Chaozhou/Shantou

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wave_code
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Sat May 01, 2021 4:43 am

so while I'm waiting to repair my cracked vintage pot or for a new vintage one to come up, I've also been looking at modern ones. seems like Zoey is the main source for something of good quality and craftsmanship. has anyone tried the pots from Tea Habitat? I could find some people talking about it on the old forum which shall not be named but thats about it- seems like people were having problems with them cracking a lot. but then again, the pots were about half the price at that time, and they seem a little more in line with what I would expect now, so I'm wondering if they switched workshops or sources at some point.
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Bok
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Sat May 01, 2021 5:20 am

@wave_code seems Tea habitat is mainly possibly reselling from Taobao, I seem to remember someone tracking down the same pots they have on Taobao. I’ve heard good things about Zoey. Either that, or browsing Taobao is probably your best bet.
Last edited by Bok on Sat May 01, 2021 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Youzi
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Sat May 01, 2021 6:06 am

@wave_code

Haven't tried a pot from Zoey yet, communication seemed a bit difficult. But what she sells clearly looks better than most of the stuff sold as CZ pots by western focused vendors. If TB is not an option, then I'd choose her stuff.
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Victoria
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Sat May 01, 2021 1:17 pm

Bok wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:20 am
wave_code seems Tea habitat is mainly reselling from Taobao, I seem to remember someone tracking down the same pots they have on Taobao. I’ve heard good things about Zoey. Either that, or browsing Taobao is probably your best bet.
Doesn’t seem very fair to say that TeaHabitat buys off of taobao to then resell. I know this vendor (as she is local) and that she sources all her teas and teaware in person during yearly trips to China. That similar looking teaware can be found on taobao is another story.
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wave_code
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Sat May 01, 2021 1:43 pm

also could be that the same artist sells their pots on Taobao for the local market I suppose. I haven't gotten to try any of their teas yet either (on my list for next time I'm in the US), but it seems that Tea Habitat's has a good reputation, especially for high quality oolong, which is what made me think that if they didn't think the pots were good for their teas then they wouldn't carry them.

I can't recall the name now but one of the main names I've seen with modern CZ that carries over from vintage from what I can tell is now just a workshop name, that the actual person who seemed to have built up quite a reputation actually isn't making pots anymore- not sure if they aren't alive, or retired, or what, and if that workshop remains family run or not.

@Bokk did you get your modern one direct? I had contacted Zoey about a similar looking pot, maybe by the same artist.
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Bok
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Sat May 01, 2021 7:22 pm

@Victoria ok, ok, apologies. It might just be similar looking teaware.

However, it’s not uncommon that especially smaller retailers do that. Not a bad thing per se either, as they do the curation so to speak and work through the mass of available items, deal with the communication, shipping and customs etc. Which is a lot of hassle for the non-Chinese speaking Westerner and of course also justifies the markup. Which some who do complain about higher prices often forget.

@wave_code I bought mine from Taobao. But selection is more limited, only a few available.
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chadao
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Mon May 03, 2021 10:29 am

Bok wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 7:22 pm
Victoria ok, ok, apologies. It might just be similar looking teaware.

However, it’s not uncommon that especially smaller retailers do that. Not a bad thing per se either, as they do the curation so to speak and work through the mass of available items, deal with the communication, shipping and customs etc. Which is a lot of hassle for the non-Chinese speaking Westerner and of course also justifies the markup. Which some who do complain about higher prices often forget.

wave_code I bought mine from Taobao. But selection is more limited, only a few available.
It's the same teaware, or at the very least, identical looking and seeming in all respects. I've purchased one set from Taobao and one set from Tea Habitat and the pots are to my eye identical in my physical inspection. I understand completely the curation fee and the ability to trust a western vendor, but it's not unfair to say that Tea Habitat is selling pots that one can also source from Taobao.
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LeoFox
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Mon May 03, 2021 11:07 am

@chadao
Can you reveal to us the price difference?
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chadao
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Mon May 03, 2021 11:13 am

LeoFox wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:07 am
chadao
Can you reveal to us the price difference?
The teapot I purchased from Tea Habitat was ~$100USD and the one from Taobao was ~100 yuan. As Bok says, the premium is attributable to Tea Habitat investing efforts into communicating with potters, translating, shipping, customs, having a bricks-and-mortar shop in California USA, trust factor of a western vendor, etc. Those factors are things to consider.
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LeoFox
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Mon May 03, 2021 12:10 pm

chadao wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:13 am
LeoFox wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:07 am
chadao
Can you reveal to us the price difference?
The teapot I purchased from Tea Habitat was ~$100USD and the one from Taobao was ~100 yuan. As Bok says, the premium is attributable to Tea Habitat investing efforts into communicating with potters, translating, shipping, customs, having a bricks-and-mortar shop in California USA, trust factor of a western vendor, etc. Those factors are things to consider.
Thanks! 100 yuan is about how much my mom spent on two cz pots about 20 years ago. They were sold as Zhuni yixing :lol:
Chadrinkincat
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Mon May 03, 2021 6:54 pm

chadao wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:13 am
LeoFox wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:07 am
chadao
Can you reveal to us the price difference?
The teapot I purchased from Tea Habitat was ~$100USD and the one from Taobao was ~100 yuan. As Bok says, the premium is attributable to Tea Habitat investing efforts into communicating with potters, translating, shipping, customs, having a bricks-and-mortar shop in California USA, trust factor of a western vendor, etc. Those factors are things to consider.
600% mark up seems excessive for a $15 teapot.

I’m always a bit confused why western vendors sell stuff like this in the first place. More often than not someone will point out that the same exact item is available from TB for next to nothing. At least sell a unique or hard to find item if your gonna mark it up 500-600%.
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chadao
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Mon May 03, 2021 7:08 pm

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:54 pm
I’m always a bit confused why western vendors sell stuff like this in the first place. More often than not someone will point out that the same exact item is available from TB for next to nothing. At least sell a unique or hard to find item if your gonna mark it up 500-600%.
Well, I'm not going to blame Tea Habitat fully for this - I bought the teapot without checking Taobao first; I checked Taobao after the fact out of morbid curiousity. To some degree, it's caveat emptor.

There are other items on this vendor's site that concern me more - recently, a thermos was posted with an "inscription" that looked more like something scratched into plastic with a key.

I'm told that the bricks-and-mortar shop is truly a treasure, and I can't dispute the extremely high quality of the tea I purchased alongside the pot. Perhaps the teapots cross-subsidize the high-quality tea to some degree; that's okay in my books. Just do an image search on TB first, I guess is my lesson learned.
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Bok
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Mon May 03, 2021 7:37 pm

The vendors who do this usually started way before the general public wised up to the existence of Taobao. To be fair at these times it was 100% more annoying to order something and it was by all accounts impossible for the non Chinese speaker without connections.
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chadao
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Mon May 03, 2021 9:10 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 7:37 pm
The vendors who do this usually started way before the general public wised up to the existence of Taobao. To be fair at these times it was 100% more annoying to order something and it was by all accounts impossible for the non Chinese speaker without connections.
It is still nearly that unless you use an agent that rips you off... ;)
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wave_code
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Tue May 04, 2021 1:01 pm

also factor in shipping (which can be kinda all over the place depending on the vendor/platform) and also that once the thing shows up it isn't broken and/or that you actually got what you ordered or that the particular piece you get isn't totally messed up I can understand having a pretty healthy mark-up, but this does still seem high to me. but I don't know what standard mark-ups here are. I am guessing like any other area though mark-up margins on cheaper produced products are high while those on more artisan and specialty products are low to sometimes almost non-existent and one has to compensate the other.

if you find the two totally identical though thats one thing. although at least from what I can tell from images a lot of other vendors are having around the same mark-up on other CZ pots. how do you find their actual effect on tea? Maybe its not necessarily bad clay even if it isn't the same as original older CZ zhuni or doesn't have a drastic/positive effect on the tea, as long as it isn't harmful or isn't making it worse. can you see throwing marks on the inside of both of them, or are they maybe some sort of slipcast?

looking around there seems to be the $10-20ish pots, then the more $80-120ish range which look much better in terms of both clay/craftsmanship and at least to me, aesthetically, then beyond that it can keep going but at some point maybe you are overpaying. I don't know if its the same artist or not so I don't want to say anything definitive, but I was for example quoted a price that was almost double that of a very similar looking CZ pot on Taobao from a different vendor... though when using a good or rare clay I can see this scaling prices very fast - the amount of clay used to make a 80ml pot vs 160ml pot is going to add up quickly I imagine.
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