My New Yixing Pot
As some of you know from a previous post
, I’ve just begun my exploration of puerh teas. I’ve now sampled a few more at tea shops, and I’ve been paying special attention to preparation methods. Finally, it was time to revisit puerh, and I wanted a special pot for this. There are many web sites that sell Yixing ware, from cheaper mass market produced pots to hand-crafted artware, to expensive antique pieces. However, for this first one I wanted to touch
before buying, to see what it looked like and feel how fragile it was. Fragility scares me, since I tend towards clumsiness.
My first attempt to get to a teashop with a nice selection
was a bust. Unfortunately, our trip to to Bremerton, WA didn't go well when we found the shop closed (time to update the web site information!). I’ll go back across the Puget Sound to Bremerton sometime soon, since I’m always looking for an excuse to take that gorgeous ferry ride
. I’ll remember to call first, though.
Afterward, I continued to surf web sites and learned to recognize recurring patterns and themes. I tend to like the simple squat fat pots, but I also enjoy the stark geometric shapes of some. The pots with figures or fake wood gnarls seem too child-like to me, but I must admit that I want one with a lizard/salamander on the lid. If I ever find the perfect tea for that tiger-stripe salamander pot
, I’ll buy one. Please post if you have any suggestions for teas that might match!
My next attempt to get my hands on some tiny pots was at the tea tasting by the owners of Floating Leaves
. Luckily, they had some wonderful yixings, and I learned about subtle differences in weight and the type of filter to the spout. I was happy to purchase a small-but-stately pot that seemed to be just the right color for puerhs.
Forest Floor, a loose puerh
During the tea tasting, several attendees mentioned a favorite: Forest Floor Puerh
. One person said that often when she brews it at work, someone will ask "is it raining outside?" That description made me smile, and it made me take some home. I waited a few days while Shiuwen seasoned the pot with the Forest Floor puerh (see the Teamaster's excellent blog on preparing new yixing teapots
). Once my pot had arrived, I was ready to go. I have a makeshift gongfu setup, and I prepared water then began the brewings of this tea.
leaves before brewing
yes, that's my mac laptop behind it (needed something white)
As you can see, a very nice reddish-brown liquor is produced from this brewing. The tea is not aggressively fermented, but it has that characteristic flavor I’m beginning to appreciate. The flavor holds true even after several brewings. There are quiet notes that make me think of walking off the path and into the depth of a natural, untended forest floor. I like how this goes into the pleasant side of decay; the expanded brewed tea leaves are lacey and look like those you’d find months after the autumn fall. I suppose that’s how I think of this tea – like a winter forest.What does this have to do with dental work?
The thing that has surprised me most about the Forest Floor puerh is that my husband loves it. Right now, he is especially fond of the comforting aspect to this tea. He’s in the middle of some tough dental work, taking lots of antibiotics and pain killers, and the puerh is calming his stomach and soothing his nerves. I don’t drink tea for the health benefits, but you can’t get any better than tea that tastes good while being good for you.
So, Floating Leaves’ Forest Floor puerh
comes fully endorsed by my husband with his swollen cheek, antibiotic-gauze-stuffed tooth, and numbed-but-still-just-a-bit-painful jaw.