Help with long dan shaped teapot

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TeaTotaling
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:23 pm

@LeoFox I think this is the clay pot to ease all of your woes 😁
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LeoFox
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:34 pm

@TeaTotaling
How does it perform?
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Bok
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:35 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
From a historic point of view, these long dan type pots have existed way before the development of tightly rolled oolong...
From my experience, tall-ish shapes are not really specially good with any tea. Any perfectly round shape will equal or out-perform them. I can think of no measurable advantage a taller size would have over them. This is just marketing talk of vendors... they look more elegant(sometimes), but that is it. Rolled leaves can best and most evenly expand in a round shape.
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Bok
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:39 pm

Back to historical examples: Qing and the like dragon eggs, are very small(40-90ml mainly) so the tall shape really doesn't come into play much in this volumes... they'd be stuffed with leaves in any case. And the large tall ones were most likely used by Northern Chinese in a more akin to Grandpa-brewing way.
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Bok
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:40 pm

TeaTotaling wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:23 pm
LeoFox I think this is the clay pot to ease all of your woes 😁
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I'd reckon this is no more than 80ml, possibly less ?
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LeoFox
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:43 pm

Bok wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:39 pm
Back to historical examples: Qing and the like dragon eggs, are very small(40-90ml mainly) so the tall shape really doesn't come into play much in this volumes... they'd be stuffed with leaves in any case. And the large tall ones were most likely used by Northern Chinese in a more akin to Grandpa-brewing way.
The one i am using is about 85 mL
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Bok
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:49 pm

As you tried with better results with other teas I’m more inclined to think that the tea’s quality was the problem in your first trials... rather than the teapot.
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LeoFox
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Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:39 pm

Just did another side by side using eco-cha's 2020 roasted dong ding. Again, the long dan totally muted the tea in every steeping, both in terms of astringency and flavor. The scent remained comparable.
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TeaTotaling
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Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:05 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:34 pm
TeaTotaling
How does it perform?
I don't have personal experience with it. Seeing a picture of your Long Dan reminded me of this guy. It's a Late Qing/Early Republic Zhuni, so I imagine the clay performs quite nicely. The workmanship looks very refined for this period. It's definitely a collectors item, and the price is reflective 💵 💵 💵 💵 💵 💵
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TeaTotaling
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Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:08 pm

Bok wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:40 pm
TeaTotaling wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:23 pm
LeoFox I think this is the clay pot to ease all of your woes 😁
Image
Image
I'd reckon this is no more than 80ml, possibly less ?
Spot on, good sir, spot on. 80ml. 🎯
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OCTO
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Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:58 pm

@LeoFox

If the porcelain teapot is muting your tea... then it’s a sign I should be retired from active brewing duty. It will be a good decorative pot.

Cheers!
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Baisao
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Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:37 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:35 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
From a historic point of view, these long dan type pots have existed way before the development of tightly rolled oolong...
From my experience, tall-ish shapes are not really specially good with any tea. Any perfectly round shape will equal or out-perform them. I can think of no measurable advantage a taller size would have over them. This is just marketing talk of vendors... they look more elegant(sometimes), but that is it. Rolled leaves can best and most evenly expand in a round shape.
The one exception I can think of where a taller teapot excels over a more spherical or shorter one: fukamushi, a long steamed sencha.

The leaves are more fragile (think small pieces of wet tissue paper) and so seem more prone to clog the internal filters on kyusu. A tall shaped kyusu allows these leaves to settle to the bottom before pouring off.

But yeah, that’s the only exception I can think of and it’s with a specific Japanese tea make.
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LeoFox
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Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:07 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:39 pm
Just did another side by side using eco-cha's 2020 roasted dong ding. Again, the long dan totally muted the tea in every steeping, both in terms of astringency and flavor. The scent remained comparable.
Did another side by side with a golden bud black tea from YS:

Image

Somehow muted a lot of the honey notes but brought out more of the chocolate notes. In some ways, this is acceptable, but strange. Just contacted the taiwanese teapot vendor about my experiences.

Thank you all for your input. It is surprising to me that porcelain could alter the tea this much.
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Bok
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:05 am

LeoFox wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:07 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:39 pm
Just did another side by side using eco-cha's 2020 roasted dong ding. Again, the long dan totally muted the tea in every steeping, both in terms of astringency and flavor. The scent remained comparable.
Did another side by side with a golden bud black tea from YS:

Image

Somehow muted a lot of the honey notes but brought out more of the chocolate notes. In some ways, this is acceptable, but strange. Just contacted the taiwanese teapot vendor about my experiences.

Thank you all for your input. It is surprising to me that porcelain could alter the tea this much.
Sounds like it’s bad quality porcelain if the change is so marked... from the looks of it these pots are run off the mill cheap porcelain. These pots are likely imported from China, not Taiwan made.
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LeoFox
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:53 am

Below is the vendor response. My suggestion was to remove this pot from their lineup but maybe that was a bit excessive of me :P . Note that vendor explicitly claims these are hand made in Taiwan.

I have slightly edited the quote to prevent identification of vendor.

Let me first reassure you, there is no difference in the materials and glaze of this Long Dan compared to your benchmark Pot as they are both made at the same workshop using the same materials and processes. That you would come to the conclusion that this pot should not be sold seems somewhat excessive and unjustified, especially if your reasoning hung mostly on the possible difference in material or presumed defect of the pot.

Your methodology for comparing the pots brings questions to me that, if asked, already offer paths to explain the difference in results: the pots vastly different shapes, volume (even if you use the same ratio of leaf to volume), and different wall thicknesses that modulate the pots insulation characteristics. All these already greatly influence how tea leaves will behave and release their elements, especially when you consider rolled oolong teas that need to unfurl in the process.

Further on the question of volume: the long dan pots of less than 100 ml tend to magnify the slightest of variations when following a measured protocol for tea making. I would even venture to say that if you were comparing 2 small Long Dan pots side by side using the same protocol you would encounter perceptible differences between the 2 brews. Small pots are not so popular here in Taiwan (I would even venture to say Asia) for a few reasons: one being that they are considered too small as the enjoyment of tea is a social thing that involves a gathering of people to share it with. Obviously, such a small sized pot would be impractical in those circumstances. Secondly, as I implied above, a very small tea making vessel amplifies all the slight variations of the tea making process. I am not implying they are bad pots but there is no denying they are more demanding especially when trying to reproduce the same results from infusions to infusion.

As a footnote, in Taiwan, the always present tea pitcher is the ultimate solution to modulate between tea making for groups and solo sessions as it allows brews made in larger pots to be decanted for service into several cups or just one in succession.

It is true that small pots are more popular with western tea enthusiasts as the practice of asian style tea tends to be more of a solitary activity. Our suppliers are always surprised at how many of these pocket sized pots we sell. This Long Dan is a good example of this as our demand was instrumental in making this item available. But this popularity comes with a certain responsibility from its users which is to accept its inherent characteristics.

May I suggest that it would be better to ask yourself how you can best adapt your tea making practice to the characteristics of this pot than try to judge it based on a comparative protocol? Isn’t that the true spirit of gong fu tea making? There are no rigid principles to gongfu tea making and certainly no recipes. It is a practice based on an aesthetic
expression where tea and its wares are vehicles of this expression, not the end.

Flexibility, I think, is a more satisfying path in the enjoyment of tea, don’t you think?

For that reason, the Long Dan Pot will continue to have a well deserved place in our catalog of teapots.
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