Sunday, May 13, 2007

"Feeding" Yixings.

I usually use 2 pots when "feeding". One with hot water for brewing, and the other for brewing tea. These "One stone, Two birds" style can speed up the patina action. Specially for large pot.

I just cannot use such large pot without guests. They get store in their little place and look pretty sad.

This is the largest pot I have in the above picture. Pouring the rinse or left over tea over the pot filled with hot water, is the best way to feed/use them. With the steam evaporating from it when feeding, this method can add mood, aroma to the tea space and keep track of brewing time when watching the surface absorb the liquor. Of course if you know them well.

Make sure you polish them after usage with a soft cloth, and while they are still hot.


~ Phyll said...

T, I enjoy looking at all your wonderful Yixing collection very much. Thank you for sharing...and please share some more pictures and stories!

I have questions: I use the boar hair brush with my Yixing pots. When the pot is hot and steaming during use, I gently brush the lid, body and handle in circular motion until the tea evaporates and there is no spot. I never rub the pot with soft cloth during or after. Is this going to affect the aging and patina development differently than if I use a soft cloth? Which method is better to increase the beauty as you "raise" the pot?

Thank you in advance.

toki said...

Phyll - Brushing certainly helps to distributed water spots, specially the gap between lid and body, the breathing hole and under the spout. But the difficult part is the bottom area, i cannot reach it and will look awful doing so. Polishing the pot after-use can even out this problem and create a even shine overall. Since is tea oil we are polishing on, specially when drinking aged or cooked pu. The patina can grow pretty fast!

Over polishing is a no no to me, collectors call it "Monk Head Glow" which is a more artificial shine then a glow representing jade -"Treasure Glow".

Vendor will polish a pot with white or commercial wax to achieve this aged shine and its a very nasty thing to do to a good pot. Most of the time you can use your nail to scratch/test the pot for wax build-up, before purchasing.

Salsero said...

Thanks for sharing your pots and your knowledge. I am enjoying the series greatly.

MarshalN said...

I suck at raising pots.

Which is part of the reason I don't buy expensive ones.

I should learn from you :)

Will said...

If you don't have a boar hair brush handy, should you use a cloth to distribute the tea-water in a similar manner (in between each infusion)? Or just pour water and spread it around at the very end?

Do you suggest a microfiber type cloth, or a cotton one? I sometimes use a microfiber one to even things out a little if I get too much build up / shine in a particular spot, and sometimes at other times, but I was thinking that might actually take *off* some of the desirable shine.

Also, in your opinion, is it a good idea to not wipe it at all for the first week or two? I think I heard someone say that once.

Even though there's a lot of information out there online about seasoning teapots, there's a shortage of original, GOOD information. And, like seasoning cast iron, there are so many different opinions, that it's hard to sort though everything and find something that works for you.

Will said...

ps - Do you have any good sources for pots either in the US or on the internets that we don't already know about?

pps - It seems like after polishing the teapot a lot, water doesn't stick to it as much when pouring it over the top. Is that a Bad Thing, and does it mean I'm over-polishing?

toki said...

Hi Will. Thanks for stopping by and I am glad these personal info are helpful.

For the brushwork over brewing pot: I think is a way to make your mind focus in enjoying the whole session, then to help refining the patina (it will help in a long run).

Most important benefit is at the end. After cleaning and raising the pot, dry it up/polish with a soft cloth while its still hot, until there is no watermark overall. (micro-fiber or cotton, as long as you do not use detergent to wash them.)

Overnight brewing and leaving the leaves in a pot until its cold is not great for "keeping". White stains will develop around the lid or under the sprout. Keeping it dry and clean is the best method.

If you have a new one, "not wipe it at all for the first week or two" is an act of non-patience. Dont you think? Usage and caring thru time will let the pot grow into a treasure. Just like you have to age puerh slowly then to wet storage them....

Buying pots is a very personal thing. I will have to touch, test, hear, and understand the history before consider purchasing. All in All, I do not buy from the internet. The only place I will even think of purchasing in the US is a place you can return/refund, if the quality does not match up.

pps: Do you have a picture of the pot you think is over-polishing? I can let you know what might be the problem. Since different pot have different property. Sometimes, we have to undo the shine all over again for a over polished pot. But it might take 3 to 5 years of continue usage to over do one.

The most important for keeping pot is Patience. They are like jade, the longer you wear it, the better it will shine.

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