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Richard Kilgore

Let's See Your Teaware!

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Let's see your teaware - cups, teapots and all types of tea-things from around the world.

To start off, here are a few Yixing tea pots from Yixing China. Each pots gets dedicated to a specific tea or at least a narrow range of teas, such as Dan Cong Oolongs or Shu Pu-ehr.

gallery_7582_6250_10112.jpg

So, what do you use to brew and drink your tea?

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OK, tea porn it is!

tools024.jpg

This is my daily puerh service, the tepots (from left to right) are used for old puerhs (20yrs+), raw puerh, and the largest is for cooked puerh.

However I have many more pots for other teas as seen below. The trunk is full to the brim with puerh btw, it is but one of several stashes scattered about the house, it contains my raw fangcha and tuocha pieces.

tools026.jpg

This is my portable tea service, I use a gaiwan in it so that it can be used for any type of tea. I call it my "Briefcase full o' puerh".

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__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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I use it for breaking up puerh cakes and bricks. The Chinese have a variety of "puerh knives' that are a bit smaller, but I find the oyster knife fits well in my hand and serves the purpose quite nicely.


__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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I really like your small travel tea tray. Where did you get it?

I got it from Seb at Jing Teashop. It was a special order as it is not something he stocks. http://www.jingteashop.com/ or find them on eBay.

Thanks, Mike. Do they also have an eBay store or do you mean other vendors on eBay?

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Mike - the trunk you store some of your pu in seems like a great idea. Do you have to do anything to adjust the humidity level in it?

No, not really needed in my case though as I keep it in my basement where I have a 150 gallon fish tank which helps keep the humidity up.

However, it is easy to control an enclosed space like that to maintain 70% humidity. Mix glycol and distilled water half and half and then soak cat litter crystals, or a sponge, or polyacrylamide crystals, or anything absorbent in this mixture. Place the absorbent in an enclosed space and it will self regulate to roughly 70%, naturally you need to size the absorbent mixture according to the square footage you are trying to regulate but about 1.5 cups of crystal absorbent will easily maintain the space in my trunk. The glycol will not evaporate so all you need to do is add distilled water until the absorbent is fully saturated when the humidity starts dropping. You only need to add the glycol once, when you first charge the absorbent. Get a small humidity gauge, the absorbent crystals, and the glycol from any good cigar shop. These are the same tricks used to keep cigar humidors at 70% humidity.


Edited by mikepetro (log)

__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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Mike - the trunk you store some of your pu in seems like a great idea. Do you have to do anything to adjust the humidity level in it?

No, not really needed in my case though as I keep it in my basement where I have a 150 gallon fish tank which helps keep the humidity up.

However, it is easy to control an enclosed space like that to maintain 70% humidity. Mix glycol and distilled water half and half and then soak cat litter crystals, or a sponge, or polyacrylamide crystals, or anything absorbent in this mixture. Place the absorbent in an enclosed space and it will self regulate to roughly 70%, naturally you need to size the absorbent mixture according to the square footage you are trying to regulate but about 1.5 cups of crystal absorbent will easily maintain the space in my trunk. The glycol will not evaporate so all you need to do is add distilled water until the absorbent is fully saturated when the humidity starts dropping. You only need to add the glycol once, when you first charge the absorbent. Get a small humidity gauge, the absorbent crystals, and the glycol from any good cigar shop. These are the same tricks used to keep cigar humidors at 70% humidity.

Thanks, Mike. I checked at a cigar shop last week and they had the small kits for humidors - too expensive, but the ingredients are similar. I'll try your method for a foot locker or something similar like a file cabinet or chest of drawers. I was at that time looking for a solution for two Yixing storage containers where I keep small bricks and samples. The small humidor discs may still work best in the Yixing...or at least easiest.

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I really like your small travel tea tray. Where did you get it?

I got it from Seb at Jing Teashop. It was a special order as it is not something he stocks. http://www.jingteashop.com/ or find them on eBay.

Thanks, Mike. Do they also have an eBay store or do you mean other vendors on eBay?

BTW, I only got the Bamboo Tea Tray from Seb, the rest of the kit I assembled myself.


__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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Mike - the trunk you store some of your pu in seems like a great idea. Do you have to do anything to adjust the humidity level in it?

No, not really needed in my case though as I keep it in my basement where I have a 150 gallon fish tank which helps keep the humidity up.

However, it is easy to control an enclosed space like that to maintain 70% humidity. Mix glycol and distilled water half and half and then soak cat litter crystals, or a sponge, or polyacrylamide crystals, or anything absorbent in this mixture. Place the absorbent in an enclosed space and it will self regulate to roughly 70%, naturally you need to size the absorbent mixture according to the square footage you are trying to regulate but about 1.5 cups of crystal absorbent will easily maintain the space in my trunk. The glycol will not evaporate so all you need to do is add distilled water until the absorbent is fully saturated when the humidity starts dropping. You only need to add the glycol once, when you first charge the absorbent. Get a small humidity gauge, the absorbent crystals, and the glycol from any good cigar shop. These are the same tricks used to keep cigar humidors at 70% humidity.

Thanks, Mike. I checked at a cigar shop last week and they had the small kits for humidors - too expensive, but the ingredients are similar. I'll try your method for a foot locker or something similar like a file cabinet or chest of drawers. I was at that time looking for a solution for two Yixing storage containers where I keep small bricks and samples. The small humidor discs may still work best in the Yixing...or at least easiest.

Yea, the premade "humidifiers" are ridiculously expensive, however you can make your own very cheaply. I have a large 140 qt cooler that I keep my cigars in. Its about the same size as the trunk. I took 2 cups of cat litter crystals and saturated it with 50/50 solution of glycol and distilled water. I put the saturated crystals in a mesh bag which I placed in a bowl inside of the cooler. It maintains right at 70% humidity and all I have to do is add some distilled water to the bowel about once a month. All said and done I have less than $8 in it and and I have enough materials left over to do two or three more.

Another item that works very well is polyacrylamide crystals. They look like salt but will expand and absorb 200 times their weight of water. You often see them as an additive to potting soil for indoor plants. Cigar stores sell them too but for way too much $. The nice thing about these crystals is that you can tell when they need recharging (adding more distilled water) by how much they have shrunk. If you buy them somewhere other than a cigar store you can get the stuff for $2-$4 and all you need is about a tablespoon of these things to make a 2 cup bag of absorbent.

BTW, most of those little cigar humidifiers are nothing more than Florist foam inside of a ventilated plastic box, then soaked with the 50/50 mixture I mentioned. You can get this florist foam(aka Oasis Foam) for $3 or less for a brick size piece at an arts and crafts store. It is easily cut to any size or shape desired. The stuff soaks up a lot of water however the crystals work better IMHO. http://tinyurl.com/672xw6

You can use anything that is highly absorbent, it really doesnt matter but the more absorbent the less you will need. The trick is to use the 50/50 solution of glycol and distilled water which will maintain the humidity because the water wont evaporate if the space is above 70%, but will readily evaporate into the space if the humidity is lower. Only use this mixture the very first time you charge the absorbent, after that saturate the absorbent with straight distilled water as needed.


__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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Mike - the trunk you store some of your pu in seems like a great idea. Do you have to do anything to adjust the humidity level in it?

No, not really needed in my case though as I keep it in my basement where I have a 150 gallon fish tank which helps keep the humidity up.

However, it is easy to control an enclosed space like that to maintain 70% humidity. Mix glycol and distilled water half and half and then soak cat litter crystals, or a sponge, or polyacrylamide crystals, or anything absorbent in this mixture. Place the absorbent in an enclosed space and it will self regulate to roughly 70%, naturally you need to size the absorbent mixture according to the square footage you are trying to regulate but about 1.5 cups of crystal absorbent will easily maintain the space in my trunk. The glycol will not evaporate so all you need to do is add distilled water until the absorbent is fully saturated when the humidity starts dropping. You only need to add the glycol once, when you first charge the absorbent. Get a small humidity gauge, the absorbent crystals, and the glycol from any good cigar shop. These are the same tricks used to keep cigar humidors at 70% humidity.

Thanks, Mike. I checked at a cigar shop last week and they had the small kits for humidors - too expensive, but the ingredients are similar. I'll try your method for a foot locker or something similar like a file cabinet or chest of drawers. I was at that time looking for a solution for two Yixing storage containers where I keep small bricks and samples. The small humidor discs may still work best in the Yixing...or at least easiest.

Yea, the premade "humidifiers" are ridiculously expensive, however you can make your own very cheaply. I have a large 140 qt cooler that I keep my cigars in. Its about the same size as the trunk. I took 2 cups of cat litter crystals and saturated it with 50/50 solution of glycol and distilled water. I put the saturated crystals in a mesh bag which I placed in a bowl inside of the cooler. It maintains right at 70% humidity and all I have to do is add some distilled water to the bowel about once a month. All said and done I have less than $8 in it and and I have enough materials left over to do two or three more.

Another item that works very well is polyacrylamide crystals. They look like salt but will expand and absorb 200 times their weight of water. You often see them as an additive to potting soil for indoor plants. Cigar stores sell them too but for way too much $. The nice thing about these crystals is that you can tell when they need recharging (adding more distilled water) by how much they have shrunk. If you buy them somewhere other than a cigar store you can get the stuff for $2-$4 and all you need is about a tablespoon of these things to make a 2 cup bag of absorbent.

BTW, most of those little cigar humidifiers are nothing more than Florist foam inside of a ventilated plastic box, then soaked with the 50/50 mixture I mentioned. You can get this florist foam(aka Oasis Foam) for $3 or less for a brick size piece at an arts and crafts store. It is easily cut to any size or shape desired. The stuff soaks up a lot of water however the crystals work better IMHO. http://tinyurl.com/672xw6

You can use anything that is highly absorbent, it really doesnt matter but the more absorbent the less you will need. The trick is to use the 50/50 solution of glycol and distilled water which will maintain the humidity because the water wont evaporate if the space is above 70%, but will readily evaporate into the space if the humidity is lower. Only use this mixture the very first time you charge the absorbent, after that saturate the absorbent with straight distilled water as needed.

Thanks, Mike. This will be much more cost effective than I thought.

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I was just telling Richard that I'd have to wait until I got home from up north to show pictures of my teaware, but a look through some of the 10,000 or so photos on my computer came up with a couple.

gallery_34671_2649_30199.jpg

Here is my at home tea cozy (actually my last one, this one has migrated up north to be replaced by a newer puffier one). In the background is hubby's pot - for his green tea. No tea cozy for him.

gallery_34671_2649_43158.jpg

My day to day tea pot. Brought it home from France, can't recall the manufacturer, it has the metal cover with the felt lining to keep the pot warm. Not a brown betty, but makes a very respectable cup of tea.

gallery_34671_2649_11595.jpg

Here's the set up here in Manitoulin. A no name tea pot - the same cozy - and a ceramic beer mug that say's 'Fabulous Fathers Hall of Fame' - the biggest cup I could find in the thrift store that day. I need a decent sized cup of tea to start my day.

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gallery_34671_2649_43158.jpg

My day to day tea pot.  Brought it home from France, can't recall the manufacturer, it has the metal cover with the felt lining to keep the pot warm.  Not a brown betty, but makes a very respectable cup of tea. 

I have a similar pot! But mine's black and more rounded. In heated environments, the metal cover part does a respectabe job of keeping the tea warm, but it sucks during Japanese winters. (I got mine at Mariage Freres--I'd like a taller one like yours to make large batches of hot chocolate, though, so if you ever remember where you got it, please tell!)

I love your cozy. Where did you get it? I have yet to find a cozy that actually helps keep the teapot (and tea) warm. Plus they're quite expensive for what they are!

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gallery_34671_2649_43158.jpg

My day to day tea pot.  Brought it home from France, can't recall the manufacturer, it has the metal cover with the felt lining to keep the pot warm.  Not a brown betty, but makes a very respectable cup of tea. 

I have a similar pot! But mine's black and more rounded. In heated environments, the metal cover part does a respectabe job of keeping the tea warm, but it sucks during Japanese winters. (I got mine at Mariage Freres--I'd like a taller one like yours to make large batches of hot chocolate, though, so if you ever remember where you got it, please tell!)

I love your cozy. Where did you get it? I have yet to find a cozy that actually helps keep the teapot (and tea) warm. Plus they're quite expensive for what they are!

I got the teapot in Nice, try as I might I can't recall the manufacturer and it's not marked on the pot.

The cozy is dutch and if you can find a dutch shop they should have some. Not cheap (about $60 CDN) but they do go on sale on occasion. The one I'm using at home now was brought back from Holland by one of my nannies. I have found one in a thrift store (Bibles for Missions - that is run by the Dutch Reformed Church), the cover was plastic rather than cloth and it keeps the tea even warmer. It's currently living at the place I work on Tuesdays and when I finally get around to giving up that job, it will be coming with me to emerg - we've got a truly second rate cozy there.

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Here's another Yixing Zisha Teapot. This one is called a Monk's Cap or Monk's Hat, and is a reproduction of a pot made by the famous teapot artist Shi Dabin during the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty (1573-1619). He was a great innovator, known for developing better proccessing and production methods, as well as for his creative designs.

The pot has about a 200 ml capacity, if filled to the top rim. But because the hexagon lid does not fit as tightly as the more typical round lid, tea will seep out past the lid, so the practical capacity is closer to 170 - 180 ml. I have started brewing teas in it, but have not yet decided what tea to dedicate it to.

gallery_7582_6250_13574.jpg

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gallery_34671_2649_43158.jpg

My day to day tea pot.  Brought it home from France, can't recall the manufacturer, it has the metal cover with the felt lining to keep the pot warm.  Not a brown betty, but makes a very respectable cup of tea. 

I have a similar pot! But mine's black and more rounded. In heated environments, the metal cover part does a respectabe job of keeping the tea warm, but it sucks during Japanese winters. (I got mine at Mariage Freres--I'd like a taller one like yours to make large batches of hot chocolate, though, so if you ever remember where you got it, please tell!)

I love your cozy. Where did you get it? I have yet to find a cozy that actually helps keep the teapot (and tea) warm. Plus they're quite expensive for what they are!

I had a look at the pot tonight now that I'm back from up north. It is a Salam teapot by Guy Degrenne. Here is a link to it on Amazon. It looks like Williams Sonoma is selling it for a lot less money - the manufacturers name is not mentioned, but it looks the same and is made in France. A whole lot cheaper bought in france.

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Here are a few tea cups.

The white one on the left is about 150 ml in white bone china from silkroad.com. Simple, elegant and pleasant to drink from. Teas usually look their best against a white cup.

The small (30 ml) one in front that the - erm, photographer - neglected to turn to the front - has a fish design on it. Used for gongfu.

gallery_7582_6250_111912.jpg

More on the other three:

Chinese tea cup from an Asian grocery

gallery_7582_6250_9544.jpg

gallery_7582_6250_6809.jpg

Tea bowl, a gift from a friend many years ago, made by an Austin potter, name forgotten. A pleasnt vessel to drink from with its monks bowl shape. I use it for drinking Sencha.

gallery_7582_6250_2527.jpg

30 ml Yixing tea cup for gongfu from Chinese Teapot Gallery on eBay

gallery_7582_6250_114963.jpg

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I have been collecting teapots for fifty years so have more than a few. :blink:

Here, Richard, are some that were easiest for me to reach. I don't do stepladders so the others will have to wait until I have help.

This first batch range from the old to the modern.

The oldest here is the copper with rosewood handle, made by Gorham in 1881, inherited from my grandmother. The white pot with the chrome jacket laying beside the pot is one made by Hall China in 1940.

The one with fruit is a Royal Wocester "Evesham" pattern, late 40s. The maroon pot is also by Hall China, made for the Lipton Tea company. The SS one reminded me of the Hall china Aladdin teapot so I bought it last year.

gallery_17399_60_318668.jpg

Most of my teapots have the perforations between the vessel and the spout - very efficient!

gallery_17399_60_43318.jpggallery_17399_60_59414.jpggallery_17399_60_56923.jpg

The cobalt blue Aladdin by Hall, I have this pot in several colors. It doesn't have the perforations but has an internal china infuser - not in the pot right now, wrapped and put away because they chip easily.

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And some little pots along with a newer Bodum and the figural teapot that is my kitchen mascot.

It is pre-war. (WWII) Also a Yixing as well as a couple of tiny odd things I picked up in San Francisco in the late 50s.

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The inside of the Hall china metal "jacket" - Not bad for a pot that is almost as old as me!

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And one of the "Tea for One" sets aptly named "Andrea" - a gift from a friend who says I am "impossible" to buy for.

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Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thanks for the pics, Andie. And that's just the first batch!

I especially like the Gorham copper pot with rosewood handle.

I'll look forward to seeing the rest when you can get to them.

I haven't used the copper pot for several years because it needs to be re-tinned and I am afraid to let it out of my sight as it is a fairly rare item. (It also could do with a bit of polish but I rather like the patina it has developed.)


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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