Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zhuni Ba'le (Guava) Teapot


After narrowing down Chen Tu Gen's pots to a select few, the one that initially caught my eye still stood out, a Ba Le (芭樂/Guava) shaped pot, similar to the Pear-shaped pots I love so much but with a flat lid, making it slightly more balanced and easier to handle. 

On closer inspection, the craftsmanship of the pot is flawless, down to the tiniest details. The thin spout is elegantly curved with a pointed edge. The inner edge of the handle is worked flat, adding to the pots aesthetic. finally, the top knob, or bead, as I prefer to call it, is perfectly formed, slightly tapered at the top where the air spout is meticulously clean. Meticulous may be the best over-all adjective for this pot, every single grain of its zhuni clay, meticulously crafted to the point of obsession.

The zhuni clay also makes a delicate, wrinkled, skin-like texture that will continue to develop with use. 

Directing focus to the inside of the pot, the first thing I observed is that the lid was perfectly snug and the rim of the pot was as smooth as glass. Where in even some of my best pots the inner seems along the bottom of the pot and inside the lid are a bit sloppy, both the inner seam of the pot and the lid have cleaned with a groove. 

Performance wise, the zhuni clay makes it a great pot for any type of tea but really great for puer. That said, I've been using this one for Tie Guan Yin. The erect spout makes a beautiful, fountain-like arc while pouring. The thinness makes for a bit of a slow pour, but that usually doesn't concern me. What did concern me at first is that the pot is so thin it made me apprehensive until my fingers adjusted. The top bead is also so tiny that my clumsy fingers had difficult grasping it. I've taken to lifting it on and off with the tongs, which is a good practice, anyway. The high-quality, highly porous zhuni clay and thin walls also let the clay develop a patina very quickly. After just a few uses, it had already developed a nice sheen and in only five months it's already showing a small buildup inside.

For anyone in search of a nice, authentic zhuni pot, you won't find anything better on the market for a comparable price than one of Chen Tu Gen's.

Link to Kkik Da Geo:
http://kkikdageo.com./bbs/view.php?uid=53&startPage=1&boardid=in_chinaboard2
No English, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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