Mar 30, 2014

blog sale - some tea wares

Similar to the previous blog sales - 

If interested, please contact me at gingkoheight @ g m ail . com before April 11, 2014.  I will try to get all packages prepared before April 14.

Shipping is included for US addressees (with a $5 shipping refund if one buys two items), shipping to be estimated for other countries.

Shipping could be combined with Life in Teacup orders. 

All prices are lower than market prices and not correlated with our web store prices. Some of the items may be offered in Life in Teacup web store in the future, and the prices will be higher.


1. Small special shape red clay shui ping by Qian Hongfen, made in Yixing Factory #1 in 1990s for export. $52. There are 5 available for this blog sale. There will be some more available in future in our web store.

More photos are available here


It's made of red clay. The volume is about 60ml. This was a mass-export products made by Yixing Factory #1 in 1990s. Qian Hongfen is a very well known Factory #1 worker. In my impression, her works, even the commercial level ones like this teapot, are relatively well made. The craftsmanship of this teapot is not great, but generally better than mass-export products of that time. The lid fit isn't perfect, but generally not bad. And I would select the relatively better ones from the batch for sale.


A drawback of this style is that this type of stainless steel strainer would be too big to put on this teapot. This wouldn't be a problem if one prefers single hole strainer. I personally don't. If it has to be a single hole, probably large leaves are better for it, as the leaves tend to leave some space for the water flow through the single hole, so to avoid plumbing work while drinking tea. There are DIY strainer ideas that could work for this little teapot. If you do want to DIY a strainer (it's actually not that hard), this and this are some ideas (the above two aren't the right size and just serve as reference). For a slightly more complicated DIY strainer, you could refer to this webpage (probably translation is not necessary as the pictures say it quite well).





2. Special shape purple clay shui ping. Author unknown. Made for Taiwan market to mimic an earlier style (in terms of shape and stamp). $98. There are 3 available for this blog sale. There will be some more available in future in our web store.


More photos are available here.



This is a purple clay teapot, about 100-110ml. Rumors are this was a 1980s customized order. To be conservative, let's just think of it as a 1990s order. I think this is a very impressive little teapot. I currently don't have the information about who made it, but it was definitely somebody who did good work. The clay quality matches the very high quality found in pre-1990s teapots. The craftsmanship is great. The lid fit is perfect or near perfect. The shape and the square stamp are cute (I think).






3. Jingdezhen porcelain gaiwan. $18. There is one available.

More photos are available here.




The usable volume (not filled to the rim, but filled to the level of the lid rim) is about 110ml. The diameter of the bowl is 9cm (3.5 inch). For my hand size, it would be a bit large for gongfu brewing - after seeing a lot of discussions on how to use gaiwan for gongfu brewing without burning your finger, my final conclusion is, the number 1 tip is that the gaiwan is small enough relative to your palm size, and everything else is easy to handle :-p

However, I would feel comfortable using it for green tea brewing like this (this style is suitable for males too!).

The pattern is not hand painted but mimics hand painting. The painting is quite nice and the color is good. It takes a very close look to tell it's not hand painted. 




4. A xishi teapot with a broken lid, or may we call it a fairy pitcher. $24. There is one.





This poor little thing was one of our beloved 100ml di cao qing xi shi. The knob was very unfortunately broken off. It could still serve as a fairy pitcher though, if you just need one. I would send along the lid and the knob piece as well, in case you would like to do some repairing work. It's possible to stick the knob piece on with rice soup, and it could be very sturdy as long as you don't use the teapot for tea brewing (water or steam dissolves the rice "glue"). This way, you may use the teapot for tea storage. I personally use some teapots for storage of puerh and roasted oolong, with their spouts and knob holes plugged with tissue paper. It's an odd view, but works well! If you really want to glue the knob back on and use the teapot for normal brewing, you will need to be very careful about whether the glue is safe enough.



Free stuff:

1. Assorted yixing cups.
2. Small porcelain cups (about 30ml) of the similar painting style of the above gaiwan.
3. 2014 Frosty Spring Yunnan Roasted Green 7g sample.
4. 10-25g packs of 2013 green tea
1400m Huang Shan Mao Feng
750m semi wild Huang Shan Mao Feng
Jiang Xi Tribute Tea
Frosty Spring Yunnan Roasted Green
etc.

Mar 14, 2014

praying for MH370 and praying for Kunming

A pair of 2006 sheng and shu custom made for Malaysia Puerh Association, symbolized with Twin Tower of Kuala Lumpur.
Mourning on the 7th day memorial of Kunming Railway Station terrorism attack, at the square of Kunming Railway Station.

This has been a month of terror so far. The terrorism attack at Kunming Railway Station on March 1st left behind 29 dead bodies and 143 people injured. And now, after almost a week out of radar contact, the status of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 remains "missing." It is just my speculation, but at this point, I don't believe the flight is really missing, and probably all our governments have already known what happened, without letting us know (just speculation here...). I'm afraid it's another terrorism attack, although it's unclear who is behind it and which country/countries are targeted. I hope I'm wrong, but with time being, hope dwindles for the 239 passengers and crew of MH370 to survive. I wonder what really happened to MH370, and wonder how much of the truth would be released to us people eventually. But at this point, it seems that we could do nothing but praying for the 239 people on MH370.

Life moves on no matter what. Yunnan green tea has already been harvested at the 1500m site. Other green teas are coming soon. But while we move on to enjoy our lives, we shall not forget those who lost their lives.

Mar 8, 2014

2005 Xia Guan Jia Ji Tuo "green box"

Xia Guan changed the design of its green box for this Jia Ji Tuo in 2005. This is the older "green box" produced in the first part of the year. It's widely believed that this version is better than the newer "green box" produced later in 2005. I sort of agree with it.


 


Most Xia Guan tuo drinkers know there are often "gift with purchase." This time it's a little piece of clay (right in the center at the top). 


This tea has been stored in Zhuhai, Guangdong for several years. The guardian of this tea has tried all they could to lower the humidity of the storage environment, and Zhuhai is a subtropical coastline city. So the outcome is a clean storage with ample humidity.



The tea still has some hint of the signature smokey aroma of Xia Guan tuo, but not a lot of it. The liquor has become quite mild and a bit soupy. Overall it's a quite enjoyable tea, and a tea that I could drink a lot without worrying about my stomach.

In my mind, Xia Guan routine tuo products are the stars of inexpensive puerh. I generally don't drink them when they are younger than 5 years old. But after several years, when some puerh that was born in the same year with the cheap Xia Guan tuo becomes trash (you know that happens, not due to storage), Xia Guan tuo is enjoyable, and remains inexpensive, compared with other teas of the same age. On the day that I had this 2005 green box tuo, before and after this tuo, I had several samples of other 7-10 years old puerh teas that were star products since they were born, and made by celebrity tea people. Some of them are fantastic, and some are, not so great, to put it in the mildest way. And all of them are way more expensive than this Xia Guan tuo. Although this Xia Guan tuo is currently over 10 times more expensive than its own price in 2005, it was a lot cheaper than many star products in 2005, and it is a lot cheaper than most of the 9-year-old puerh today. This, I think, is something very interesting about Xia Guan routine tuo products. They are not the greatest tea. They aren't meant to be. But after some years, they become nice tea, and they could beat many teas 3 times of their price, hands down.