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A teapot comparison

my first attempt at distinguishing the effects of different pots and clays on the water used to brew tea, inspired by this video from HojoTea.  I make  no pretense to being totally objective or blinded here, and how much of this is due to the effect of the teapot on the water vs my perception or bias is really uncertain.  I am certainly not an expert here, nor am I trying to sell you a teapot, although subconsciously I might be trying to justify the teapots I have bought!

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 of 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 in my flickr set)

It was quite interesting, though not nearly so tasty as tea.

But afterwards, I had a delightful first session with my kyusu, for sencha, and later, brewed up a first Tie Guan Yin in the little Seong-il teapot, and both performed wonderfully.

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