Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tale of a Teapot

Teapots from Yixing are made with porous clay suitable for slowly absorbing flavors. With frequent enough infusion of, say, an excellent aged pu-er, the Yixing will come to smell like the tea and impart the flavor to future steepings. This sounds great. Unfortunately, pores don't discriminate. I purchased the (very cheap) pot above from ebay. It came quickly and with a rank warehouse smell. I was distressed. I rinsed and aired out the pot. Still bad. I simmered the pot for a few minutes. Still nasty. A day and a half of additional experiments didn't cure the smell. Eventually I simmered the pot for about an hour with some excellent oolong. Finally, the scent of storage had been replaced with the scent of oolong. I tested the pot, tasting water from the pot alongside water from other pots and there was no discernable difference. The moral of the story: don't trust just anybody on ebay. From now on I only get pots from dealers I trust.

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