Dec 12th 17 7:43 pm
Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 24th 10 2:37 pm

Dedicating teapots to origins instead of tea types?

by absence » Dec 12th 17 7:43 pm

It's common advice to dedicate unglazed clay pots to one specific type of tea, or failing that, a limited category (e.g. heavily roasted oolong, ripe pu er, etc). However, Hojo has a different theory based on minerals, and suggests to dedicate a teapot to one specific origin, regardless of tea type. The idea seems to be that different types of tea from the same region will have the same mineral signature, and even if they can taste very different when brewed, the "organic substance" will quickly oxidize, leaving only the minerals to affect the pot over time. In short, for example heavily roasted oolong should not adversely affect the taste of light oolong brewed in the same pot, as long as it's from the same region.

Hojo seems to be well-respected on this forum, but I haven't seen this idea discussed much. Has any of the clay experts here experimented with using different tea types from one origin in the same pot? What do you think?

Dec 13th 17 3:14 am
Posts: 142
Joined: Dec 2nd 10 3:53 am
Location: CA

Re: Dedicating teapots to origins instead of tea types?

by Zared » Dec 13th 17 3:14 am

I can't tell if Hojo is suggesting that one pot can brew every type of tea (green, oolong, black) as long as it's from from one region. Or if he's just saying not to put tea from multiple regions in one pot just cuz they're all black tea or all oolong. If its the former than I'm not sure that makes any sense to me.

Also I'm not sure all tea from one region will have the same mineral composition.

For pot pairing I think this makes a lot of sense. https://www.kyarazen.com/secrets-choosi ... g-teapots/

Dec 17th 17 1:11 pm
Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 24th 10 2:37 pm

Re: Dedicating teapots to origins instead of tea types?

by absence » Dec 17th 17 1:11 pm

Zared wrote:Also I'm not sure all tea from one region will have the same mineral composition.
You're probably right, it would have to be very specific, like a given mountain or even garden, and not something like "Yunnan".
Zared wrote:For pot pairing I think this makes a lot of sense. https://www.kyarazen.com/secrets-choosi ... g-teapots/
Very useful article, thanks! Interestingly, it mentions a Japanese source that suggests minerals leach from the clay. I wonder if that source is Hojo. :)

Meanwhile I found a scientific article where they analyse the surface coating that builds up over time in clay teapots. Apparently it consists of lipids and is waterproof, so it would certainly be difficult for minerals to leach through the coating and into the tea. On the other hand, it's usually reported that clay teapots can reduce astringency, and I'm not sure how that could happen if there's a waterproof film between the tea and clay.... :?

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Dec 23rd 17 8:41 pm
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Joined: Nov 7th 07 5:23 pm

Re: Dedicating teapots to origins instead of tea types?

by JRS22 » Dec 23rd 17 8:41 pm

absence wrote: It's common advice to dedicate unglazed clay pots to one specific type of tea, or failing that, a limited category (e.g. heavily roasted oolong, ripe pu er, etc). However, Hojo has a different theory based on minerals, and suggests to dedicate a teapot to one specific origin, regardless of tea type. The idea seems to be that different types of tea from the same region will have the same mineral signature, and even if they can taste very different when brewed, the "organic substance" will quickly oxidize, leaving only the minerals to affect the pot over time. In short, for example heavily roasted oolong should not adversely affect the taste of light oolong brewed in the same pot, as long as it's from the same region.

Hojo seems to be well-respected on this forum, but I haven't seen this idea discussed much. Has any of the clay experts here experimented with using different tea types from one origin in the same pot? What do you think?
I’ve never bought a pot from Hojo because I have difficulty accepting his descriptions of the impact of different clays.

I’m about to prepare some Chinese shun xian in a small Japanese Maekawa Junzo red shudei pot. My favorite pot for Gyokuro is not only a different shape than is supposedly best for that tea, it’s a mixed porcelain clay pot made by a Korean potter!