I was drinking my early morning pot of green tea when a thought occurred – I’d only used the tea boat from the clay teaware collection I picked up in Stockholm last month. The teapot, fairness cup / tea pitcher, and those teacups all remained untested.
True, I’d done a rudimentary pour test using cold water with the teapot, but I felt that perhaps I should give it the benefit of the doubt and see how it performed with hot water and tea inside it.
I had time to kill, so got the kettle on, and rinsed all the bits and pieces off in warm water, to ensure any loose clay particles or dust were removed.
With a more expensive / better quality pot I would of course take the time to season it properly, but with a cheap and cheerful item like this that seemed a bit over the top.
I decided that using one of the better quality teas with it at this testing stage was a bit risky, so after a rummage through the tea cupboard hit upon the idea of trying it out with a mini Pu-erh beeng cha. The 3g disk was just about perfect for the 100ml capacity of the pot.
Once the kettle boiled, I set to work.
The teapot leaked a bit around the lid when pouring, but once I found out that the best technique involved getting it into a vertical position as quickly as possible over the pitcher, then that hardly seemed to matter. Any lid leakage simply ran down the spout and into the pitcher.
To ensure a good, clean infusion as well as a fast, even pour I used a tea-tool to even out the layer of leaves in the bottom of the pot and keep the spout unblocked between steepings.
I’d read that unglazed clay tea pitchers can cause the temperature of the finished tea to drop rather quickly, and that was the case here. If you were serving to many guests, that wouldn’t be a problem, as the tea would soon be out of the pitcher and into the cups before it cooled down too much, but if serving to 1 or 2 people, then you’d quickly notice the 2nd or 3rd cup had cooled down a little too much.
The cups themselves at 20ml were perhaps just a little on the small size to comfortably drink the tea in the usual three sips demanded by gong fu etiquette.
The pot and pitcher didn’t seem to have affected the taste of the tea in any harmful way.
All in all pretty well much what I expected for the price. Nothing you’d pull out to impress guests, but still OK for when you fancy a change in your usual tea-making routine.