Is anyone using an unlined gaiwan made of yixing that they really like? I found only a few via search, but I don’t really know much about yixing quality, so I’m not sure if they are good. Here’s the one I liked best:
Are there any reasons I shouldn’t consider this type of gaiwan? Any help would be appreciated!!
most likely made from fake yixing, which can be toxic. some fake yixing is even made from plastic!!
So I have heard of plenty of fake yixing clay, but toxic? I have not heard of that and could not find any proof of that after a very basic search. Do you have any info on that claim, it seems pretty serious and I would like to read about it.
Hmm, these seems a lot like hearsay to me, I was hoping for something along the line of articles with scientific data and research. Until something like that surfaces I will take my chances ;)
Oh I can certainly believe it! I will keep rummaging around on the internet and if I turn anything up I will be sure to link it :)
I clay gaiwan can only be used for one type of tea. Clay absorbs the flavor of the tea over time. Once it’s well used it gives that flavor back. Most people who buy yixing buy pots not gaiwan – but if you are ok with the one type of tea situation, then I see no reason why you couldn’t use one.
Dragon Tea House has a really good reputation – I don’t think they are selling yixing made of plastic.
I’d be weary of them anyhow. Non Yixing clays are made of god knows what. Just because it’s still pure clay doesn’t mean it’s safe. Yixing has been tested to be 100 percent safe.
Yixing is an umbrella term that refers stoneware made near the city of Yixing in Jiangsu province, China. Yixing style stoneware includes items made form Zisha, Zhusha, and Duan Ni clays. The one Sarsonator is looking at is made from Zisha clay from the Yixing Tian Yi company. If I were looking for a yixing gaiwan, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this one.
“Yixing is an umbrella term that refers stoneware made near the city of Yixing in Jiangsu province, China. Yixing style stoneware includes items made form Zisha, Zhusha, and Duan Ni clays.”
Really getting tired of hearing the “it’s not real yixing” story.
Thanks so much, Dexter! I haven’t bought tea from them, but I have several tea accessories that I really like. Just no yixing yet!
Madametj: that story is everywhere. It makes it a little daunting to know what to look for if you’re new to this type of tea ware. The prices also vary so much that I don’t think you can always use that as the indicator.
How “tea-specific” is typically recommended when using Yixing teaware?
- puerh (for example)
- shou or just sheng
- shou or just sheng from one specific source (Dayi, YS, CLT, EOT, W2T, etc.)
- just one specific shou or sheng
I think that’s up to you. It would depend on how often you use it, how much flavor is built up, how much is being given back.
IMHO – if we are talking about pu’erh – at a minimum I would have three for pu’erh. One for shou, one for young sheng, and one for older sheng. But it depends on your palate.
There are some young sheng that are green and a little bitter, then there are some that are more mellow but smokey. If I drink lots of smokey sheng in my pot, it could change the taste of a greener lighter sheng. If you are drinking lots of green light sheng in your pot, I wouldn’t put a smokey sheng into it for fear of the smokey affecting the patina in the pot. I have lots of clay teaware. Nothing goes into any of them until I’ve tried the tea in glass or porcelain to determine the characteristics of that tea then I choose the pot that’s been seasoned with similar flavor profiles.
I can be picky with what goes into them because I have lots of clay pots. If you only get one – that’s fine but I would decide what you want to use it for, and stick to that style – but it would be up to you have specific you want to be.
I have been debating getting a really fancy yixing gaiwan for a while specifically for my boyfriend and I to have Lapsang (probably our most agreed on favorite tea :P ) It is a pretty gaiwan, I do not have any experience with Dragon Tea House though so I cannot say much other than it looks nice.
Thanks for all your feedback, Amanda. Was there one you had in mind that you could share or a company you like that carries them?
I have been ogling this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Handmade-Fortune-Yixing-Clay-Gongfu-Teacup-Gaiwan-120ml-4-fl-oz-Free-Shipping-/321280477400?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4acdcf08d8 no idea how reputable it is, but it is gorgeous!
That is really lovely! It’s the first one I’ve seen that has a pattern.
I saw some other plain ones with that dome lid. I may be overthinking it, but I wasn’t sure if that would be harder to use. I’m pretty good at gaiwans with a flatter lid. I find they slide back easily for pouring. If you get that one, please let me know how you like it!!!
My biggest concern is that tiny rim, I just know I am going to burn my fingers. It would be the largest in my collection and the only one with a dome lid…an exciting adventure. I love the pattern, I have a vase with the 100 Fu on it so it makes me want it even more. I do plan on getting it, it just might be months down the road…assuming it is still around.
How about this one? I’m a sucker for all things lotus!!!
That is super pretty! I am a little irked with that seller, I bought a teacup from them that was listed as red clay and they send me a purple one. I got a full refund (of a whopping $2, woo! cheap cup) and now I have an adorable teacup…just not in the color I want. Plus they were a pain to deal with.
Oh I hope things go better for me because I totally bought that. I couldn’t resist. It’s just too pretty!
I am sure things will be fine :) usually I would just shrug it off as nothing if I got a different color clay, but this was the one time I was buying a cup to match a teapot. Luckily it goes really well with my other yixing, so not a total loss.
I will vouch for Berylleb always good honest sellers in my book. I feel sure if you asked about the Gaiwan they will give an honest answer.
Amanda: I just saw your Fu gaiwan on the umiteasets.com website. Never bought from them before, but even with shipping, it’s a little cheaper than eBay. Just a heads up! I’d post the link, but I’m typing on my phone and it’s a pain. LOL
I have a Yixing gaiwan type pot from Mandala tea. Love it, my current favorite.
Unless I am missing it, I don’t see anything like that on their site. It’s too bad because I do think this would be a trustworthy source!
I love the yixing teapot that I bought from Mandala, but they don’t always have a lot of selection.
I ordered one from Mandala this morning. But I need to direct LTF’s attention over here: LOTUS GAIWAN Fairy!!!!!
OMG that’s awesome!!! I hadn’t looked at their in stock pots for awhile. (I am so not allowed to buy one). Great choice MzPriss!!!
I should not be looking but I LOVE this too:
Whimper – and this…
I’m closing the window, and heading back to my corner to look at the pot I have soaking in Special Dark right now – need to be happy with what I have…
Thank y’all – it’s apparently new and it was an affordable one and it’s preeeeeeety :) I like that lidded mug too!
Ahhh, totally missed this discussion. The Lotus gaiwan…awwww. So pretty, congrats Sars!
MzPriss, the pot is so adorable, little pots makes me so happy :-)
Dex, Yixing pots are ALWAYS allowed, lol. The mug is gorgeous…
I love lotus anything, so I’m happy I found this one. I’m going to keep my eye out for other yixing gaiwans with a pattern. Maybe I’ll eventually find one just for Special Dark. :p
I’m thinking of getting this sars….i thought you might like it too. Look at the inside!
Wow, you guys had some good discussion while I was sleeping!
I have purchased from Dragon Tea House before and I liked the tea ware I received. It’s just that this will be my first yixing, and I have heard stories about fake (not toxic, though) pots.
A Gaian is easier, IMO. No hunting for tea leaves stuck in a tiny little teapot. That’s really all it comes down to for me.
I am not jumping on a bandwagon in any way. But as someone who has been thinking of buying Yixing I decided to research it. I found tons of hits when I looked for “toxic Yixing”. It is probably worth at least some reading.
I did check out some links during my research, but many of them just talked about the fact that yixing is free of toxic substances. I couldn’t find any links to anything other than discussion boards where the topic was thoroughly explored. Did you find any? Obviously I like discussion boards, but I guess I would have liked to find something where actual tests were done to determine toxicity.
That makes sense, I guess. It’s kind of frustrating because it’s hard to tell how likely any of us would be to get something “bad”.
Marzipan: that’s very interesting, and sad. It’s a recent article, too
Apt: that’s kind of the reason that I started asking. How do you know if it’s from a reputable source? I was kind of hoping someone who has this type of gaiwan would jump in with a few links to ones they know to be good. But it doesn’t seem like many stores even carry yixing gaiwans.
I consider someone who shows knowledge and tells all, good and bad, about a pot to be a reputable Yixing dealer. Origin Tea is a good example, he’s very reputable for teapots and tea (when he used to sell tea it was incredible)
Also try shopping for Yixing in person if you know where to go. Feeling a pot is a good indicator.
Yunnan Sourcing has had reports available for their pots of the analysis of the clay. They are a good source.
I bought the gaiwan from my original post. If I die, I will let you all know. :p
I hope I haven’t steered you wrong, but I think every time you buy something online you are taking a chance. I’ve only ever heard good things about Dragon Tea House, and I’ve had several of their teas.
In all honesty I think the only way any of us would know FOR SURE that their yixing is “pure” is to break a chunk off and send it in for testing. That’s not practical, so all you can do is use a little caution.
I think there is also concern about glazes on ceramics, and impurities in the tea itself.
As a consumer you have to find your comfort level. I’ve chosen to not let fear keep me from enjoying Chinese tea and teaware.
I hope that you are pleased and enjoy your new purchase. :))
I grew up in a very small town that is the site of one of the biggest industrial waste clean up situations in modern history. I played many days in a creek that is heavy in PCBs. I probably already glow in the dark. :)
Dexter: no worries. I believe in personal responsibility. If I die by yixing, it would be my fault, not yours!
Marzipan: I am laughing my butt off. I just sat through the most tedious business meeting of all time. Your post made me smile, so thanks!!!
Sarsonator if you die by yixing (and I’ll probably be right there with you)- at least you enjoyed life with good tea out of fun teaware… :))
That is more or less my thinking as well, besides, if it is lead in the clay then we can go mad and be legit mad hatters at a tea part…luckily I also have a large selection of hats.
I can vouch for DTH in terms of customer service. How pure will be your yixing gaiwan I dunno. I just bought another Yixing pot from Yunnan Sourcing. I’m concerned about chemical additions, BPA, all that shit, but common, who can say that food we eat is pure or water we drink. All very questionable . I hope you like your new gaiwan.
Good one;-) it must be helpful during power outages, right? That’s why your hubby adores you. Really, you lady have lots of energy. Can I come and swim in your creek?
I totally agree with you boychik – if we avoided everything that MIGHT contain something that COULD hurt us – we’d starve to death, scared to leave the house.
Boychik: I only saw one available on YS, but it wasn’t really my style. I have heard good things about them, but I thin not comes down to what Dexter said: we can’t really know for sure unless we get it tested.
The only reason I got pot is it gets incredibly hot to hold. I have small hands and sensitive fingers. I can only use easy gaiwan. Mandala used to carry easy yixing gaiwan.
OK with all this yixing talk today – I am going to go and season three of mine that I’ve never used….(of course can’t make all that tea to soak the pots in with out drinking some) I’m going to start by giving my Mandala pot another swim through some Wild Monk and then see where the adventure leads….
Sarsonator, so now you know how I feel about iPhone. And I have to use it till September until I get back home haha
Dex: that will be my next topic of research. I actually bought 2, so I have to learn the seasoning process! I just received some wild monk last week. Haven’t even tried it yet!!!
Boychik: that is a bummer. It’s hard enough for me to do this for a few hours during the day, let alone for months. All the text is suuuuuper tiny!!! LOL
Dexter, which Yixing you got from Mandala? And are you going to season them now or drink your WP teas???
I don’t know what it was called, it’s out of stock too…
Sarsinator I followed the Verdant video. What he says just makes sense to me. It’s not hard, just fiddly and time consuming. I had already seasoned my Mandala pot, but haven’t used it for awhile – made some wild monk to drink and some for the bowl then have put it in to soak.
This is the video I mentioned:
I have three others that I haven’t seasoned. While Mandala is soaking and I’m enjoying some Wild Monk, I need to choose what other tea to use… Noble Mark for sure, but what else….
I just liked that he explained WHY he was doing it, and WHY he was doing it that way and what to be careful of. I watched lots of videos before I did my first one, and that video just made sense to me, so that’s how I do it. Glad you enjoyed it, but please do your own research and draw your own conclusions. :))
I hope my comments didn’t come off as negative, just cautious. I don’t have any experience with DTH and the Chinese tea market is tricky to navigate. I genuinely hope you enjoy your gaiwan.
apt, I think that’s why we have a forum to express our thoughts and concerns freely. You raised a question, than it’s up to a person to do a research and think it thru.
I spent lots of nights reading on Teachat, pros, cons, should I ,or shouldn’t. It took me almost a year to realize that I do need Yixing pot. Still don’t use it all the time. Most of my pu samples. I only brew them in easy porcelain gaiwan.
boychik: I didn’t appreciate the sarcasm and closed mindedness put forth by other people here when I raised the concern.
I think it’s the result of people being in denial when buying cheap clay pots.
I didn’t take it as negative, apt. I asked because I was genuinely looking for feedback and suggestions. It just seems nearly impossible to know what’s what. So I guess I just think I’ll take a chance and hope for the best.
I appreciate whatever info I can get. I did see some sites that said what to look for once you had the yixing in your hand, but I don’t know of any local places that sell it, and if they did, it would probably be a teapot, not a gaiwan. I did go ahead and order from DTH so when the gaiwan arrives, I am planning to check it out based on the advice of the sites I found.