I particularly wanted to check out a couple of new teapots before they
were exposed to tea. Many people play a lot of money for teapots
that are supposed to alter the teas' character in predictable
ways. And I finally have a few nicer teapots along with the
motley collection of cheap ones from my local teashop. So, a
teapot test, or water tasting, what have you....
six tea-brewing vessels, six matched porcelain tasting cups, one kettle
near-boiling tap water
add hot water to pots, wait about 30 seconds, pour into cups, wait
briefly for water to cool enough, drink, and ponder, what is the effect
of the vessel on the water? Or, more skeptically, what is the
effect of my expectations on my perception of the water?
From top row, left to right
Glass pitcher--the neutral standard, should not really affect the
water, nothing exciting noticed, as expected.
Tokoname kyusu, well seasoned pot used several times a week for
sencha--hint of sweet green tea is apparent from the first sip.
Chao Zhou teapot from Tea Habitat, lightly used, only for Dan Congs
--slight Dan Cong flavor, adds a hint of sharpness to the water,
surprised to see that effect with so little seasoning to date.
Bottom row, left to right
New iron-rich clay kyusu from Petr Novak--the water may be slightly
different, hint of mineral and sweet, can't wait to see what this does
with my morning sencha next!
(more pictures and info in
my flickr set
Yixing teapot, cheap and tiny (who knows if it was ever near genuine
yixing clay?), used for shu puerh--softens it a bit, did not expect
that, was that after effects of shu, or the clay?
New teapot from Seong-Il--doesn't alter the water much, seems quite
neutral, a good quality for a pot I've decided to dedicate to floral
green oolongs [addendum: later in the evening, while drinking
from the 'first time' use of the Seong-il pot, I can confirm that this
was a very good choice. Yum.]
(more pictures and info here
my flickr set
It was quite interesting, though not nearly so tasty as tea.