Thursday, July 02, 2009

Testing a New Yixing

I've been testing a new tea pot for a couple of months now. Paring tea to tea pot is nothing more than a personal preference, a very subjective view indeed. Sometimes you like the up front notes of floral and high tones in a light Oolong, but sometimes you prefer the long lasting soft lingering aftertaste. Using a different yixing can bring out either the first or latter result.

It really depends on the mood and the weather. This is one of the newest pot I have ever owned, new in a sense that the time it took to my door steps from out of the kiln was less than 2 weeks. (as I was told by the vendor) A mere $45 dollar "test" pot if you will, my first internet vendor purchase of a yixing.... am I worried? of course!

When I first got this, I immediately reported back to the base (teachat). Under tremendous pressure from the chat room.... I then post the first set of images within 15 mins. I thought I was over the peer pressure thang back in high school.

The new pot has a sticky feel to it, a humid and moist skin quality overall. Also a very new clay/fire odor from the inside. After brush cleaned under the tap inside out, it was put into boil for 2 hrs. then cooled, rinsed and rubbed. Another 1 hr of boiling with spend tea, then another couple of hrs final boiling in water. Traditional Hong Kong vendor will put a block of raw cane sugar in the final boiling to "season" the pot. I only tried it once and it resulted a nice shine coating but this method is not my pot of tea.

The most noticeable character on this pot is the clay quality, for this price range I did not hope for anything choicest. Acquiring pots rule of thumbs to me are: 1. Craftsmanship, 2. Artistic details/concept, 3. Clay quality, and 4. Collector's value. I dont expect to get a master craftsmanship or collector value out of this one, but I do expect a good level of clay quality since this is one of the main selling points from the vendor's site.

Without disappointment, this clay delivered. I am torn between it being a Cooked Puerh or a High Fire Anxi, the clay takes away the "pondy" aroma from a cooked and softens the fire/charcoal taste from a high fired. I also tried it with a very nice Nannou raw aged for a few years, but it took away the delicate floral fragrance and made it more subdued, but calming.

One thing I learned out of this experience was, the more you age this pot, the more shine and oily it becomes, more over, the weight of the pot also gets lighter? Just like a good cigar, in this case a Maduro wrapper. You can see the similar texture and the shine from the both surface.

The more you age a cigar, the lighter it becomes, and the taste is smoother and married. Just like a glass of wine, a good aged tea and a good old yixing....


Trent said...

Tim, where have you been? I really missed your blog entries.

toki said...

Sorry Trent... Things been very tided up. But now is better. Thanks for your continue support : ) T

author said...

Very nice entry. I envy your experimenting abilities! And the tea leaves look lovely in the photo, like delicious tea anyway


Beatrice said...

Hi Tim,

First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on the blog—it’s proved not only to be an interesting and engaging read for tea aficionados and food enthusiasts alike, but a reliable source of information as well. It’s always exciting to come upon people so passionate about something that they can’t help but share it to the world.

And seeing as how one of your passions is tea, I just wanted to make sure you knew about our upcoming tea exhibition here at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, aptly named Steeped In History: The Art of Tea. The exhibition will be on display from August 6 to November 29, 2009 and will feature everything related to tea—oil paintings, prints, photographs, ceramics, as well as other tea-serving paraphernalia, all gathered from around the world. And the best part aside from everything I’ve mentioned? Tea will be served! I’ve attached the official press release for the event and I’m hoping you’ll be able attend the exhibit and see everything for yourself.

We at the Fowler would also be more than grateful if you can forward this information to family and friends that might be interested in viewing the exhibition, or perhaps discuss this upcoming event in your blog/site for all of your tea-loving readers to see. I’m sure they’ll be very interested and thankful for the information you’d be able to provide regarding this.

Best of luck in your site, and may everything go tea-rrificly!

Beatrice Eyales
UCLA Fowler Museum, Marketing and Communications Dept.
For pictures and other information, e-mail Stacey Abarbanel at

author said...

Tim, you should post a photo of your tea room with the new scrolls (as seen on teachat). I'm curious to know the author of the scroll with the red flowers - beautiful!


Anonymous said...

Wow. You're a real tea expert. I didn't know there would be so much difference between Yi Xing pots and cups and such for the tea. I'm definitely learning something here and I'm inspired too. --Jason

yumcha said...

Hey Tok,
Just got back from vacation. We had a 9 hour drive in traffic from upstate.
Now I really need some tea.
Love the photos! Teapot looks yummy. Enlightening as always, hope to see you soon.

toki said...

Thank you Author, Beatrice, Jason and Yumcha. So nice to see my experiences inspire others to push further to the amazing world of tea. I like to think about this place as a unconscious meltdown of our inter-self... thanks again for the support - T

author said...


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