Friday, June 29, 2007

Clay Day

I’m playing hooky from work today, so since I’m home with no real plans, I decided it was a good day to dedicate my last two unused yixing pots to their respective teas. So while I’m at it, I took some pictures of my small yixing collection to share as well. This post is long and picture-intensive, but I kept the pictures fairly small, and you’ll have all weekend to read it.

This was one of my first yixing pots – my “Irish Breakfast/Assam” pot. I bought it here in town at a little tea shop, and spent a long time waffling over the money (I think it was $45 if I recall correctly). I loved it though, the symmetry, the stump-like aspects, the color…it just seemed like I had to have it. I dedicated it to my favorite black tea blend, Irish Breakfast. After figuring out that the malty Assam tea in Irish Breakfast blends is what I really craved from them, I started using the pot for Assam as well, and even in this short amount of time (a year or two?), I can tell a definite difference (for the better) between both Irish Breakfast and Assam teas made in this little pot as opposed to the same tea made in a filter bag, ceramic teapot, or my triniTEA. The flavor is deeper and richer when made in my yixing pot, and while I don’t use it often, it’s a special treat when I do.

This second pot was used once for oolong, but now is my “raw puerh” pot. I use a gaiwan for initial tastings, but any young raw puerh that I’m saving to age will be brewed in this little pot. I’ve only used it a couple of times, but again, I can tell the difference in flavor and depth almost immediately, even though I haven’t used this pot often.

My third pot is my cooked puerh pot. I use it for my favorite cooked puerh teas, and I bought it mainly because I loved the shape. It’s a very simple pot, but is very relaxing and beautiful to me.

The fourth pot is my Formosa oolong pot…dedicated to one of my favorite oolong teas. It’s larger, and suitable for serving several people, though it hasn’t been used for that yet. As you can see, I have matching yixing cups, but they get so hot I prefer to use other cups with it. It brews a lovely cup of oolong too, when I have the time for more than one infusion.

This fifth pot is going to be dedicated to pouching tea – I’m going to do that this afternoon. It’s big, but I loved it for the plump, round shape, and beautiful leaves on the side. It will also serve a crowd, and pouching would be lovely to serve to guests in several infusions. It’s taken me months to decide which tea to dedicate this pot to, but once it popped into my head, I knew it was perfect.

And finally, my last pot, a carved yellow crane pot. This morning I dedicated this pot to one of my absolute favorite teas, Yunnan Gold. I love the intricate artwork on this pot, and it just seems perfect for my super-yummy Yunnan gold tea.

I’ve read a couple different methods of dedicating yixing to their respective teas, but I simply brew the tea in it’s pot after rinsing it well with boiling water (to get rid of any clay grit), giving careful rinses over and around the pot with each infusion brewed. When I’m done with the tea, I let the leaves sit in the pot in hot water and “marinate” for 20 minutes or so, then rinse everything out with hot water, and let air dry. Then I just use the pot whenever I can, and eventually, the flavors start deepening and I know that they have been absorbing into the clay.

So there you have it – my yixing collection on this lovely Friday afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. I found myself tasting tea as I read this post! You have a great collection of pots.

    (Recently I've been to several shops scoping gaiwan sets. A few have peeked my interest but they are not within my budget. The search continues...and hopefully my first will be the start of a collection.)


Comments are not for advertising - links in comments will be deleted. Please be polite!