Help with long dan shaped teapot

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Bok
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:07 am

I can attest that small pots are used excessively (100ml and smaller) by many many people I’ve encountered over the years... China is using larger pots for sure, but Taiwan, nope!

They have a point about the size being a factor, although I wouldn’t call it demanding, a little adaption is all. Also to bare in mind that Taiwanese teas in general are very easy and forgiving to brew, quite difficult to screw them up actually.

Don’t know how many studios are doing porcelain in Taiwan, but they are not many and most is still coming from China, can’t match those prices... even in Yingge a lot, maybe the majority these days, is imported and not produced there.
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Bok
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:37 am

Furthermore, no one is “handcrafting” teapots that cost retail 35$ in the Western market... think about it. That doesn’t add up with labour costs in Taiwan.

Edit: at that price you can also not really expect wonders in the first place from this teapot... it is what it is.
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Balthazar
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:45 am

@LeoFox

I don't know how you phrased your email, but I can see where the vendor is coming from. Suggesting that he/she removes the pot from the lineup is a bit of a ... bold move? Trying to find a nice word here.

Especially if you are somewhat new to brewing tea.

Also, I'm not sure if I get this focus on where the porcelain is coming from. It's not like you have to pay top money (or find something "handmade in Taiwan") to buy porcelain that doesn't mute tea. There are some horror examples out there, but even your average $2 gaiwans on Taobao won't mute your tea. Is suspect the shape/size and/or brewing parameters are the main culprits.

On an anecdotal side note, I've never quite gotten gongfu brewing "just right" with the (few) porcelain teapots I've used.
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LeoFox
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:01 am

Balthazar wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:45 am
LeoFox

I don't know how you phrased your email, but I can see where the vendor is coming from. Suggesting that he/she removes the pot from the lineup is a bit of a ... bold move? Trying to find a nice word here.

Especially if you are somewhat new to brewing tea.

Also, I'm not sure if I get this focus on where the porcelain is coming from. It's not like you have to pay top money (or find something "handmade in Taiwan") to buy porcelain that doesn't mute tea. There are some horror examples out there, but even your average $2 gaiwans on Taobao won't mute your tea. Is suspect the shape/size and/or brewing parameters are the main culprits.

On an anecdotal side note, I've never quite gotten gongfu brewing "just right" with the (few) porcelain teapots I've used.
I do regret wording it that way, but i was a bit frustrated. In any case, i am done with this pot. Maybe will just be a toy for my little girl when she gets a little older.

As for brewing parameters, i think i explored them in some detail for several different teas and my hands are not too bad. Also, i went in hoping to make this pot work, not the opposite.
Last edited by LeoFox on Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LeoFox
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:04 am

Bok wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:37 am
Furthermore, no one is “handcrafting” teapots that cost retail 35$ in the Western market... think about it. That doesn’t add up with labour costs in Taiwan.

Edit: at that price you can also not really expect wonders in the first place from this teapot... it is what it is.
Never expecting wonders, but not something so crappy like this. Well in the end, it is a cute looking toy.
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Baisao
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Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:46 pm

I’ve never experienced porcelain changing the flavor or texture of teas.

I have had difficulty making tea consistently in small porcelain teapots like the shorter one. I have attributed this to uneven heating rather than the glaze or porcelain material itself. Given more than a couple of opportunities to make tea with one I figure I could adapt and make tea fine enough in one eventually.

I think the response you received from the seller was, while not entirely accurate, generous. I probably would not have spent as much time drafting an email.

The pots are not what I would consider handmade. They are slip cast en masse. Sure, someone pours the slip in by hand but that doesn’t make them handmade, in my opinion.

Also, small pots are common in Taiwan and have been for years. Large pots are also common. Not all tea drinkers in Taiwan serve guests.

Considering the circumstances presented here it is my belief that you are using inferior teapots and inferior tea. These two things alone can make make for challenging tea sessions.

Lastly, I also question your experience. I say that with kindness and respect. It may be that you don’t have enough experience to make tea consistently with materials that would be challenging for people who have been at this for decades.

I’ve said elsewhere that I could make great tea in a coffee mug, but that would require some practice and better quality tea than what you get from the big western-facing tea sellers.

I suggest that you save up to get a better teapot (many nice teapots are sold here by members at or near cost) and steer clear of warehouse style online tea sellers.

If you are in the US you might try teas from Tillerman Tea, Teance (wait for a sale), The Steeping Room, or The Jade Leaf. I wish I could help you more with tea sellers but I get nearly all of my teas through friends I’ve made over the years.
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LeoFox
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Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:55 pm

Baisao wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:46 pm
I’ve never experienced porcelain changing the flavor or texture of teas.

I have had difficulty making tea consistently in small porcelain teapots like the shorter one. I have attributed this to uneven heating rather than the glaze or porcelain material itself. Given more than a couple of opportunities to make tea with one I figure I could adapt and make tea fine enough in one eventually.

I think the response you received from the seller was, while not entirely accurate, generous. I probably would not have spent as much time drafting an email.

The pots are not what I would consider handmade. They are slip cast en masse. Sure, someone pours the slip in by hand but that doesn’t make them handmade, in my opinion.

Also, small pots are common in Taiwan and have been for years. Large pots are also common. Not all tea drinkers in Taiwan serve guests.

Considering the circumstances presented here it is my belief that you are using inferior teapots and inferior tea. These two things alone can make make for challenging tea sessions.

Lastly, I also question your experience. I say that with kindness and respect. It may be that you don’t have enough experience to make tea consistently with materials that would be challenging for people who have been at this for decades.

I’ve said elsewhere that I could make great tea in a coffee mug, but that would require some practice and better quality tea than what you get from the big western-facing tea sellers.

I suggest that you save up to get a better teapot (many nice teapots are sold here by members at or near cost) and steer clear of warehouse style online tea sellers.

If you are in the US you might try teas from Tillerman Tea, Teance (wait for a sale), The Steeping Room, or The Jade Leaf. I wish I could help you more with tea sellers but I get nearly all of my teas through friends I’ve made over the years.
Thank you so much for your helpful response to my naive explorations of the long dan teapot.

After reading through the forum in more detail, I have decided to buy a few Kobiwako pots from Hojo. It seems most people really like that clay for gaoshan and sencha.

I really appreciate everyone's help.

I am getting tea mainly from o-cha, eco-cha and leafy greens (for farmer HY chen dong dings). I have also tried smaller samples from hojo and tea habitat (dan cong) but will definitely expand my sources.
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Bok
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Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:36 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:55 pm
(for farmer HY chen dong dings)
For those I would not recommend porcelain. Other clays, like Zini or Hongni do a good jobs covering some of the shortfalls of these teas. Some members here do like Hokujo for that as well, although the fad seems to have died down a little. Wood-fired(Japanese, Taiwanese) in general does a good job with roasted Oolongs.
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OCTO
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Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:28 pm

wow... the egg is getting a whole lot of love!!.. hahaha....
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Baisao
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Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:19 pm

@LeoFox, I reread the thread and recalled an experience I had with a Japanese kettle.

The stoneware kettle is made by Takashi Ichikawa and produced water that robbed the tea of flavor until I had boiled about 30 liters of water in it. It then produced the most smooth and delicious water I have had. The change occurred literally overnight: the day before it made flat tea, the next day it made amazing tea.

I mention the kettle because it’s the closest experience I’ve had to what you are describing. The texture of the kettle is nothing like porcelain: it is porous enough that it sweats and has a matte finish inside.

Do the two pots have the same texture? Is the texture like glass or matte?
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LeoFox
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Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:58 am

Baisao wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:19 pm
LeoFox, I reread the thread and recalled an experience I had with a Japanese kettle.

The stoneware kettle is made by Takashi Ichikawa and produced water that robbed the tea of flavor until I had boiled about 30 liters of water in it. It then produced the most smooth and delicious water I have had. The change occurred literally overnight: the day before it made flat tea, the next day it made amazing tea.

I mention the kettle because it’s the closest experience I’ve had to what you are describing. The texture of the kettle is nothing like porcelain: it is porous enough that it sweats and has a matte finish inside.

Do the two pots have the same texture? Is the texture like glass or matte?
Thank you for sharing your experience with the kettle!

Both pots are somewhat glossy, but the long dan's glaze appears a lot thinner. The rims of both pots are unglazed and feel sandy. When I made a red tea in the long dan, the unglazed rim not only stained but the stain seemed to penetrate behind the glaze from the rim to body of the pot a bit. I was able to clean it off with some brief soaking in baking soda and water. This "penetrating" stain didn't happen with my other pot. Finally, despite a lot of cleaning using off boiling water and baking soda, the long dan pot always smells kind of vegetal and slightly musty.
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Bok
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Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:17 am

@LeoFox that really sounds like this pot has some problems...
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LeoFox
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Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:11 am

Bok wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:17 am
LeoFox that really sounds like this pot has some problems...
I'm close to repurposing it as a soy sauce dispenser
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Baisao
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Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:27 am

LeoFox wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:11 am
Bok wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:17 am
LeoFox that really sounds like this pot has some problems...
I'm close to repurposing it as a soy sauce dispenser
Careful, it might ruin your soy sauce :lol:
...the stain seemed to penetrate behind the glaze from the rim to body of the pot a bit...
This doesn’t seem correct at all. Perhaps it wasn’t fired properly.
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LeoFox
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Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:25 am

Forgot to mention that both pots have the "san-xi" chop on the bottom, suggesting they were made at the san xi factory in Taiwan.
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