Friday, September 21, 2012

Metaphorical Fannings

Two lucky things happened to me today. I received a tiny teapot from Emmett along with Hoffman samples. (Korean-style grateful bow to Emmett.) It's been almost 6 years that I bought any yixing pots as I vowed to put an end to heartaches when I inevitably chip such delicate things. (I'll try extra hard Emmett!).  I'm not a, ahem ahem,  a compulsive teapot buyer and I don't want to start either because it could end up like this.  That is a serious fleet of teapots one can be proud of.  Probably my collection would not be as tasteful as MarshalN's as I'm a sucker for pumpkin and gourd pots liberally decorated with clay insects.

I often thumb through a fantastic photo book called Material World where they take photographs of average families around the world with all their possessions.  The man from Mali has little but he is smiling big because he has two wives.  The Kuwaiti family has perhaps the craziest ottoman sofa that is longer than the length of my house.

I often wonder if I should also take out all my tea stuff and take an honest candid photo. Nothing makes you confront exactly how much tea you do have. Ira once said to me, "You have a lot of tea". I got flustered and denied any such thing.  Compared to the "heavies", my tea load is light!  I think if I had to lift all the teas I owned, I could do it!  I think.

From my survey, you can see there's quite a few of you that probably could not pick up all your teas in one go.  If think if my house was burning, I would not bother taking tea at all. But there may be some of you who could not let some precious aged beengs burn.

On to my second lucky thing.  Earlier today, I looked out the window while interviewing a candidate and saw the Endeavour passing by from our new office. Actually the office was closed and only a few of us were there so it felt like a special treat.

We immediately ran to the veranda to see it loop back around. You can barely see a tiny dot near the American flag. The new digs have lovely views of the bay but much less shelf space.  I may have to make do with a simple tea tray and two teapots max.


  1. Yeah I can relate to your mixed feelings about yixing pots as to be quite honest every yixing pot that I have bought has been a disappointment. After spending around 3 years of daily brewing shu in my shu pot which I had help from a more knowledgeable friend to get one out of the right type of clay to match with shu, I was devastated to find out that my gaiwan produced better tasting shu than my so called well seasoned shu pot. So now I will not be buying another yixing pot but only gaiwans and maybe a small ceramic or glass pot for when I want to use a pot.

    The Material World and the other books in the series are some of my personal favorites so I can relate to your wondering about how it would look like for our teaware. If others are taking part in it I would be all the more willing to take part in a show us all your teaware (or tea and teaware for the really brave). And when we are at it maybe pictures of our everyday tea brewing setup could be interesting to see as well. I'll be honest and admit that one of the things that I enjoy most about tea blogs is seeing the teaware and brewing setups that other tea drinkers use.

    1. Me too John. I love seeing other drinker's setup and how they manage to fit pu-erh stash into their domestic lives. I also love seeing what's in people's kitchens and especially in their refrigerator.

      I've found shu does best with my ceramic pots but shengs however benefit from softening in a yixing.

      (p.s. I really have to get your trade together this year I promise.)