User avatar
Jun 11th, '17, 12:43
Vendor Member
Posts: 3013
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by jayinhk » Jun 11th, '17, 12:43

MmBuddha wrote: Hello Teachat,

I made a tangentially related post in another section, but I wanted to open this up to broader discussion. Lately I've been looking for a pot (or brewing vessel of any kind) to bring out the best in gaoshan, or rolled Taiwanese oolongs generally. There seem to be a few schools of thought on this, so I hoped to ask teachatter's what they've found best for brewing this style of tea.

It seems the classic recommendation, for lighter Taiwanese teas at least, is either porcalin or highly-fired hongni/zhuni—something which stands to preserve the high notes and influence the taste minimally. Others have recommended Tokoname shudei and other high-fired clays often used for kyusus and Japanese tea.

With this variety of options I'd love to know what teachatter's have found best, or settled on personally.

I'd also love to hear preferences in terms of pot size. Some seem to prefer smaller vessels in the 60-85ml range to allow for more economical lone-brewing and maximum resteeps (much as one might with yancha etc), and i've heard others suggest that larger pots (120-150ml perhaps) brew these rolled oolongs better. Any opinions here would be very interesting too.

Thanks for your help.
Just to confuse things even more...thick bone china works very well with gaoshan :mrgreen:

Jun 11th, '17, 13:23
Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 5th, '17, 12:50

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by MmBuddha » Jun 11th, '17, 13:23

jayinhk wrote:
MmBuddha wrote: Hello Teachat,

I made a tangentially related post in another section, but I wanted to open this up to broader discussion. Lately I've been looking for a pot (or brewing vessel of any kind) to bring out the best in gaoshan, or rolled Taiwanese oolongs generally. There seem to be a few schools of thought on this, so I hoped to ask teachatter's what they've found best for brewing this style of tea.

It seems the classic recommendation, for lighter Taiwanese teas at least, is either porcalin or highly-fired hongni/zhuni—something which stands to preserve the high notes and influence the taste minimally. Others have recommended Tokoname shudei and other high-fired clays often used for kyusus and Japanese tea.

With this variety of options I'd love to know what teachatter's have found best, or settled on personally.

I'd also love to hear preferences in terms of pot size. Some seem to prefer smaller vessels in the 60-85ml range to allow for more economical lone-brewing and maximum resteeps (much as one might with yancha etc), and i've heard others suggest that larger pots (120-150ml perhaps) brew these rolled oolongs better. Any opinions here would be very interesting too.

Thanks for your help.
Just to confuse things even more...thick bone china works very well with gaoshan :mrgreen:
The list... grows ever longer :cry:

User avatar
Jun 11th, '17, 17:18
Posts: 725
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by victoria3 » Jun 11th, '17, 17:18

As for size (variables if you have guests, oolong needing space like FuShoushan etc);
Higher the quality, select oolongs = smaller pot from 70-110ml
Medium-Everyday quality = 110-250ml

Clays/craftsmen used, as mentioned;
Lightly oxidized oolongs like LiShan, DaYuLing, ShanLinXi - my go to clay is Hongni, with Shimizu Ken's Shudei coming in as 2nd favorite. Sometimes I might use porcelain as well. There are many variations of Hongni and Shudei clays so it is hard to generalize.

Roasted oolongs in general I like slightly porous Hojuko stoneware or Zini purple clays.

User avatar
Jun 11th, '17, 23:52
Vendor Member
Posts: 3013
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by jayinhk » Jun 11th, '17, 23:52

victoria3 wrote: As for size (variables if you have guests, oolong needing space like FuShoushan etc);
Higher the quality, select oolongs = smaller pot from 70-110ml
Medium-Everyday quality = 110-250ml

Clays/craftsmen used, as mentioned;
Lightly oxidized oolongs like LiShan, DaYuLing, ShanLinXi - my go to clay is Hongni, with Shimizu Ken's Shudei coming in as 2nd favorite. Sometimes I might use porcelain as well. There are many variations of Hongni and Shudei clays so it is hard to generalize.

Roasted oolongs in general I like slightly porous Hojuko stoneware or Zini purple clays.
I use porcelain infuser mugs (250ml) or hongni/modern zhuni at around 110-120ml. Some of my best brewing experiences with gaoshan were in Austria with tap water (from the Austrian Alps!) and a Taiwanese-made bone China/kaolin infuser mug.

User avatar
Jun 12th, '17, 01:47
Posts: 671
Joined: Aug 4th, '14, 05:43
Location: Taiwan

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by Bok » Jun 12th, '17, 01:47

I go with Taiwanese wood-fired pots. Clay from Taiwan, made in Taiwan, filled with tea from Taiwan :mrgreen: The simple clay pots with outside glaze which are also common in Taiwan do also work well with Gaoshan. Usually electric kiln.

Porcelain pots are never a mistake.

Stay away from anything porous.

User avatar
Jun 12th, '17, 01:50
Posts: 671
Joined: Aug 4th, '14, 05:43
Location: Taiwan

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by Bok » Jun 12th, '17, 01:50

Also, as ever, shape of the pot is very important. Anything flatish/round or round is best. Taller pots do not work well, the leaves can not expand upwards very well! Nonwithstanding the temptation to brew high-mountain with a high pot :mrgreen:

Jun 12th, '17, 12:41
Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 5th, '17, 12:50

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by MmBuddha » Jun 12th, '17, 12:41

Thanks for the advice everyone, interesting to see bone china recommended, I hadn't considered it. I'd like to try it, although I must say every time I've compared a tea which can gainfully be brewed in clay to porcelain, I've much preferred the clay, even when high notes were diminished etc. The Japanese clays are a more niche interest for Taiwanese teas it seems (I'd love to hear other experiences with them), but does anyone have any feelings about how a good hongni (early Factory 1 for example) might compare with modern zhuni for gaoshan etc?

User avatar
Jun 12th, '17, 14:17
Posts: 62
Joined: Mar 13th, '17, 16:17
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by dizzo » Jun 12th, '17, 14:17

Its kind of a hard call. Modern Zhuni technically is Hongni. So I guess the real question is pre 80s Hongni vs high quality modern Hongni.
Or...save your money and get a Zhauzhuang Zhuni :D

User avatar
Jun 13th, '17, 00:23
Posts: 1666
Joined: Sep 2nd, '13, 03:22
Location: in your tea closet
Contact: kyarazen

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by kyarazen » Jun 13th, '17, 00:23

MmBuddha wrote: Thanks for the advice everyone, interesting to see bone china recommended, I hadn't considered it. I'd like to try it, although I must say every time I've compared a tea which can gainfully be brewed in clay to porcelain, I've much preferred the clay, even when high notes were diminished etc. The Japanese clays are a more niche interest for Taiwanese teas it seems (I'd love to hear other experiences with them), but does anyone have any feelings about how a good hongni (early Factory 1 for example) might compare with modern zhuni for gaoshan etc?
how about a recommendation of a tokoname shudei? like that of gisui or yamada.. works superbly for gaoshan.. :P

User avatar
Jun 13th, '17, 01:04
Vendor Member
Posts: 3013
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by jayinhk » Jun 13th, '17, 01:04

Bok wrote: Also, as ever, shape of the pot is very important. Anything flatish/round or round is best. Taller pots do not work well, the leaves can not expand upwards very well! Nonwithstanding the temptation to brew high-mountain with a high pot :mrgreen:
I know this is standard advice, but I've found gaoshan to expand upward very well in a ceramic infuser--it goes from a little on the bottom to a full infuser (to the top) very quickly indeed!

User avatar
Jun 13th, '17, 01:22
Posts: 725
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by victoria3 » Jun 13th, '17, 01:22

jayinhk wrote:
Bok wrote: Also, as ever, shape of the pot is very important. Anything flatish/round or round is best. Taller pots do not work well, the leaves can not expand upwards very well! Nonwithstanding the temptation to brew high-mountain with a high pot :mrgreen:
I know this is standard advice, but I've found gaoshan to expand upward very well in a ceramic infuser--it goes from a little on the bottom to a full infuser (to the top) very quickly indeed!
I use my vertical neiziwahong Chinese houhin with rolled high Mountain oolong with very good results. Packing rolled leaves vertically extends infusions a little bit further into later steeps. I think it stretches out more slowly the steeps, so depending on the quality of leaf this may be beneficial.

User avatar
Jun 13th, '17, 01:40
Posts: 671
Joined: Aug 4th, '14, 05:43
Location: Taiwan

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by Bok » Jun 13th, '17, 01:40

One caveat with Japanese teaware is that sometimes you cant handle them properly with Gaoshan as they get too hot and uncomfortable to hold! Japanese drink more teas which require lower temperatures. Found that out with a Gaiwan-style vessel, which can not be used with my teas due to the way it is designed. Looks nice though :mrgreen:

User avatar
Jun 16th, '17, 11:44
Vendor Member
Posts: 3013
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by jayinhk » Jun 16th, '17, 11:44

victoria3 wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Bok wrote: Also, as ever, shape of the pot is very important. Anything flatish/round or round is best. Taller pots do not work well, the leaves can not expand upwards very well! Nonwithstanding the temptation to brew high-mountain with a high pot :mrgreen:
I know this is standard advice, but I've found gaoshan to expand upward very well in a ceramic infuser--it goes from a little on the bottom to a full infuser (to the top) very quickly indeed!
I use my vertical neiziwahong Chinese houhin with rolled high Mountain oolong with very good results. Packing rolled leaves vertically extends infusions a little bit further into later steeps. I think it stretches out more slowly the steeps, so depending on the quality of leaf this may be beneficial.
I have two of those neiziwaihong houhins now (different styles) and one in duanni, and I use all three with pu erh! I found them too muting for oolong in the end.

User avatar
Jul 5th, '17, 18:41
Posts: 1744
Joined: Jul 8th, '09, 23:39
Location: Maui

Re: Recommended pot for Gaoshan.

by tingjunkie » Jul 5th, '17, 18:41

One vote for thin-walled, high fired zhuni, no smaller than 80ml.

Or a gaiwan, of course.

+ Post Reply