Evaluating Yixing Teapots — Part Two

This is Part Two in a two part series about eval­u­at­ing Yix­ing pots.
It is inspired in part by Michael Wong of The Tea Gallery.

And Now the Conclusion…

After test­ing the pot with water, the log­i­cal next step is to add tea to the equation.

The most obvi­ous thing to do might be to add some leaves, hot water, and taste some tea.

Instead, this test allows you to dimin­ish the dif­fer­ences in ther­mal prop­er­ties or pour times that might add vari­ables in such an exper­i­ment, and focus for the moment on the effect of the clay on the tea liquor.

To have enough tea for the exper­i­ment, brew two rounds of tea in a gai­wan and com­bine them in your fair­cup. Fill the pre­heated teapot with half of the tea for the pitcher, and once again leave it for a moment.

In your match­ing cups, serve one cup per guest with water from the pitcher — being brewed in the gai­wan, this has no influ­ence from the pot.

Next fill the sec­ond set of cups with tea from the pot, either directly or from a sep­a­rate fair­cup. Taste the tea side by side and make note of the dif­fer­ences. We did our test­ing with an aged Lao Cong Shui Xian, and found that high flo­ral notes were muted by the teapot. This might sug­gest that I was cor­rect in pair­ing this pot with much deeper Hong Kong style roasts.

To expand on this idea, you should of course repeat this process with other teas. But I also like to share with guests the com­par­a­tive strengths and weak­nesses of two teapots by per­form­ing this method side by side. Instead of serv­ing tea straight from the gai­wan and then from the pot, sim­ply com­pare tea left in two dis­tinct pots.

I can’t wait to hear what addi­tional exper­i­ments you come up with.

Cred­its: Pho­tog­ra­phy by Dae. Hand­some mod­el­ing by David. Nar­rated by Majel Barrett.

4 thoughts on “Evaluating Yixing Teapots — Part Two

  1. Pingback: This Week in Tea Volume III « Tyros of Tea

  2. I gave this a try with my one and only yix­ing and the last of my 2007 Spring Feng Huang Lin-Tou Dan­Cong Mi Lan.

    I found the clay to mute the big fruity tones, like lychee, but played up the grain and starch char­ac­ters, to yield some­thing like pump­kin flesh. Over­all, the clay soft­ened the darker sharp­nesses and flo­ral aspects of the tea.

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