bagua7 wrote: Maybe you were lucky and managed to score a good pot from TCTC, but trust me what I saw didn't impress me.
Old pots brew better because they use better clay with little or no extra chemicals to enhance the look of the pot.
But also old pots are not cheap and are difficult to find and almost impossible online.
1. Little zisha used.
2. No zisha at all. Who knows what the dodgy Yixing potters (or outside Yixing region most likely) are really using. Lots of chemicals involved ---> ruin your tea.
I pretty much use now gaiwan to avoid damaging my pots, also easier to clean, manage the tea you put in without adding too much and ending up with an overbearing amount of leaves; and also out (easier to clean up the vessel); plus you also truly get all the notes and taste of the tea.
Do not get distracted by the looks of a pot. Better pots aren't shiny. Plain and simple shui ping shape is the most enjoyable and practical pot shape for brewing gong fu tea.
I noticed no difference between brewing tea using the Factory 1 pots I have and the HK seller's pots listed on eBay.
I have a couple of smaller (85mL) modern zhuni pots I purchased from him and they truly brew excellent gaoshan tea (Taiwan high mountain oolongs). I doubt an old zhuni pot from the 1960s worth several grand would brew better tea than my two pots. But for the sake of convenience I still use a 100mL porcelain gaiwan to brew those teas and to be honest don't care too much about the pots. It's only an artistic and cultural experience. What matters the most is good tea and quality (and if possible from spring sources) water.
Hope this all makes sense now.
Note: there are many grades of zisha used by YX potters and like in any business the higher the grade the more you pay.
There is another vendor I forgot about I purchased from him premium puerh tea and the quality is very high. The pots listed are nice and in the biggest sizes you prefer.
https://globalteahut.org/collections/al ... ware,Books
I saw on essenseoftea the handmake one all cost over $2000 and they all sold out. New pots or 60s pots all cost a lot of money. I think there are still a lot of good zisha clay out there. It just chinese merchant control the supply and clouded the market to pump up the price. They allow fake yixing teapot industry to thrive. It makes customer worry and has no idea how much a real zisha teapot cost. It is just like diamond, De Beer control the supply. Diamond is not that rare.
I think the pictures on TCTC are not good. They make the pots look shinier and the color is wrong. I bought the qing hui duan ni and in the picture the pot look more purple and shinier. The one I receive is not that purple, it has brown and gray mix in. It also not that shiny. From what I read brown, gray with some purple is probably right for qing hui duan ni. The first yixing pot I got several years ago has a perfume like smell and after many tried to get rid of it, it does not goes away so I don't use it. I bought 3 pots from 3 websites 30-40 days ago. So far it appear they are legit base on what I read and watch youtube about real yixing half handmade and fully handmade yixing teapot. For now I give these sellers a benefit of a doubt, but I don't have a yixing teapot that I know for sure is made from good quality zisha clay to compare to. I heard good quality zisha pots will shine over time and after hundred days of use pouring hot water into the pots one could smell and the taste a bit of tea. 1 teapot I use for more than 20 days, the other 2 I use only for a few time. I will know in 12-18 months if these are good pots, but so far nothing raise my suspicion, no bad smell, not overly and unnaturally shiny.
I think I might buy 1 teapot from the HK guy on ebay since users said he is legit so I can compare. Reading and watch is not enough, the best way to learn is by comparing with the real thing.