Puzzled wannabe Yixing buyer

Flavor Hedonist
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Location: Philippines

Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:48 am

Youzi wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:02 am
There's no Heini, any clay can be Heini, if reduction fired. The base clay defines what tea would be good for it.
Cool. So, Heini can be anything then? That'll be more confusing then. I'm asking because I have my eyes on a pot from 2088Taiwan.

Would you be able to distinguish the base clay used for this one?

http://2088taiwan.com//index.php?route= ... uct_id=111
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steanze
Posts: 437
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Location: USA

Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:14 am

Youzi wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:48 am

The only way to know if a pot is made of a specific sub clay type is to see the raw ore of which it was processed, know the mesh size, know how it was processed, know the exact firing temperature, and know that no reduction firing was going on.

So basically track down the rock, and make a private order from a Potter to process that ore for you and make a teapot out of it, based on your specification. Then you'd have a benchmark to compare to.

What I think would be tremendously helpful is to be able to buy firing discs.

Commenting on the picture, are you sure it is pure Benshan Lüni? Maybe it's the lighting, or it was partly reduction fired, but 90% of Benshan Lüni has a shade of Beige, light yellowish, or whiteish color. Then some more rare kinds, especially from Baoshan, can have more black spots and and be orangeish, reddish color.

Is that pot low or high fired? Seems more similar to Qing Duan Ni (青段泥) with good patina? Or could also be a Lüni mixed with other clays, since Lüni is notoriously difficult to fire properly.

Could you share more pictures of the inside and outside? Maybe the lid, as I guess it is less stained?
Hi Youzi. According to your criteria, it is impossible to know if a pot is made of Li Pi Ni. If this is a clay that was used during Ming and Qing, we don't know the information you state ("the raw ore of which it was processed, know the mesh size, know how it was processed, know the exact firing temperature, and know that no reduction firing was going on.") Even if we knew that information for a modern pot, we still could not know if an old pot is made of Li Pi Ni. But since Li Pi Ni is defined based on its use during Ming and Qing, there is no way to tell if a modern pot is made by the same "Li Pi Ni" that was used in those times.

Regarding the pot I posted, of course I am sure it's Ben Shan Lv Ni. The problem is that most modern "BSLN" is very yellow, so there's the expectation that BSLN is supposed to be canary yellow.
Older, top quality BSLN has a whiter, more transparent and quartz/like appearance, as you can see in this Qing example posted by chrl42: http://teadrunk.org/post/963/#p963
It is obviously not Qing Duan Ni (青段泥), the grain and texture of Qing Duan Ni is much coarser, Qing Duan Ni does not have the yellow/green hue that this pot has. Here is another picture:
1020740762_tp.jpg
1020740762_tp.jpg (11.62 KiB) Viewed 340 times
It's this jade-like quality that made BSLN so sought after. So regardless of where it's from, a modern BSLN pot that's canary yellow and lacks the quartz like appearance is not really displaying what BSLN is about.
Noonie
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Location: Canada

Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:12 pm

This is a good thread. I’ll be honest though, makes me want to keep brewing in a thin wall porcelain Gaiwan (for those teas that maybe yixing worthy).

For one, if I spent hundreds on a pot I would convince myself the tea tastes better (my nature), sure it would be different...but better is subjective. I feel that I’ve moved from being able to find a needle in a haystack to spending significant time improving the odds I find the needle, in the same haystack :lol:
faj
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Location: Quebec

Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:48 pm

Noonie wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:12 pm
This is a good thread. I’ll be honest though, makes me want to keep brewing in a thin wall porcelain Gaiwan (for those teas that maybe yixing worthy).

For one, if I spent hundreds on a pot I would convince myself the tea tastes better (my nature), sure it would be different...but better is subjective.
I guess at some point, when you drink a lot of tea, you may want to experience the difference a teapot can make, just out of curiosity. It is entirely subjective. Liking tea or not (and which teas you like) is subjective to start with. It is just one more subjective variable on top of others. There is a reasonable case several posters have made that sticking to a neutral vessel and experimenting with tea and water selection should be prioritized. Certainly sound advice.

I brew in neutral vessels most of the time, as the only clay pot I have is a relatively inexpensive kyusu. I see where you are coming from, and sticking to a gaiwan and avoiding TAD seems quite reasonable to me.

I surely see how one could be swayed into thinking teapots really make a positive difference by the power of self-fulfilling thinking, if only because teapots are interesting objects and finding some kind of rationale for collecting them may be tempting. I understand the attraction, and that is coming from someone who really is not the "collector" type. You have to be honest with yourself to see at which point collecting teapots becomes a hobby separate from the quest for good tea, and decide for yourself if it is worth it in itself.
Noonie
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm
Location: Canada

Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:03 pm

I hear you @faj I bump into the yixing and other specialty pots too often! So far I’ve held back
faj
Posts: 96
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Location: Quebec

Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:44 pm

Noonie wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:03 pm
I hear you faj I bump into the yixing and other specialty pots too often! So far I’ve held back
I am afraid I am not quite as strong-willed as you are... ;)

This being said, I am eying Japanese teapots, as was suggested earlier in the thread, as it seems to be less obscure.
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Bok
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Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:48 pm

Flavor Hedonist wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:48 am
Youzi wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:02 am
There's no Heini, any clay can be Heini, if reduction fired. The base clay defines what tea would be good for it.
Cool. So, Heini can be anything then? That'll be more confusing then. I'm asking because I have my eyes on a pot from 2088Taiwan.

Would you be able to distinguish the base clay used for this one?

http://2088taiwan.com//index.php?route= ... uct_id=111
Someone correct if I am wrong, but I think that later factory heini is actually achieved by additives to the clay, not reduction firing. Underlying base should be Zini. I would stay away from late F1 black (also green and blue) teapots.
Flavor Hedonist
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:56 am
Location: Philippines

Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:50 am

Bok wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:48 pm
Someone correct if I am wrong, but I think that later factory heini is actually achieved by additives to the clay, not reduction firing. Underlying base should be Zini. I would stay away from late F1 black (also green and blue) teapots.
Thanks for the heads up! Good thing I asked before I bought it. On a similar note, would you recommend his Nei Zi Wai Hong teapots? I assume the zini and hongni coating would be very different compared to a normal zini.
Flavor Hedonist
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Location: Philippines

Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:52 am

faj wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:44 pm
Noonie wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:03 pm
I hear you faj I bump into the yixing and other specialty pots too often! So far I’ve held back
I am afraid I am not quite as strong-willed as you are... ;)

This being said, I am eying Japanese teapots, as was suggested earlier in the thread, as it seems to be less obscure.
Willpower can only do so much :lol:

I've been telling myself not to buy the Kobiwako pot since December last year but I keep on browsing Hojo's website. Bought it last September and I don't regret it. :lol:
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Bok
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Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:56 am

Flavor Hedonist wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:50 am
Bok wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:48 pm
Someone correct if I am wrong, but I think that later factory heini is actually achieved by additives to the clay, not reduction firing. Underlying base should be Zini. I would stay away from late F1 black (also green and blue) teapots.
Thanks for the heads up! Good thing I asked before I bought it. On a similar note, would you recommend his Nei Zi Wai Hong teapots? I assume the zini and hongni coating would be very different compared to a normal zini.
How to phrase it... Neiziwaihong from the green label is nothing worth having. There is a reason there are so many out there for comparatively little money. In Taiwan no one I know collects them. Basically still like Zini, unless it’s a Neiwailinjiang which is fully coated and performs more like Hongni but with the advantage of faster patina development.
Flavor Hedonist
Posts: 23
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Location: Philippines

Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:12 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:56 am
Flavor Hedonist wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:50 am
Bok wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:48 pm
Someone correct if I am wrong, but I think that later factory heini is actually achieved by additives to the clay, not reduction firing. Underlying base should be Zini. I would stay away from late F1 black (also green and blue) teapots.
Thanks for the heads up! Good thing I asked before I bought it. On a similar note, would you recommend his Nei Zi Wai Hong teapots? I assume the zini and hongni coating would be very different compared to a normal zini.
How to phrase it... Neiziwaihong from the green label is nothing worth having. There is a reason there are so many out there for comparatively little money. In Taiwan no one I know collects them. Basically still like Zini, unless it’s a Neiwailinjiang which is fully coated and performs more like Hongni but with the advantage of faster patina development.
Thanks for answering my questions! That saved me from regretful purchases. :D
.m.
Posts: 274
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:35 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:56 am
Flavor Hedonist wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:50 am
Bok wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:48 pm
Someone correct if I am wrong, but I think that later factory heini is actually achieved by additives to the clay, not reduction firing. Underlying base should be Zini. I would stay away from late F1 black (also green and blue) teapots.
Thanks for the heads up! Good thing I asked before I bought it. On a similar note, would you recommend his Nei Zi Wai Hong teapots? I assume the zini and hongni coating would be very different compared to a normal zini.
How to phrase it... Neiziwaihong from the green label is nothing worth having. There is a reason there are so many out there for comparatively little money. In Taiwan no one I know collects them. Basically still like Zini, unless it’s a Neiwailinjiang which is fully coated and performs more like Hongni but with the advantage of faster patina development.
They are just teapots. Neither very collectible, nor particularly aesthetically pleasing (although there is some "wabi-sabi" in their modesty), but they can still make good tea. And it will cause you much less pain if the pot gets accidentally chipped or a cat knocks it over than if it was something more fancy. :)
absence
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:44 pm

Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:19 am

Baisao wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:30 am
absence wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:15 am
Does brewing gyokuro in a too large pot have negative effects on the outcome, or is it more about tradition?
absence, mostly because if the vessel is too big and the water might not cover all the leaves. This is rarely the case when making sencha, which uses more water per leaf.
Oh right! I've actually experienced this, but somehow didn't make the connection to teapot size. :? Thanks!
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