Saturday, March 15, 2008


When I first used clay pots for brewing tea, I liked the ball filters over the flat hole type. Because the leaves can not clog the holes and interrupt the flow. Soon enough, I found that the flat hole pots make better oolong teas, specially Dan Cong. Reason being that flat hole pots can empty almost all droplets of water when you shake long and hard enough, while ball filter pots can't and will keep on steeping tea continuously at the bottom. This might benefit pu-erh, but not for oolong. Dan Cong can become bitter/harsh if steeped for long, even just a few drops of water can make a difference.


halfkill said...

so as I understand, it's better to leave a few drops of water at the bottom of the pot when I am steeping pu-erh? if yes why is it so?

Imen said...

For cooked or old pu, leaving a little water at the bottom of pot can enhance the roundness and flavor. The reason is cooked or old pu are broken down quite a bit by post fermentation, when these broken pieces are steeped in low temp slowly, the texture can be creamier then hot fast brew. Think of a green pu leaf as a grain of rice with husk, cooked or old pu leaf as a grain of rice without the husk and outside layer is grounded. When you put them both in water, the rice with husk will release flavor with not much texture. As for the other rice, hot water can break down the fiber, you will get more flavor compare to the husked rice if you pour the water out quick, but if you let the rice sit in the water longer, the water will turn milky white which means more stuff is dissolved into the water.

To brew:
Do a quick wash first

Brew first infusion, at this point, if the flavor is coming out, then brew 2nd infusion, pour out most of the water but don't shake it. The water in pot is not high enough to steep any leaf, but the small piece at the bottom will slowly melt into the water, thicken the next brew significantly, adding both flavor and texture.

For good aged pu, do not open lid
For pu that has a bit wet stored flavor, sour or astringent taste, open lid until steams disappear, then close lid. Add hot or boiling water when you are ready for the next cup of tea, pour accordingly by color of the tea.

elzaii said...

Some holes are located at margin of the half-ball filter. My teapots with the ball filter stays dry after pouring.

Imen said...


Does the ball filter fit inside the open hole of the spout?

I have seen pots like that, wither it's really old or it's made by master pot makers. I am interested in know who is the maker and age of your pot. :)