Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Old 19-06-2005, 09:07 PM
Robert Gill
 
Posts: n/a
Default Looking to get a yixing pot for puerh.

Hi,

I've been haunting this group for a little while now. So I've decided
to ask a question and introduce myself. I've recently gotten into tea a
couple of months ago and as of now I have two yixing tea pots. One
little 6oz pot that I use for wulong and a 10oz pot I use for Chinese
red teas, lapsang souchong, European blends and other dark teas. It's
kinda my catch-all pot. I recently got a sample of puerh and I think
they should have their own pot. Does anyone have any suggestions as to
what size pot I should use and where I could find a good one?

Robert

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Old 20-06-2005, 05:48 AM
Alex Chaihorsky
 
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Default

Anything touched by Lapsang Souchong is forever Lapsang Souchong.

Sasha.

"Robert Gill" wrote in message
tte.lan...
Hi,

I've been haunting this group for a little while now. So I've decided
to ask a question and introduce myself. I've recently gotten into tea a
couple of months ago and as of now I have two yixing tea pots. One
little 6oz pot that I use for wulong and a 10oz pot I use for Chinese
red teas, lapsang souchong, European blends and other dark teas. It's
kinda my catch-all pot. I recently got a sample of puerh and I think
they should have their own pot. Does anyone have any suggestions as to
what size pot I should use and where I could find a good one?

Robert



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Old 20-06-2005, 07:16 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Zhuhai, GuangDong Province, PRC
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Gill
Hi,

I've been haunting this group for a little while now. So I've decided
to ask a question and introduce myself. I've recently gotten into tea a
couple of months ago and as of now I have two yixing tea pots. One
little 6oz pot that I use for wulong and a 10oz pot I use for Chinese
red teas, lapsang souchong, European blends and other dark teas. It's
kinda my catch-all pot. I recently got a sample of puerh and I think
they should have their own pot. Does anyone have any suggestions as to
what size pot I should use and where I could find a good one?

Robert
Hello Gill,
I have been watching this and other newsletters for some time, but have been too busy to be active, so this is a bit of an introduction for me as well. I am an American businessman who lives in China, my wife and family here are Cantonese, and I make my living selling tea, teaware, art, and other things of Chinese origin. I have recently begun putting together a web site to expand my company into the states. Nuff said on that end.

In response to your query I have a few things to say and can probably help you out. First of all, there is a substantial amount of good information on tea, teapots, etcetera in the states but... the amount of misinformation, myth, and fallacy circulating is also epidemic. I can tell by your post that you are a beginner so bear with me a moment while I comment on your dilema. It is not uncommon. There are many things about tea and teapots that are almost impossible to learn outside of China. In all likelihood you are using poor teapots and tea. Don't feel bad. Most people cannot tell a good tea from a bad one and the same goes for teapots. Most people don't even realize that GongFuCha is the only way to actually all the health benefits of tea they so highly value (most brewing destroys these things or never makes them available even when you start with a good tea). There are far too many things to say about this for a post like this. More later if you wish.

One of the things I will be offering on the website is a series of e-books that explain good tea, teapots, and GonFuCha in detail and how an American (or anyone else) can get the highest quality and not get ripped off. I will also have a selection of 100 teapots I give away for only a five dollar handling charge and shipping. These teapots currently sell for 50-100 dollars US on line (cheaper teapots are an almost guaranteed rip off). I do this to make a point. Most people are getting ripped off. I will also be giving away cakes of good investment Puer on the same basis. Same point. The books will come out over the next several months as I complete the surveys, finish the site, and make sure the business is ready for the market.

Now to how I may be able to help you out. I have a small collection of teapots (not my personal collection) I have used to create the visual portion of the e-book for how to know the "perfect teapot". I collect and sell teapots, so I often have a good seasoned teapot for sale. More to the point, one of the teapots I used for the e-book is an exceptional teapot I currently use for my own Puer (my personal favorite tea). This teapot is one of four matching teapots I used for comparison purposes. As a matter of fact XiaoLing (my wife) is using it to pao Puer for me while I write this. It is a traditional eight jewel yixing four cup done by the ChaoZhou artist Chang Tai Yuan. It is almost perfect (98%). The other three are copies of his work that are exceptional, but seriously fail at least one test for a perfect pot. There is a twelve animal, dragon/phoenix, and four season in the less than perfect pot group. The less than perfect group are also four cup pots and their flaws will have little effect on brewing tea. The flaws are in such things as the handwork of the art, though they do have very minor brewing flaws (they are still far superior to what most Americans pao tea in). Most people couldn't tell any quality difference between them and the perfect pot. As I said, the eight jewel is Puer seasoned, but the only other one that is seasoned is the dragon/phoenix (Tie Guan Yin). My wifes' favorite tea.

I intend to value pots significantly different to what most are used to seeing in the states. I will give you the benefit of that, but don't be surprised that these are not "cheap" teapots. Teapots like the almost perfect eight jewel sell in the states for 500-1k US. Mine is priced at $250 US plus shipping and insurance (I strongly suggest that you insure it). The not perfect (but very high quality copies) would normally be presented as being the same as the eight jewel in the states, but priced as bargains for between 300-1k US (sucks but true). I value mine at 50-100 dollars US plus shipping and insurance depending on the quality of the pot. I only sell high quality pots. I give the other stuff away(you only get really good tea from them by accident anyway). If you buy one of my pots I send you a cake of good quality "green" Menghai Puer that is suitable for investment. That means that if properly stored it will be worth 200-400 dollars (at current American market prices) in 2-4 years. If you can keep from drinking it that long. It will be pretty good tea in a year or two.

I know some people may scream when they see these prices, but it is true that truly high quality teapots rarely leave China and when they do its often an accident. Even the worst potters and factories (most yixing teapots sold in the states are factory regardless of what anyone says) accidentally produce a good teapot from time to time. Some factories manage to produce teapots that are reasonably consistant in their brewing capacities. It is impossible to completely test a teapot for full quality, however, in a factory and I know of none who test at all. Only hand made teapots by competent artists are consistantly high quality. You will pay for that anywhere in the world.

By the way. Factory teapots are all industrial grade clay (thats right, there is more than one grade of yixing clay and many varieties of both grades) which means the brewing quality of the pots made from it are substandard before it even becomes a pot.

I hope I have not discouraged you too much. Drinking good tea is a great pleasure in life that can bring you a great deal of contentment. If you become educated you can even make a good living anywhere people drink tea (the only thing in the world people drink more than tea is water). The reason I am getting into the American market is to help people do just that. Be educated and content in a profitable (in many ways) pursuit of good tea. Let me know if you are interested in the pots or just have some questions. I intend to be consistantly active here. And good luck with your search. I hope you learn to enjoy and appreciate "good" tea as much as I have.
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Old 20-06-2005, 10:15 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default

My understanding is that smaller tea pots are considered superior. Why
this is I don't know. Perhaps because the greater ratio of surface area
to volume assures greater absorbtion of flavours in the clay. Who
knows.

My recomendation is to try to find your tea pot in an asian market. My
experience is that they are substantially cheaper there than in the
upscale or online vendors where they are usually to be found. It's
usually hit and miss in these places. You are also unlikely to find
more elaborately designed ones. I recently picked up a whole yixing set
for $25. Pretty standard, but it work. Just make sure to season it good
(see other postings for seasing tips!).

Best Regards,
Nico

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Old 20-06-2005, 12:09 PM
Michael Plant
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Alex igy.com6/20/05


Anything touched by Lapsang Souchong is forever Lapsang Souchong.

Sasha.



Hear Here!!!




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Old 20-06-2005, 02:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Zhuhai, GuangDong Province, PRC
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by
My understanding is that smaller tea pots are considered superior. Why
this is I don't know. Perhaps because the greater ratio of surface area
to volume assures greater absorbtion of flavours in the clay. Who
knows.

My recomendation is to try to find your tea pot in an asian market. My
experience is that they are substantially cheaper there than in the
upscale or online vendors where they are usually to be found. It's
usually hit and miss in these places. You are also unlikely to find
more elaborately designed ones. I recently picked up a whole yixing set
for $25. Pretty standard, but it work. Just make sure to season it good
(see other postings for seasing tips!).

Best Regards,
Nico
Just got in from work and saw your post Nico. You are right about smaller teapots being preferable, but I have to disagree on the pot purchase idea. Espeacially if Robert wants to brew good quality puer.

Small teapots are preferable for brewing properly. Any yixing clay will absorb flavor and a seperate teapot for each type you drink is a good idea. The reason small teapots are preferable is all brewing related. Yixing clay has specific heat retention qualities and the pots were designed to maximize this benefit in GonFuCha. Good ones are not glazed because it ruins these qualities. The best ones are two to six cup pots that are thin walled. They need to be thin walled so there is not enough clay to cause thermal lag to also ruin the heat retention (and therefore brewing) quality of the pot. Good quality clay in a good pot will have a good high "ring" when you tap the lid on the handle. It needs to be small because if you pao your tea correctly you can only serve so many people before your time consumption in serving affects the tea adversely.

Someone who can pao tea well and has a good pot will get consistant brewing results with better tea and use less tea to get more quality paos. A cheap pot is not a bargain as it uses more tea for fewer paos and gives inconsistant brewing which makes it impossible to consistantly brew tea to its average (let alone fullest) potential. It is also hard to learn how to pao tea well (or appreciate the brew) without a good pot. You will miss some very good teas as well if they are incorrectly brewed and you can do nothing about it because of your pot.

There is a lot more to it, though it is not complicated. Its just not commonly known in the states. Basically, what i'm saying is that for a serious tea drinker investing in a good pot and learning to pao with it is almost essential and nothing compared to what they will spend in the years ahead on guessing about tea.

I hope my comments are helpful. I'm not trying to sell upscale teapots for a fast buck. The set you are talking about is probably like many sets you can buy in any supermarket in Zhuhai where I live. Mostly new couples or young people buy them when they can't afford anything else. They are factory made, industrial quality yixing, cost about 25 RMB ($3 US), and are discarded as soon as they can afford better. I'm not trying to be insulting. Just the opposite. Most Americans simply don't know. I'm just trying to help. I have many Chinese relatives (some of whom have asian markets in the states) and those folks are not trying to rip you off either. They simply sell what people ask for and no one knows how to ask for a good pot.

Sincerely, Dan
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Old 20-06-2005, 03:53 PM
Mike Petro
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Renny wrote:
If you buy one of my pots I send you a cake of good quality
"green" Menghai Puer that is suitable for investment. That means that
if properly stored it will be worth 200-400 dollars (at current
American market prices) in 2-4 years. If you can keep from drinking it
that long. It will be pretty good tea in a year or two.


Renny, now it is you who is spreading misinformation. There is now way
that a 2-4 year old green cake of authentic Menghai, yes I know there
are many fakes, would sell for $200-$400 here. There *may* be a few
vendors dishonest enough to try to do that but they are clearly ripping
people off. I do not know where you are getting your "American Market
Prices" from but you are being misled if this is what you believe.

Your information on teapots is much more believable and in line with
what I have learned from other sources. What is your website address
please?

Sincerely,
Mike Petro
http://www.pu-erh.net
"This Web Site chronicles a Westerner's quest to discover, and publish,
the truth about Puerh. I attempt to dispel the myths, and educate the
English speaking public, about this wonderful and mysterious variety of
tea."

  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 20-06-2005, 04:38 PM
Scott Dorsey
 
Posts: n/a
Default

wrote:
knows.

My recomendation is to try to find your tea pot in an asian market. My
experience is that they are substantially cheaper there than in the
upscale or online vendors where they are usually to be found. It's
usually hit and miss in these places. You are also unlikely to find
more elaborately designed ones. I recently picked up a whole yixing set
for $25. Pretty standard, but it work. Just make sure to season it good
(see other postings for seasing tips!).


You should be aware that what you have is _probably_ not a real yixing pot.
Most of the inexpensive pots out there are not.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #10 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 20-06-2005, 05:11 PM
Lewis Perin
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Renny writes:

[...]

Most people don't even realize that GongFuCha is the only way to
actually


(Insert your favorite verb here, I suppose)

all the health benefits of tea they so highly value (most brewing
destroys these things or never makes them available even when you
start with a good tea).


I'm having trouble thinking of a way to complete this sentence to make
it true. Any suggestions?

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html


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Old 20-06-2005, 05:15 PM
Eric Jorgensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 20 Jun 2005 12:11:07 -0400
Lewis Perin wrote:

Renny writes:

[...]

Most people don't even realize that GongFuCha is the only way to
actually


(Insert your favorite verb here, I suppose)

all the health benefits of tea they so highly value (most brewing
destroys these things or never makes them available even when you
start with a good tea).


I'm having trouble thinking of a way to complete this sentence to make
it true. Any suggestions?



I think the only failsafe method of getting all the health benefits from
your pu-erh or any other tea is to pulverize it into a fine powder and
snort it up your nose.
  #12 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 20-06-2005, 05:30 PM
Space Cowboy
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I can get a red clay gongfu set teapot,gaiwan,cups,boat with tray for
$10. I've seen the cheap yixing sets with four cups, 100ml pot and
bamboo style serving tray for $30. It's not the desired zisha. You
can buy cheap yixing clay made from factory molds. My local art museum
still carries certified yixing pots in the $30-$100 range. You pay
more for the potter's mark than the clay.

Jim

Scott Dorsey wrote:
wrote:
knows.

My recomendation is to try to find your tea pot in an asian market. My
experience is that they are substantially cheaper there than in the
upscale or online vendors where they are usually to be found. It's
usually hit and miss in these places. You are also unlikely to find
more elaborately designed ones. I recently picked up a whole yixing set
for $25. Pretty standard, but it work. Just make sure to season it good
(see other postings for seasing tips!).


You should be aware that what you have is _probably_ not a real yixing pot.
Most of the inexpensive pots out there are not.
--scott


  #13 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 20-06-2005, 06:01 PM
Space Cowboy
 
Posts: n/a
Default

TaoBao sells mid nineties Menghai for $30. In general you add a buck a
year to the original price for each year of aging. The really
expensive pu on TaoBao is from limited production and not aging. If
you pay more than penny/gram for pu'rh then caveat emptor. Then is
still plenty of Xiaguan Millennium 100g green tuocha in Chinatown for a
buck.

Jim

Mike Petro wrote:
Renny wrote:
If you buy one of my pots I send you a cake of good quality
"green" Menghai Puer that is suitable for investment. That means that
if properly stored it will be worth 200-400 dollars (at current
American market prices) in 2-4 years. If you can keep from drinking it
that long. It will be pretty good tea in a year or two.


Renny, now it is you who is spreading misinformation. There is now way
that a 2-4 year old green cake of authentic Menghai, yes I know there
are many fakes, would sell for $200-$400 here. There *may* be a few
vendors dishonest enough to try to do that but they are clearly ripping
people off. I do not know where you are getting your "American Market
Prices" from but you are being misled if this is what you believe.

Your information on teapots is much more believable and in line with
what I have learned from other sources. What is your website address
please?

Sincerely,
Mike Petro


  #14 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 20-06-2005, 07:04 PM
Mike Petro
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Jim, I have to disagree with your generalization as well. By your logic
a 1960s cake would sell for $50 or less. That is simply not accurate. I
have seen 1960s Guang Yun Gong cakes sell for $800 and I have seen
1960s Red Label sell for $3,000 both of which were at legitimate
auctions in China frequented by professional collectors, and these are
NOT the extremes by any account. If someone offers you a 1960s cake for
$50 you better look elsewhere!

In my limited experience the market value of puerh is based on several
factors:

1) The factories reputation
2) The production recipe used
3) How well the cake was stored
4) The quality of production that year
5) The quantity of the crop in the given year
6) The reputation for that particular vintage/recipe.
7) Other factors such as limited edition batches etc
8) What the market will bear......


I would say that a high quality cake, that has proven to mature well,
from a well known factory, in an average production year, will increase
anywhere from 10% - 25% *per year* in the current market. Much of this
value is due to the surging popularity of puerh in Hong Kong and Taiwan
over the last 20 years, as well as the fact that well aged pu-erh has
become a status symbol for the rapidly emerging Chinese middle Class.

Mike
http://www.pu-erh.net


Space Cowboy wrote:
TaoBao sells mid nineties Menghai for $30. In general you add a buck a
year to the original price for each year of aging. The really
expensive pu on TaoBao is from limited production and not aging. If
you pay more than penny/gram for pu'rh then caveat emptor. Then is
still plenty of Xiaguan Millennium 100g green tuocha in Chinatown for a
buck.

Jim

Mike Petro wrote:
Renny wrote:
If you buy one of my pots I send you a cake of good quality
"green" Menghai Puer that is suitable for investment. That means that
if properly stored it will be worth 200-400 dollars (at current
American market prices) in 2-4 years. If you can keep from drinking it
that long. It will be pretty good tea in a year or two.


Renny, now it is you who is spreading misinformation. There is now way
that a 2-4 year old green cake of authentic Menghai, yes I know there
are many fakes, would sell for $200-$400 here. There *may* be a few
vendors dishonest enough to try to do that but they are clearly ripping
people off. I do not know where you are getting your "American Market
Prices" from but you are being misled if this is what you believe.

Your information on teapots is much more believable and in line with
what I have learned from other sources. What is your website address
please?

Sincerely,
Mike Petro


  #15 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 20-06-2005, 08:48 PM
Space Cowboy
 
Posts: n/a
Default

TaoBao is a market place where you can check prices in the current
Chinese economy. I've been doing that since I found it. All I'm
saying you can find plenty of 10 year pu for $30. Most 2004 300g beeng
I've seen is just $10. You can find prices more expensive than you
quote but nothing more than limited availability. If I'm in China and
show the appreciation you mention then I'm done sitting in front of the
penny stock exhange investing in my retirement because the government
won't take care of me anymore. I think to pretend that there is any
real market for aged pu is misinformation. The high pricing is based
on limited collectors and not demand. I haven't seen any of the big
ticket items on TaoBao sell. You know pu produced before the modern
production process in the early seventies is the demand and not the
age. I've come across Chinese webpages translated by Google and it
seems the accounts of prices at auction are inflated ie it's like
Christie's the minimum bid isn't met. I do my own collecting of
several genre and the real collector doesn't pay the asking price and
doesn't resell. In other words there is little profit in collecting.
I expect to get my money back with a small profit but the possession is
more important than the profit. From what I've seen Pu investment is
the Chinese version of the Beanie Baby. I think the new wealth of
China is investing in nostalgia with something different tomorrow.

Jim

Mike Petro wrote:
Jim, I have to disagree with your generalization as well. By your logic
a 1960s cake would sell for $50 or less. That is simply not accurate. I
have seen 1960s Guang Yun Gong cakes sell for $800 and I have seen
1960s Red Label sell for $3,000 both of which were at legitimate
auctions in China frequented by professional collectors, and these are
NOT the extremes by any account. If someone offers you a 1960s cake for
$50 you better look elsewhere!

In my limited experience the market value of puerh is based on several
factors:

1) The factories reputation
2) The production recipe used
3) How well the cake was stored
4) The quality of production that year
5) The quantity of the crop in the given year
6) The reputation for that particular vintage/recipe.
7) Other factors such as limited edition batches etc
8) What the market will bear......


I would say that a high quality cake, that has proven to mature well,
from a well known factory, in an average production year, will increase
anywhere from 10% - 25% *per year* in the current market. Much of this
value is due to the surging popularity of puerh in Hong Kong and Taiwan
over the last 20 years, as well as the fact that well aged pu-erh has
become a status symbol for the rapidly emerging Chinese middle Class.

Mike
http://www.pu-erh.net


Space Cowboy wrote:
TaoBao sells mid nineties Menghai for $30. In general you add a buck a
year to the original price for each year of aging. The really
expensive pu on TaoBao is from limited production and not aging. If
you pay more than penny/gram for pu'rh then caveat emptor. Then is
still plenty of Xiaguan Millennium 100g green tuocha in Chinatown for a
buck.

Jim

Mike Petro wrote:
Renny wrote:
If you buy one of my pots I send you a cake of good quality
"green" Menghai Puer that is suitable for investment. That means that
if properly stored it will be worth 200-400 dollars (at current
American market prices) in 2-4 years. If you can keep from drinking it
that long. It will be pretty good tea in a year or two.

Renny, now it is you who is spreading misinformation. There is now way
that a 2-4 year old green cake of authentic Menghai, yes I know there
are many fakes, would sell for $200-$400 here. There *may* be a few
vendors dishonest enough to try to do that but they are clearly ripping
people off. I do not know where you are getting your "American Market
Prices" from but you are being misled if this is what you believe.

Your information on teapots is much more believable and in line with
what I have learned from other sources. What is your website address
please?

Sincerely,
Mike Petro




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