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Jun 5th, '12, 09:55
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Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by fire_snake » Jun 5th, '12, 09:55

Good day, everyone.

I'm looking into getting this:

http://www.redblossomtea.com/gaiwan-summer.html

Image

(more photos at site)


It looks fantastic, *possibly* on the level of the Tea Gallery gaiwans.

I inquired about some of its characteristics (i.e., thinness, colour, etc.) I'm looking for a piece as thin as possible and bright white. I received the following reply:

-------------------------------
"The snow vs. ivory white is the result of different firing temperatures. We used to carry a gaiwan from Chaozhou fired at around 800-900C, and the service had a very slight yellow tint to it. Lower fired pieces also tend to look a little dirty after about a year or so, in a way that can't be scrubbed off."

"The Jingdezhen ones are high fired at around 1200C and are pure white."
--------------------------------

Further, this is advertised as extremely thin (very important to me.)

DIMENSIONS

capacity: 6 oz.
height: 3.25"
diameter: 3.75"

I like those numbers. I like to use a large, thin gaiwan during the summer months to brew greens.

Does anyone have any experience with this gaiwan? Thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.

Christian.

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Jun 5th, '12, 10:56
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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by wyardley » Jun 5th, '12, 10:56

I've felt them in person. Not bad. I don't think they're as thin as the Tea Gallery ones.

The big gripe I have with them is that they are fairly large. I am also a bit skeptical about the vendor's claims about the differences in shape having much effect on the taste.

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Jun 5th, '12, 12:41
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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by fire_snake » Jun 5th, '12, 12:41

wyardley wrote:I've felt them in person. Not bad. I don't think they're as thin as the Tea Gallery ones.

The big gripe I have with them is that they are fairly large. I am also a bit skeptical about the vendor's claims about the differences in shape having much effect on the taste.
It's so hard to find *thin* gaiwans that are snow-white.

I'd have someone make them one (or more) me, custom. I don't mind paying a bit more. But I wouldn't know who to turn to.

Part of the problem seems to be (correct me if I'm wrong) is that consumers tend to treat porcelain as just porcelain, with all the energy and critical evaluation going into Yixing teapots and clay Kyusus, etc. I understand the reason, but there just don't seem to be enough vendors of real quality gaiwans, possibly because there's less consumer demand thanks to less discrimination about porcelain-ware.

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by tingjunkie » Jun 5th, '12, 22:38

Never used one, but to me it looks like the rim doesn't flair out nearly enough. Burnt fingers a strong possibility.

Jun 7th, '12, 02:32
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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by limbo » Jun 7th, '12, 02:32

Bumping this thread since I'm looking for one, too.

Missed out on the long gone Tea Gallery ones, and am trying to find a thin 90-120mL snow white gaiwan.

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by wyardley » Jun 7th, '12, 02:49

I think the flare on that one is Ok - better than on the taller gaiwan. Clay feels Ok, and it's comfortable in the hand. At the least, I like it better than the ones they sold before.

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by paul haigh » Jun 7th, '12, 12:44

Thin enough, and many porcelains will be translucent (looking through one side at least). If the glaze is white however, instead of clear so that you see the natural whiteness of the porcelain, then the glaze itself will block light transmission- so translucency may not be a great way to judge thickness.

I think a backlit cup of green tea in a translucent porcelain cup would be pretty damn fine. I'm more musing than helping here...

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by fire_snake » Jun 7th, '12, 13:07

limbo wrote:Bumping this thread since I'm looking for one, too.

Missed out on the long gone Tea Gallery ones, and am trying to find a thin 90-120mL snow white gaiwan.
Good luck to you. I've been on the hunt as well. So far, nothing *appears* as and spacious as the Red Blossom "Summer" gaiwan. And the description that was sent to me seems encouraging. The problem is that you just can't really discern thinness, feel and colour from online photos.

Although I still feel like I'm going in blind, I may have to just pull the trigger on the Red Blossom piece and hope for the best.

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by Drax » Jun 7th, '12, 13:16

I think this one might be too small for you, fire_snake, but you can at least see a light-difference in the picture that suggests it's relatively thin. They've also sold almost 80, so maybe somebody here has gotten one and can pipe in (and it might be of the size that limbo is looking for)...

Also, $12 total (free shipping) is pretty good....

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by limbo » Jun 7th, '12, 14:28


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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by Poohblah » Jun 7th, '12, 16:29

The YS gaiwan is celadon, not porcelain, and looks too thick. The small and large TT gaiwans look like they could be worth a try though.

Since small, plain white gaiwans area popular topic on this board ever since TTG gaiwans went out of stock, I'm building a bookmark list of suggestions and I might do a gaiwan-shootout. There are others who would probably be better at such a comparison than I would, considering how much experience some have with gaiwans compared to me.

Jun 7th, '12, 19:53
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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by limbo » Jun 7th, '12, 19:53

That would be awesome Poohblah :mrgreen:

I'm still hoping that TTG gaiwans come back after their online hiatus.

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by JRS22 » Jun 7th, '12, 22:20

I have 2 sizes of tea trekker gaiwans, as well as parts of a small tea gallery gaiwan. Should they be the same thickness (thinness?) or should I expect a larger gaiwan to be thicker?

I,can do a comparison tomorrow and report back.

Jun 8th, '12, 07:42
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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by limbo » Jun 8th, '12, 07:42

I emailed the owners of TeaTrekker and they replied with helpful email:

"Thank you for your email.

I think that our gaiwans are quite special. They are thin-bodied and quite
elegant. They are porcelain bordering on bone china ( a thinner and more
translucent clay body ) and pretty white - not as white as some that I have
seen but a lovely natural white( if this description helps ).

Many white-white gaiwans that I have handled are made from thicker clay and
are clunky. Most gaiwans that are made to be hand-decorated or painted are
thicker and less elegant; these are made to be lovely just as they are."

Maybe we should change the topic: "Gaiwan experiences and opinions"

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Re: Red Blossom Tea's "Summer" Gaiwan: Experiences? Opinions?

by fire_snake » Jun 8th, '12, 10:16

limbo wrote:I emailed the owners of TeaTrekker and they replied with helpful email:

"Thank you for your email.

I think that our gaiwans are quite special. They are thin-bodied and quite
elegant. They are porcelain bordering on bone china ( a thinner and more
translucent clay body ) and pretty white - not as white as some that I have
seen but a lovely natural white( if this description helps ).

Many white-white gaiwans that I have handled are made from thicker clay and
are clunky. Most gaiwans that are made to be hand-decorated or painted are
thicker and less elegant; these are made to be lovely just as they are."

Maybe we should change the topic: "Gaiwan experiences and opinions"
Thank you for this information, Limbo.

I think we have a case of a purveyor of Teaware who is understandably proud of their product and is promoting it from that position. I'd probably do the same! There is not a doubt in my mind that those TeaTrekker gaiwans are gorgeous. They do indeed look lovely in the photos.

However, bright white is bright white. There's no way around it. Very thin, bright white porcelain is not only possible, it's eminently usable. We have all seen what TTG gaiwans look and feel like. The whitest I've ever seen (not "bone" white, not "ivory" white, not creamy, not "natural white" - whatever that means - but *actual* white) and the lightest I've ever handled. And I'm sure others here can attest to the same. Now, a lot of white gaiwans may be "typically" clunky for whatever reason, but they don't need to be, as we've seen.

In any case, I'm speaking from my own perspective, as someone who at this point has very specific tastes when it comes to this particular type of teaware, so I'd be lying if I said I was unbiased. I haven't had the pleasure of handling hundreds of gaiwans, but I know what's possible with porcelain. The *real* question here is this: do merchants and artisans care enough about thinness and colour (that is, whiteness), and do they care enough about the particular segment of the market that is interested in these things?

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