One of my recent posts “Yixing Teaware – How Do I Decide?” spawned great conversation between more experienced tea drinkers than myself. Kudos to their knowledge of tea and teaware. Jason Fasi the writer of Bearsblog identified several other key points one purchasing their first Yixing teapot may want to consider.
Jason recommended that purchasers match the teapot to the tea it is intended for. The physical traits of the teapot, including shape, type of clay, thickness of its walls, size of the opening of the lid, and pour time all influence how a tea brewed in the pot will taste. As a Yixing novice, I never considered these things.
The basis of this consideration surrounds the characteristics of the tea being brewed. Jason contends that one should consider what happens to the tea when brewed too hot or too cold, if the tea is finicky about brewing times, etc. This is a lot to take in, especially since I don’t know how each of the pot’s physical traits impact brewing and taste. However, Jason wasn’t done giving sage advice yet.
“Also, you should consider your tea aesthetics when considering how decorative or simple you want the pot. Decoration can make seasoning the exterior of the pot more difficult, insomuch that more texture means more difficulty in achieving an even patina, if that’s any concern. Some people prefer an uneven patina, because the pot looks more used and loved. Lighter-colored clays are also difficult to season evenly.”
Lastly, be sure to know how to tell the difference between real yixing pots, chaozhou clay pots, Taiwanese clay pots, or else that perfect “yixing” may not be what you expected. This may not matter, as long as it brews good tea and seasons well. But, be aware that Taiwanese and Chaozhou clay pots are generally very cheap compared to Yixing.”
WOW! Jason has given me a lot to think about. I have already purchased two Yixing teapots with coordinated cups. Aesthetically, they are beautiful and I cannot wait until their arrival. Yes, I will post about them including pictures. However, until they arrive I will continue my research. The first question, I would like to pose is “How do you tell the difference between real yixing pots, chaozhou clay pots, and Taiwanese clay pots?”
I lool forward to your answers as we all learn together. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!