The (Western) Yixing market

User avatar
Shine Magical
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:13 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:34 pm

I’ve actually found the opposite (sometimes). Often times tea I drink and think is excellent in a 1 person session and the I decide to have it again with my friend, it often tastes less good even when brewed the same way.

Though sometimes it’s also the opposite where a tea tastes great when it’s being shared with me and not as good if they just gave it to me and I brewed it at home alone.

I think this hints at me not enjoying playing host too much because I’m a perfectionist and am overly concerned with my guest having an amazing tasing session.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2193
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:48 pm

Yes, I’d say the same has happened with me, but then the act of sharing involves an exchange between guests, distractions we don’t have when alone, but also the pleasure of partaking in a sensory experience together. I enjoy both realizing each time will be unique.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:07 am

theredbaron wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:08 pm
In particular in China incredibly expensive teas and teaware are part of te bragging rights for many of the newly rich, but who do often not take the time to learn and appreciate tea and teaware beyond showing off their wealth. That's life...
This.

The status signaling from new money is embarrassingly silly, all the more so in tea circles. Preposterous titles and anachronistic garments abound; uncomfortable and inconvenient affairs out of doors are held to evoke a mythical past greatness that is a veneer of Chinese nationalism and opportunity for more status signaling. Song Dynasty themed parties are held with loose leaf tea served in tiny Yixing teapots.

Anyone can be an expert so long as they have the correct ethnicity; contrawise, you can never be an expert if you aren’t of the correct ethnicity.

History is being rewritten to exclude non-Han influences on GFC, as though it has always been Chinese, without interruption or non-Han influence.

Nothing changes and this is nothing new. We should all enjoy our champagne at dinner for we won’t see the iceberg at midnight when we are sailing towards an unsinkable future.
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:19 am
Location: Seattle, USA

Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:50 am

Victoria wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:17 pm
If you are into Taiwan oolong, Floating Leaves just got their winter shipment, it’s very fresh 🍃. The best goes fast too.
Welp, I now know what I’m doing with my weekend. I have the next 5 days off, so a trip to floating leaves seems to be in order.
theredbaron
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Germany

Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:09 am

Baisao wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:07 am


This.

The status signaling from new money is embarrassingly silly, all the more so in tea circles. Preposterous titles and anachronistic garments abound; uncomfortable and inconvenient affairs out of doors are held to evoke a mythical past greatness that is a veneer of Chinese nationalism and opportunity for more status signaling. Song Dynasty themed parties are held with loose leaf tea served in tiny Yixing teapots.

Anyone can be an expert so long as they have the correct ethnicity; contrawise, you can never be an expert if you aren’t of the correct ethnicity.

History is being rewritten to exclude non-Han influences on GFC, as though it has always been Chinese, without interruption or non-Han influence.

Nothing changes and this is nothing new. We should all enjoy our champagne at dinner for we won’t see the iceberg at midnight when we are sailing towards an unsinkable future.

Indeed - the resurgence of poison nationalism and nativism paired with authoritarianism (not just in China...) is deeply concerning.

I feel that when i was often in China in the early and mid 1990's it was far more open and liberal than it was today. Back then i had a lot of hope.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:37 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:56 am
swordofmytriumph wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:02 am
It's amazing how just sharing a tea with someone else makes it seem to taste better. I've shared some of my good stuff with friends, and I pick up on things in the tea that I hadn't even noticed before, because I'm thinking about it more...critically? Like, telling someone else about my tea is the best way for me to pick up on nuances.
One thing I want to add, while generally company at the tea table is nice, it makes it a bit more difficult to get to the essence of a tea. One quote comes to mind:

“In tasting tea, one person can taste tea’s essence; two people can taste tea’s delight; three people can taste tea’s flavor; but six or seven people together can only be called using (drinking) tea” Chen Jiru

I prefer 1-2, max 3 people tea sessions if I am the one brewing. More and too much distracts from the focus on the cup, more goes into concern for everyone's well-being and thirst.
For a year I was recruited to serve tea for a fellow who was doing market research on what immediately turned out to be some really crummy Taiwanese tea. After two pots I figured it wasn’t going to get any better so I started preparing tea from my own stash. I figured it was my chance to share from my extensive larder and give tea a wider audience.

Anyone could attend a tasting and there was no charge. We dumped the tea company and decided to have tea tastings purely for the promotion of tea. It was tea evangelism. No catch! Well, not at first (I’ll get to that).

Tastings with 2-3 people (including myself) seemed ideal. We were able to focus on the tea and our bodies. This was usually at the beginning of a session before most people began showing up.

Tastings with 4 people (including myself) went according to plan, for the most part, but would sometimes digress from tea. People would still take notes and remember the teas and steepings.

All tastings with 5 or more people would end up with a bar atmosphere and no one but me paying due attention to the teas. It was a convivial atmosphere but I could have been serving Kool Aid or root beer floats for all the attention the teas were getting. Multiple conversations and people peeling off to have private conversations during tea sessions... well, it got to be too much.

I was serving fairly high end teas to people who didn’t appreciate what they were drinking. If I asked people to focus (I said there would be a catch) they would look at me as though I was rude for interrupting their conversations to focus on the teas.

Was it a case of pearls before swine, the nature of group dynamics, or a parade of hippies who used free tea as a reason to meet and gossip over hangovers and sex cults? I dunno. I gave up.

What I do know is that tea is best enjoyed with intimacy, whether with oneself or a friend. Tea isn’t assertive so it needs to be listened to. Many times it has great things to say. But you have to listen.
User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:25 pm
Location: Penang, Malaysia

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:52 pm

Baisao wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:37 pm
All tastings with 5 or more people would end up with a bar atmosphere and no one but me paying due attention to the teas. It was a convivial atmosphere but I could have been serving Kool Aid or root beer floats for all the attention the teas were getting. Multiple conversations and people peeling off to have private conversations during tea sessions... well, it got to be too much.

I was serving fairly high end teas to people who didn’t appreciate what they were drinking. If I asked people to focus (I said there would be a catch) they would look at me as though I was rude for interrupting their conversations to focus on the teas.

What I do know is that tea is best enjoyed with intimacy, whether with oneself or a friend. Tea isn’t assertive so it needs to be listened to. Many times it has great things to say. But you have to listen.
I do agree with @Baisao . Whenever I host a tea tasting or appreciation session, I often make it clear to the invitees the pre-requisites of participating in the session. I’m not going to waste $300 in a few brews of tea on someone who just drank espresso prior to attending the session. I once had to change tea lineup when one of my attendees came with a cup of cappuccino in his hand.

Having said that, I have successfully hosted multiple tasting or appreciation session comprising a group of 5 - 6 pax with every participant going home feeling good with a renewed respect and appreciation for high quality tea.

Cheers!
User avatar
tingjunkie
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:39 pm

Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:42 am

Baisao wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:37 pm

Was it a case of pearls before swine, the nature of group dynamics, or a parade of hippies who used free tea as a reason to meet and gossip over hangovers and sex cults? I dunno. I gave up.
:lol: You just described the Maui tea "scene" perfectly.
karma
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:27 pm

Baisao wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:37 pm

a parade of hippies who used free tea as a reason to meet and gossip over hangovers and sex cults? I dunno. I gave up.
Yep sounds like my experience drinking tea here in Austin.
mbanu
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:19 pm

I half a half-remembered quote floating around in my brain in regards to tea parties, something like "four is a party, five is charity". :) You as the host are helping your guests connect with one another at that point; a bar atmosphere without the drunkenness is the benefit. If everyone is constantly falling back on the tea, sometimes this can be a sign that something is wrong, sort of like at a party where everyone just dotes on the cat rather than talking to one another. On the other hand, if people are falling back on the tea, it's always nice if it's pleasant tea.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:09 pm

karma wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:27 pm
Baisao wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:37 pm

a parade of hippies who used free tea as a reason to meet and gossip over hangovers and sex cults? I dunno. I gave up.
Yep sounds like my experience drinking tea here in Austin.
Too bad we’re quarantined. We have elders to look after. Perhaps we should get together and have tea when things gets better.
karma
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:18 pm

Baisao wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:09 pm
karma wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:27 pm
Baisao wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:37 pm

a parade of hippies who used free tea as a reason to meet and gossip over hangovers and sex cults? I dunno. I gave up.
Yep sounds like my experience drinking tea here in Austin.
Too bad we’re quarantined. We have elders to look after. Perhaps we should get together and have tea when things gets better.
I'd love to! If you don't mind sharing tea with a college student, I've been looking for someone who knows more about tea to walk me through. For most of my friends I gotta be that person! Its like a 5 year old teaching a toddler. I've just been drinking tea to pass the time during quarantine, you?
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:52 pm

@karma, that sounds great. Let’s get together when this passes. I’ve instructed quite a few people, from kids to grandparents. I think people are able to get a good start from just a two hour class but informal is probably best.

I think you have a good opportunity with this epidemic since everything has slowed down and we’re allowed time without distractions. I had a teacher from Taiwan but I think most of my growth happened by making tea with different parameters and observing how the tea changed. This takes time and focus to do, but I truly believe this is the best way to learn. Don’t be put off that it is slow going at first. I started around 2004 and I am still getting better.

After work, I’ve been enjoying Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun prepared like sencha (high leaf to water volume and lower temperatures). It’s different but I like it better than when it’s conventionally prepared. It’s sweeter, thicker, and more sophisticated.
Attachments
7EDDB505-70A8-4D6F-897D-2AAC8AA87FA1.jpeg
7EDDB505-70A8-4D6F-897D-2AAC8AA87FA1.jpeg (103.61 KiB) Viewed 851 times
mbanu
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:39 pm

Bok wrote:
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.

[. . .]

Those are my observations, what is the community’s take on it?

One quirk is that your average internet buyer does not like artistic pots one bit -- all plain and simple round shapes. I suspect that this is because many of these buyers are young men who want to be taken seriously in their tea-drinking, so they try to avoid anything whimsical. Part of it is also of course for cultural reasons -- a popular artistic shape is the bundle of sticks, I imagine to show that there is strength through solidarity, but a bundle of sticks has a slang meaning in America that would be immediately picked up by their friends. :)

However, the curve is bathtub-shaped. British and American auction-houses semi-regularly carry artistic Yixing that goes for quite high prices, but these are bought by art collectors who are not terribly interested in tea-making. Cast-mold versions of famous works are also sold as novelties at brick-and-mortar teashops but are not actively sought out.
Chadrinkincat
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:16 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:34 pm

mbanu wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:39 pm
Bok wrote:
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.

[. . .]

Those are my observations, what is the community’s take on it?

One quirk is that your average internet buyer does not like artistic pots one bit -- all plain and simple round shapes. I suspect that this is because many of these buyers are young men who want to be taken seriously in their tea-drinking, so they try to avoid anything whimsical. Part of it is also of course for cultural reasons -- a popular artistic shape is the bundle of sticks, that show that there is strength through solidarity, but a bundle of sticks has a slang meaning in America that would be immediately picked up by their friends. :)

However, the curve is bathtub-shaped. British and American auction-houses semi-regularly carry artistic Yixing that goes for quite high prices, but these are bought by art collectors who are not terribly interested in tea-making. Cast-mold versions of famous works are also sold as novelties at brick-and-mortar teashops but are not actively sought out.

Plain round pots are the most functional design for most teas and budget friendly for a decent quality example. Hence why most online buyers are looking for this type of pot.

Whimsical pots are usually less functional, tacky, too big and poorly made. The ones that are well done tend to be expensive.
Post Reply