5 things to buy when starting with tea

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Admar
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Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:10 am

My starting contribution into blogging: 5 things to buy when starting with tea

Yes I know it features all products I have in my shop and it all seems a little clickbaity. Thats why I also included a free/budget option with every item.

Enjoy!
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debunix
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Mon Dec 05, 2022 12:05 pm

That's a good conversation starter, but I do not agree with all of the items for a beginning tea drinker. Specifically, I disagree with the assumption that a puerh pick and tea tray for puerh are needed by a beginner....although I happened to have perfectly adequate kitchen tools that have continued to be sufficient, tools that might not be part of everyone's collection (a very sturdy but not ultra sharp paring knife, the chocolate breaker/chipper), and I use a clean dishpan to contain the fines when breaking the puerh.

Yixing is a rabbit hole may people will find their way to, but that also may put off others. I'd not put that in suggestions for beginners. A simple glazed gaiwan does plenty to get one started, and most of my tastings start with the glazed porcelain gaiwans before moving on to dedicated unglazed pots. Yes, there are differences in the perfectly matched pot and tea vs the glazed porcelain gaiwan, but those seem appropriate for those who are already comfortable with basic brewing times/temps/quantities etc.

Finally, I dispute the contention that there is anything inferior in an electric kettle vs manual kettle on a range. They are different, and different skillsets are needed when brewing teas with variable temperature requirements with a kettle that does not control the temp for you, but I avoided tea exploration for a decade and more because of too many failures when using a manual kettle that just boiled water. A thermometer helped, but I threw out a lot of green teas as undrinkable before I got a variable temp electric kettle. And the electric kettle frees me to enjoy & share tea in environments without a nearby stove (e.g., the office). Not everyone needs the variable temp, but I'd never discourage anyone from using one.
DailyTX
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Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:36 pm

I would probably buy a porcelain brewing vessel (teapot or gaiwan), a cup I like, and 3 samples of tea I am interested in. The article seems more tailor to people who like puerh.
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Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:14 pm

First off, thank you for the replies. And I totally agree with the arguments about porcelain and electric kettles. And I see it is pretty unclear now.
Writing a blog like this is a time consuming process and alot of idea's paragraphs and titles get rewritten several times over.
The original idea for the title of this piece was "5 things I would instabuy if I had to start over with tea". If my house caught fire and all was lost, what would I start buying? This title was too long so I shortend it to "5 things to buy when starting with tea".
I kept the intro, where I explain this is the list I would personally buy if I would have to start over.

But thank you for noting this is not clear, I will see if I'll update this tomorrow, its getting late here :)
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Bok
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Mon Dec 05, 2022 6:18 pm

+1 @debunix good summary and counterpoint. Especially Yixing, I would recommend to stay away as long as possible for beginners until things become clearer in terms of general tea preference and brewing methods. Too easy to get confused and distracted.

Porcelain as a beginners material is probably ideal. Better than any clay, Chinese, Japanese or other. Most beginners choices for teaware will be regretted at a later stage and might lead to the wrong conclusions early in the voyage.

And of course, no gimmicks needed! A screw driver or ice pick will suffice or even work better than any fancy pick you buy before finding out that you really don't like Puerh actually... not even mentioning that a beginner probably should not buy a cake of anything...
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debunix
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Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:52 pm

'Five things I wish I'd had when I started out with puerh' does make a lot more sense.

I do recall that the very first confrontation with an intact cake of puerh was a bit intimidating. It was a moderately compressed shou, and it came in a presentation box the help to control the mess as I struggled to break off chunks without shredding myself or turning the leaves to dust. I rarely brew puerh with anything other than water just have to boil, or as close as I can get to actual boiling, so the electric kettle's value to me during puerh sessions is primarily that it frees me from sitting by the stove.
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aet
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Tue Dec 06, 2022 8:53 pm

sorry for being so negative , but I think , non of it you need at all ;D

1. tea tray - unless you are buying hard pressed bricks or tuos , you can easily chip of the cake without damaging your table or hurt your self.
2. puerh pick - as already mentioned here , can do with any kitchen tool / knife , srewdriver and so on.
3. teapot - and definetly not the clay one! I agree with porcelain gaiwan, because porcelain dosnt lie and gaiwan will show you what you brew. And can use 1 for all teas you have.
4. scoop - is good for photographing the tea or presentation, I see no reason why not look at the tea in your hand or on paper wraper when chipping the cake.
5. stainless stell kettle - can be also the glass one but yes , probably better then those traditional plastic ones ( yet , I haven't done any test what is the taste difference in tea )

So in my opinion , you need just good water, porcelain tea ware and good tea!
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Wed Dec 07, 2022 5:48 am

aet wrote:
Tue Dec 06, 2022 8:53 pm
sorry for being so negative , but I think , non of it you need at all ;D

1. tea tray - unless you are buying hard pressed bricks or tuos , you can easily chip of the cake without damaging your table or hurt your self.
2. puerh pick - as already mentioned here , can do with any kitchen tool / knife , srewdriver and so on.
3. teapot - and definetly not the clay one! I agree with porcelain gaiwan, because porcelain dosnt lie and gaiwan will show you what you brew. And can use 1 for all teas you have.
4. scoop - is good for photographing the tea or presentation, I see no reason why not look at the tea in your hand or on paper wraper when chipping the cake.
5. stainless stell kettle - can be also the glass one but yes , probably better then those traditional plastic ones ( yet , I haven't done any test what is the taste difference in tea )

So in my opinion , you need just good water, porcelain tea ware and good tea!
I agree with the water, porcelain and tea for newbies! To supplement my last "late night" awnser. The origional title of the article was actually something like: "5 things I would instabuy when starting over with tea that you don't need". Again horrible long title, again need to look at the title at another time :)

And remember, this is written as a personal list, not general advice for newbies.

1. I like a tea tray :)
2. Yes I already said in the article that you can use screwdrivers etc (havent edited the post at all since posting here)
3. Yes, not for newbies :)
4. I like a scoop!
5 steel is better that glass. I have a glass kettle and it is sort of ok with some teas but horrible with some.
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debunix
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Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:03 am

I also love this type of larger wooden tea scoop because it gives me a nice visual cue, for how much tea I am adding to a brewing vessel, and it makes it simple to get the tea into the brewing vessel, and it looks good in photographs as a background for the tea. Shiny white porcelain versions are difficult to expose correctly with dark tea leaves, and a couple of very nice matte were neutral, looking versions that were specially made for me eventually broke with consistent use.

So I love my nice wooden scoops.
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Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:54 pm

Changed the title of the blogpost to "5 things I would buy if re-starting in tea".
Changed the intro to make it extra clear it is a personal list.
Added an extra section with what would change when I would write it for new people.

Thank you guys (and girls) for the suggestions!

Hugs!
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