Jan 3, 2009

a straight hole (no strainer) little teapot

So I got this little teapot, and love its structure. It has perfect alignment of everything, pours water very well and rapidly, and no leaking/dripping at the spout even with hot water (I've seen some pots doing well with cold water but still drips a little with hot water). I don't know much about clay texture, but guess it's not anything bad. I am not sure if I like the engraving or not, but overall think it's a cute little teapot.

It says, Subtle fragrance fills the entire space.

This is, hum... magnolia? I guess.

But, it has only a straight hole toward the spout, without strainer of any kind. Friends recommended the little stainless steel strainer with a hook to be attached from inside to the spout. The idea didn't appeal me much. If the pot was not built with a strainer, why should I give it a strainer. I heard in old days, straight-hole teapots were quite common. So there must be some teas that fit straight-hole teapots.

For mine, I tried oolong first, thinking big leaves can't easily escape from the hole. A simple-minded mistake! Oolong leaves clog the hole easily, and I couldn barely finish the second infusion.

Then I thought, probably it was meant to be for jasmine green. Jasmine green is one of the few kinds of green that you may want to use a covered cup for, to prevent the fragrance from escaping. I hesitated a bit, because for most greens, I like to use a glass. By using a yixing teapot, I would miss the tea leaf dance part. But I tried jasmine green anyway. I used Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snowflakes on Green Lake, 碧潭飄雪). It turned out almost good, but not entirely. Green tea leaves did stay put at the bottom and not clog the hole. However it was the jasmine patels that clogged the hole from time to time. When the patels escape to the cup, it was very nice to have a few petals in the fragrant tea water. But when they stay in the spout hole, they block the water flow. Then after the first 2 infusions, when all the petals had escaped, the water flow was good.

But I don't want to deal with the petal clogging hole problem in my tea drinking. I believe the pot would be perfect for a jasmine green without petals, or for some heat-tolerant high mountain green tea. But among all jasmine green, the one with jasmine patels is my favorite. And for most of my green, I am obssessed with the tea leaf dance, which can only be seen with a glass vessel. So finally I decided to use the little pot for my Keemun red tea. Simialr to the green, the small red tea leaves stay put at the bottom of the pot, and escape of a few leaves won't cause clogging. So far I like it very much having Keemun in this little pot! Normally I prefer a glass/cup without a cover for keemen. I found covered vessel with high temperature cause less fragrance and sometimes over-brewed bitter. But so far the little pot works fine, I guess, because it's small and doesn't retain too much heat to over-do the tea. It's 150ml size is also very convenient for individual use. So I am loving my little straight-hole pot and happy to have Keemun with it :D
(The other pot is my new pot taking hot shower before it's put in use.)

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