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Dec 28th, '07, 22:26
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Need Some Yixing Pot Advice

by Toomes » Dec 28th, '07, 22:26

I've been looking for a decent yixing pot and I think I found the one I want to buy, but I want to see what people think around here. I'm being cautious this time because the first yixing pot bought was a piece of junk.

I'm looking at this yixing pot from Dragon Tea House. I like the Kyusu style handle a lot and the size seems about right. I need some small cups too, so this seems ideal.

First, does it seem like a decent pot?
Second, has anyone here ordered from Dragon Tea House before?

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Dec 28th, '07, 22:45
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by Space Samurai » Dec 28th, '07, 22:45

Looks all right; it will most likely have a good pour time and be easy to clean. Aesthetically its not quite my thing, but if its yours then I think you will do well with it.

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Dec 29th, '07, 00:10
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by Wesli » Dec 29th, '07, 00:10

Dragon Tea House (DHT) is reputable dealer around these parts. That doesn't mean that all their stuff will be good quality though.

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Dec 29th, '07, 01:02
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by hop_goblin » Dec 29th, '07, 01:02

Well, it depends what you want to do with it. Yixing is usually dedicated to brewing in a gongfu style. However, a pot like this will not allow you to do that very easily. The clay also looks of very poor quality if you are wanting to season your pot over the years. It does not look very permable and pourous. You can tell cuz of the shine. Although I do admire DTH, I believe that Yunnan Sourcing on Ebay has a "old Clay" mix pot that looks like a steal.

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Dec 29th, '07, 11:19
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by Toomes » Dec 29th, '07, 11:19

hop_goblin wrote:Well, it depends what you want to do with it. Yixing is usually dedicated to brewing in a gongfu style. However, a pot like this will not allow you to do that very easily. The clay also looks of very poor quality if you are wanting to season your pot over the years. It does not look very permable and pourous. You can tell cuz of the shine. Although I do admire DTH, I believe that Yunnan Sourcing on Ebay has a "old Clay" mix pot that looks like a steal.
Thanks for the info. I bought a this yixing pot from Chinese Teapot Gallery and was very disappointed. When I tried to season it, after about an hour the water seemed like it had condensed or just went though the clay because it was so porous. I had a small puddle of water at the bottom of the pot. The pour on it was not good either, as it would dribble way too much and occasionally allow smaller pieces of oolong through.
It also does not have the shine that DTH pot has. Maybe it was just too cheap though.

Can you point me in the direction of a good example of a quality yixing pot? Also, what is a ideal size for brewing oolong gong fu style.

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Dec 29th, '07, 11:25
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by Space Samurai » Dec 29th, '07, 11:25

Toomes wrote:Can you point me in the direction of a good example of a quality yixing pot? Also, what is a ideal size for brewing oolong gong fu style.
That is a matter of opinion, but I'd say 5 oz (150 ml) or less. I am becoming partial to 3 oz myself.

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Dec 29th, '07, 14:35
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by Salsero » Dec 29th, '07, 14:35

I have ordered several very inexpensive pots from Teapot Gallery and probably got what I paid for. None of them seems to work as well as I would like. They are useable, but I tend to avoid them in favor of more functional and satisfying pots.

I have also ordered several inexpensive pots in pretty standard designs from Yunnan Sourcing and every one of them has been up to snuff: reasonable pour time, tight lid, reasonable materials. They are all, of course, of the lower order mass produced pots, not collector's items at all. Just everyday clay teapots, nothing like the singing pots in this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_OoIxP5 ... re=related

Also, from the pix you've shown us, you seem to like unusually shaped pots. I suspect that you are more likely to get a dud when you buy a fanciful pot--basically you're asking the manufactuer to make a reliable product and design a new product at the same time--probably not going to happen in an inexpensive pot. I would recommend first getting a standard (boring?) shaped pot just to make tea, next look for the novel one of your dreams.

I personally am happiest with pots in the 4 oz (120 ml) range because one brew just fills my leaping blue carp cup. On the rare occasions that I have a companion(s) to drink with, I use smaller cups.

I have bought tea and cups from Gordon at Dragon Tea House, but never pots. I have been happy with him as a vendor, though (as always from China) the delivery time is hardly quick!

You might enjoy looking at Toki's collection of fine pots at themandarinstea blog
http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/search?q=yixings

Best of luck on your search. If you do get the side-handled pot, let us know how it works out for you. I am curious about how the unique design works. Looks like it might cool off more quickly than the traditional ones. I suppose you wouldn't be able to pour hot water over it to keep it hot while the tea is brewing.

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Dec 29th, '07, 16:52
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by Toomes » Dec 29th, '07, 16:52

Thanks for all the info Salsero. That blog is very interesting.

I guess I do like some odd shapes. I think I'll take your advice though and get something with a more standard shape, around 4oz. I looked at Yunnan Sourcing and found a couple of good looking pots at 4oz.

A cheaper one.
One that is a little more pricey.

I'm going to do a bit more looking, but I think I might get one of those two.

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Dec 29th, '07, 17:06
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by Salsero » Dec 29th, '07, 17:06

I don't have either of those, but they are both very fetching. The problem with these pots is that you only a need two or three at most, but you want ALL of them!

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Dec 29th, '07, 20:28
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by bearsbearsbears » Dec 29th, '07, 20:28

i'm going to repeat some advice i always give:

First: clay is the most important thing about a yixing pot.

Second: type of clay, shape, thickness, and firing temperature should (ideally) be matched to the tea. consider this before you buy a flat pot for rolled oolongs, for example, or a thin-walled pot for cooked pu'er.

Third: a lot of yixing pots suck. a lot are taiwanese or chaozhou clay instead of real yixing. this isn't the case with dragon teahouse or yunnan sourcing, but it is true of other vendors. some even have mud mixed into the clay.

Fourth: communicate with your vendor before buying. Ask the vendor before you buy a teapot which of their pots (or a particular pot in question) has a good pour (no dribble, no lid leak, is it fast/slow). If they don't have one with good balanced features in the clay you want, ask them to find a few pots that fit your criteria and show you pics. Most are willing to do it if you give them time.

Fifth: once you've bought the pot, do a sniff test. fill the pot with boiling water and pour some on the outside. smell the pot: real yixing smells like hot rocks or hot sand. blends smell like mud. painted clay or synthetics often smell like chemicals.

hope this is helpful.

also, i own many of scott's "lao zhu ni" pots--I'm the one who found them in the Kunming tea market and told him to carry them! no joke! i think they're great.[/u]

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Dec 29th, '07, 21:34
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by Salsero » Dec 29th, '07, 21:34

BBB-

I'm not the first and I won't be the last to say this, but thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. It is much appreciated.

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Dec 29th, '07, 22:33
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by Wesli » Dec 29th, '07, 22:33

No, Salsero, you won't.

Thanks bbb.

For gongfu, you want a very small pot because you will be drinking steep after steep after steep x2. I wouldn't use a pot any larger than 4oz. Even my kyuusu is only 5oz, and thats for only half as many steeps.

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Dec 29th, '07, 23:35
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by Toomes » Dec 29th, '07, 23:35

Lots of great info here. Thanks BBB. I've got a lot to think about now. I'll take a look at the "lao zhu ni" pots. Hopefully, I'll be able to sort through this info and order something in the next couple of days.

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Dec 29th, '07, 23:53
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by Toomes » Dec 29th, '07, 23:53

One more question (well maybe). I'm looking at the Lao Zhu Ni pots at Yunnan Sourcing. Some of them have a ball intake filter and a couple don't. I like this one in particular, which doesn't have a ball intake filter. Will not having the ball filter allow smaller pieces of tea to pour out?

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Dec 30th, '07, 00:01
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by Wesli » Dec 30th, '07, 00:01

Well, if they mean that there's no filter whatsoever, then a whole load of leaves will come out. You're going to want an external mesh filter, like this one whether there's a filter on the pot or not.

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