Saturday, May 5, 2018
A Minimalist’s Teapot Tally
Readers of this blog will know that I have been having a bit of a teapot shortage lately (here and here). I stated in a recent post that I actually own very few teapots despite a deep appreciation of them and significant immersion in learning about them in Korea.
Below is my grand tally of all the teapots I own…
Currently, I only have two working teapots:
I have this grey one from David Louveau that is aging gorgeously with use. It is quite a small pot maybe around 100ML and I use it mainly for puerh or any sample or tea that requires such a size. At first, I was a bit critical of this pot but only in use has its true nature been revealed. This pot was gifted to me by the potter himself and so is naturally very special to me. Currently, this pot sits at work for the very rare instance I have time for a gong fu session throughout the day. I love this pot.
The other is this teapot from Korean master potter Kim Kyoung Soo, it is also grey. This pot is a Korean masterpiece and I usually only use it for Korean tea. It is quite wondrous and out of all the pots I came across in Korea, I am happy to have this one. That speaks volumes considering that I was immersed in 1000s of them at that time. I have it at home but steeping puerh in it, which I have reluctantly done lately doesn’t feel right.
I used to have a cheap Shui Ping red clay Yixing teapot that I purchased in China. It is a modern pot of simple craftsmanship that could hold about little over 150-200ML I think. I used this pot at home for puerh. I had dropped it on my Korean ceramic Kim Kyoung Soo tea table and cracked the lid in half a few years ago but it was a simple break and I would easily still use it. A few months back I was trying to unclog the golf ball filter with a tooth pick and it broke off a sizable chunk of the filter. After that the uneven jagged filter became a serious problem because it would easily catch tealeaves and clog after every use and would be very hard to unclog. The back pressure would cause the lid to pop off. One day I just tossed it- it was a lost cause. Its undoing was my fault and I had the David Louveau pot above of similar size so I didn’t bother to replace it.
My family and I steeped puerh daily in my big “Gum Sa Do Yae” Zen 250ML pot, a gift from my teamaster, until its recent demise. I have posted an appreciation of this beautiful zen tea pot before.
That’s it! Just these two… that is definitely teapot minimalism!
I have used the gray Kim Kyoung Soo teapot over the last little while (here and here) to brew old aged puerh but I really feel like it is not doing the aged puerh justice so I have decided to look for a replacement for this beloved pot.
These days, in our house, we are using an old metal tea strainer and immersing the puerh tea completely into large cups before pulling out the strainer with a fork… I never thought it would come to that, but that is exactly how we drank some of the 2006 Mengku Arbour King Brick this morning and some 1990s aged Bulang a few days ago!
In a way, I feel like this is more authentic in a minimal sort of way. If there are any readers out there who steep puerh with a teacup strainer basket- you are my hero.