Mar 2nd 12 4:45 am
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My first Yixing teapot

by armin » Mar 2nd 12 4:45 am

I was looking around to buy my first Yixing teapot and I came across this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0400295392

Now, how can I tell it's an original and not a fake? Any expert help will be greatly appreciated. Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post your opinion publicly...
Thank you
Armin

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Mar 2nd 12 5:11 am
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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by Acaelus » Mar 2nd 12 5:11 am

zen8teapots are regarded as good clay even though they're made not as well as artisan yixing. Just get a smaller one, the 50mL is a really good one from what I've seen from other people's responses

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by tingjunkie » Mar 2nd 12 5:42 am

zen8 is very hit or miss on their clay, but that particular pot you posted looks great for the price. The 50ml pots are also winners for sure.

P.S. Original VS Fake only really applies when talking about a pot that is claimed to be from a particular well known potter, or is claimed to be from a particular era. Real Yixing clay VS fake Yixing clay is another issue all together. I'm confident the pot you asked about is real Yixing clay. It's probably slip cast instead of "hand made" as stated, but it's real clay none the less.

Mar 2nd 12 6:19 am
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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by armin » Mar 2nd 12 6:19 am

Thank you so much everyone, I will buy the pot then.
I was very tempted about the 50 cc... but I want to brew a very special Long Jing in this pot and I will buy another one for my favorite Oolong. So, if I want to brew Long Jing for 4-6 people the leaves won't have enough space to expand in a 50cc teapot, right? My serving teacups are 30cc. Of course I can use just a little bit of leaves and brew several times... but it's not very nice to serve 1st brew to a few people and the rest to wait for the 2nd and 3rd brew... or is it? :twisted:

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Mar 2nd 12 7:38 am
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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by Alex » Mar 2nd 12 7:38 am

You don't want to brew long jing in clay IMO. Stick to a gaiwan or glass teapot for that.

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by tingjunkie » Mar 2nd 12 10:24 am

The 50ml (closer to 65ml in reality) teapots are most definitely for brewing for one to two people at most. I use mine for high fire TGY and well aged sheng puerh. Considering the high shipping costs, adding one to your order and getting combined shipping would be a wise choice, and you won't be disappointed with the pot.

I'd agree that long jing would be best from porcelain, ceramic, or glass, in that order. :wink:

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by bagua7 » Mar 3rd 12 7:52 am

armin wrote:I was looking around to buy my first Yixing teapot and I came across this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0400295392
I have that pot. Purchased two months ago. Excellent puerh vessel!

zen8tea yixings are a hit and miss game, I also have the 50mL and clay is good as well. I purchased in the past two other pots (no longer listed) but I destroyed them because they had chemicals added to the clay aside from the unnatural look in real life.

Truth is that the vendor has got less Yixings listed today; I think they are aware of the poor quality of some of pots they used to stock.

Mar 4th 12 2:48 am
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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by armin » Mar 4th 12 2:48 am

bagua7 wrote:
armin wrote:I was looking around to buy my first Yixing teapot and I came across this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0400295392
I have that pot. Purchased two months ago. Excellent puerh vessel!

zen8tea yixings are a hit and miss game, I also have the 50mL and clay is good as well. I purchased in the past two other pots (no longer listed) but I destroyed them because they had chemicals added to the clay aside from the unnatural look in real life.

Truth is that the vendor has got less Yixings listed today; I think they are aware of the poor quality of some of pots they used to stock.
Thank you so much for your advice. See, I am really afraid of chemicals in Yixing teapots and I don't know how to tell or avoid them... Is there some criteria? I read a lot about Yixing but how can you actually tell? testing them with different kits like lead, etc?

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by armin » Mar 4th 12 3:01 am

Now I was wondering why a 40 ml pot is over $200? like this one http://www.themandarinstearoom.com/Zi-Sha_p_21.html and those at Zen8 are $40? Is the clay so different or just the master who made them? Why would someone pay that price for a 40 ml teapot when you can get Yixing clay properties in a cheaper one? Or you cannot?

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by tingjunkie » Mar 4th 12 4:46 am

armin wrote:Now I was wondering why a 40 ml pot is over $200? like this one http://www.themandarinstearoom.com/Zi-Sha_p_21.html and those at Zen8 are $40? Is the clay so different or just the master who made them? Why would someone pay that price for a 40 ml teapot when you can get Yixing clay properties in a cheaper one? Or you cannot?
I thought the zen8 pots were $18? I bought mine for $10! As far as the pot from El Mandarino: 1) The clay is fantastic quality vintage zisha that is very hard to come by these days, as opposed to a good quality modern slip cast zi ni. 2) It's all handmade (which is extremely hard to do with such small pots and requires a ton of skill), as opposed to liquid slip clay poured into a mold and mass produced. 3) It's from the 80's... that fact doesn't automatically make it a better pot, but the Yixing market is hungry for pots with 30+ years of age and they are highly collectable.

I'm a huge fan of the zen8 50ml pots, simply because I think they are excellent performers for the price. They are fired well, the clay works with a wide range of teas, and the craftsmanship is good enough that they don't drip when pouring. It's also hard to find pots in that size. BUT, I also own two of Tim's 40ml pots too (one hong ni, and one muo lu ni). There is no comparison at all. It's like comparing a Bentley to a Honda Accord. Both solid cars? Yes. Both will get you from point A to point B? Yes. It's just that one is artisan made and will perform at much much higher standards... and get you to your destination in real style. 8)

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by bagua7 » Mar 4th 12 7:37 am

armin wrote:I am really afraid of chemicals in Yixing teapots and I don't know how to tell or avoid them... Is there some criteria? I read a lot about Yixing but how can you actually tell? testing them with different kits like lead, etc?
1. Trust certain vendors. There are many threads that discuss this topic. Use the search function.
2. Ask for advice about the new ones in here and people will help you.
If you have handled many pots in real life then you know approximately what the ones you see online are like, I mean if they've been chemically treated or fake zisha.
3. Lead shouldn't be a concern, it's the use of certain chemicals or substances like cement that are used to make the pot look like a real Yixing, and therefore reduce production costs. I personally don't like colouring agents that are used to make the pots look shiny, this is unnatural to me and it will certainly affect the taste and aroma of the tea.

Mar 4th 12 12:36 pm
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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by armin » Mar 4th 12 12:36 pm

tingjunkie wrote: I thought the zen8 pots were $18? I bought mine for $10!
Yes it was $20ish plus shipping.... but seen the $40 ones that looked exactly like the $200 ones... well, the clay texture was not quite exactly....
I am really grateful to people here helping newbs to make the right choices and have a great start...

Mar 4th 12 12:51 pm
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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by armin » Mar 4th 12 12:51 pm

bagua7 wrote:Lead shouldn't be a concern, it's the use of certain chemicals or substances like cement that are used to make the pot look like a real Yixing, and therefore reduce production costs. I personally don't like colouring agents that are used to make the pots look shiny, this is unnatural to me and it will certainly affect the taste and aroma of the tea.
Some companies are doing the "prime and polish" after they get the pots from the manufacture is that a good thing?

Cement has a very specific smell and taste if you touch it with your tongue, unlike clay... the sound is different too given the specific density which will impact the weight as well...

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by the_economist » Mar 5th 12 1:10 am

bagua7 wrote:
armin wrote:I am really afraid of chemicals in Yixing teapots and I don't know how to tell or avoid them... Is there some criteria? I read a lot about Yixing but how can you actually tell? testing them with different kits like lead, etc?
1. Trust certain vendors. There are many threads that discuss this topic. Use the search function.
2. Ask for advice about the new ones in here and people will help you.
If you have handled many pots in real life then you know approximately what the ones you see online are like, I mean if they've been chemically treated or fake zisha.
3. Lead shouldn't be a concern, it's the use of certain chemicals or substances like cement that are used to make the pot look like a real Yixing, and therefore reduce production costs. I personally don't like colouring agents that are used to make the pots look shiny, this is unnatural to me and it will certainly affect the taste and aroma of the tea.

wait really cement? fascinating. i'd love some pictures if you have em.
shiny pots can mean very different things, good and bad. the forum has examples of both. the obvious one to watch out for is colour. as a beginner, don't buy anything aside from brown or red. everything else would either cost way too much for a beginner or be too good to be true (in which case it is a fake).
Last edited by the_economist on Mar 5th 12 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My first Yixing teapot

by chrl42 » Mar 5th 12 7:17 am

how to avoid yixing teapot with chemicals..

avoid green, blue, black or strong red-colored yixings or what they call pin zini (in today's stance)

adding chemicals has been done since late-Qing dynasty..used often starting mid-80's..even famous masters use those clays..making an excuse that what they are using are German-imported pricey ones..chemicals might harm the body little

not as hard as pesticides in teas tho... :)