The (Western) Yixing market

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Bok
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:33 pm

Inspired by another thread, I wanted to start this discussion about the (Western) Yixing market, which has been on my mind recently while on the hunt to perfect my own collection.

I noticed the same thing, the Yixing market seems to have cooled down a lot recently. Before you just had to mention F1 and the pot was gone in seconds.

I blame it on EoT who started the whole thing with a large affordable stock of genuine F1. Others jumped on the wagon and now these pots are relatively easy to find. Some vendors with sound reputation, others with a bit more dodgy stock.

So the way I see it, 90 and newer, forget it, too many of them and not that special, only thing going for it, is that there are more designs available and the clay possible still safer than more recent ones.

80s kind of more difficult to get, but not really.

70s things start to change, the prices seem to reach levels where most Western tea people think twice about buying. Yet stronger for 60s pots. Those are all still surprisingly frequent to find, tricky thing is more to recognise them. When looking for my own I came across quite a few, thought about getting some more than I need for resale, but it seems to risky to me as an investment, as the ones who are willing to spend that kind of money are not many in the West. Overhead too much for me to speculate.

ROC and beyond only serious teapot people will venture.

Those are my observations, what is the community’s take on it?
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OCTO
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:00 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:33 pm
I noticed the same thing, the Yixing market seems to have cooled down a lot recently. Before you just had to mention F1 and the pot was gone in seconds.
The F1 craze has cooled down over the years. One major contributing factor is the over supply of questionable F1 pots in the market.
Bok wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:33 pm
So the way I see it, 90 and newer, forget it, too many of them and not that special, only thing going for it, is that there are more designs available and the clay possible still safer than more recent ones.
I differ in point of view. It comes down to the priority of your quest for Yixing pots. the 80s and 90s saw a marked improvement in clay quality as the factories improved their ways of sorting and filtering their raw materials. You are able to find pure and highly refined clays in the 80s and 90s.
Bok wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:33 pm
80s kind of more difficult to get, but not really.
There are an abundance in Taiwan, and South East Asia. The challenge is finding what I call "Grade A" F1 pots consisting of quality clay and workmanship. We need to remind ourselves all the time.... F1-F5 were factories MASS PRODUCING their designated products. Hence, hunt with caution.

Bottomline is to hunt with a curious mind and an open heart. Lately we have seen many gems surfacing in the Western market where traders are not as well informed as the Asian markets regarding market prices. You are still able to find really good stuff for a very small fraction of the price sold in Asian countries.

Learn to recognise clay. It's properties and qualities. Don't rely on stickers and maker's seal as a definite conclusion that equates to quality and authenticity. More importantly, always put the trader's knowledge to test. Compare notes with fellow tea buddies and it won't hurt to pay some 'tuition fees' along the way.

my 2 cents.

Cheers!
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Bok
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:32 pm

That is true, keeping an open mind is a good idea.

I bought a 90s(maybe earlier) pot not so recently, I did so because I immediately liked its look. Turns out the clay is really good and actually shines when used with certain teas. Something to watch out for in the 90s are the Xiaomingjia pots, the ones made by better artists with more freedom of creation and better clay.

The standard shapes of that era on the other hand do often look very crude and odd, compared to their older cousins. E.g. the lids of 90s Shuiping...
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steanze
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:38 pm

Personally, I like clay from the 60s and 70s better than most clays from the 80s and 90s. For hongni, pre 1977 does better with tea imo than post 1977. For zini, both the 70s qingshuini and the 60s-70s benzini and jiazini are superior to the factory's post 80s clays (heixingtu is quite good though). The amount of production vastly increased after the "opening up" in 1978, but the supply of good quality clay did not increase accordingly, meaning that more pots had to be produced with clay that was not as good, and also that the "weathering process" of the clay was shortened. The good clay did not entirely disappear, but was only used to make high end teapots. So you can find good modern pots, but they will be $$$$$

In terms of workmanship, for F1 pots by and large 60s was better than 70s and 70s better than 80s, with some improvement in the late 80s to 90s. Also newer pot are usually fired more than once to adjust the fit of the lid to the body, while older pots were fired only once. This means that older pots sometimes have slightly less good lid fit, but some argue that the porosity can be affected by the multiple firings.
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Bok
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:17 pm

steanze wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:38 pm
Personally, I like clay from the 60s and 70s better than most clays from the 80s and 90s.
Especially the 60s clay can be so lovely with its almost creamy texture. Has been an eye opener for me to behold and use the real thing.
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OCTO
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:30 pm

This is a common sight this part of the globe... 😁😁
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Cheers!!
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Baisao
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:56 am

OCTO wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:30 pm
This is a common sight this part of the globe... 😁😁

799B6EC6-D17C-4B49-B61C-07601D3C4B6D.jpeg

3DC0FA85-D77B-4BD2-A353-1570B64FC243.jpeg

Cheers!!
Daaaaang
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:45 am

*Gibbers incoherently and drools*

I'm very excited, I finally bought a yixing pot and it's coming in the mail. I researched for months to make sure I bought from a reputable company. This forum and the info on teachat from old conversations was hugely useful. Finally I settled on an early 90's F1 pot from Essence of Tea, cause I heard that so many people here had good experience with them and their stuff was legit. It's a hongni pot and I plan to use it for my high mountain oolong. :)
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Bok
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:23 am

@swordofmytriumph should be decent enough. Don’t expect it to work wonders immediately though, some pots need quite a lot of seasoning before you can judge how good they are. Don’t forget to benchmark with a porcelain gaiwan to see the true difference.

For high mountain it is essential that the pot is thin walled! Otherwise can work as well but you need to know your tea and pot well to make up for its shortcomings.

Have fun!

Afterwards we welcome you bit by bit to the dark side of older and older pots until you don’t know where up and down is! ;)
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OCTO
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:32 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:23 am
Afterwards we welcome you bit by bit to the dark side of older and older pots until you don’t know where up and down is! ;)
@Bok 👹👹👹

I’ll be annoyingly patient in waiting.....
gatmcm
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:46 am

One thing that affects the attractiveness of the pots that have been popping up in the western market to me is the fact that a lot of the times they are very small sizes, I am aware that small pots are very popular in the west, but I know a few puer drinkers that prefer bigger sizes 120-200ml.

More than once have I browsed yixing for sale only so realize theyre all 40-100ml, I just dont find drinking a 50ml steep or even less when the leaf fully expands nearly as enjoyable as an amount that provides several sips.
Note this is only about pu, I quite like small pots for roasted oolongs and some other teas.

Just my 2c, not sure how many westerners are realistically gravitating towards bigger pots.
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Bok
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:26 am

I was under the opposite impression, that Westerners tend to use larger pots on average. Mhhh maybe we should do a poll!
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OCTO
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:40 am

gatmcm wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:46 am
.... but I know a few puer drinkers that prefer bigger sizes 120-200ml.
🙋🏻‍♂️🙋🏻‍♂️🙋🏻‍♂️ Me, me, me!!
gatmcm
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:45 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:26 am
I was under the opposite impression, that Westerners tend to use larger pots on average. Mhhh maybe we should do a poll!
Was under the opposite one, for 'gong fu' people tend to go for really tiny pots with a lot of leaf and flash steeps(I myself did that for a while) instead of a more relaxed aproach, of course I only see western gongfu trough a very small window of online interaction, no clue how most people actually brew puer, be it in asia or in the west.
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OCTO
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:12 am

gatmcm wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:45 am
Was under the opposite one, for 'gong fu' people tend to go for really tiny pots with a lot of leaf and flash steeps(I myself did that for a while) instead of a more relaxed aproach, of course I only see western gongfu trough a very small window of online interaction, no clue how most people actually brew puer, be it in asia or in the west.
This is how I like my PuErh... big pot, big cup!
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Cheers!!
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