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126ml Half-Handmade Yixing Modern Zhuni Shuiping

126ml Half-Handmade Yixing Modern Zhuni Shuiping

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This shuiping was made by a smaller studio in Yixing. This pot is half-handmade, and at this price point, the finishing isn't quite as good as you'd find on this studio's higher end pots: there are a few minor cosmetic issues that I was actually quite happy to find on this pot, because I could readily see that this pot was indeed made by hand. The seams from when the two halves of the body were joined are visible in the right light, and there are superficial tool marks on the outside of the pot, the spout is a little higher than the body of the pot, and there is even a little bit of perlite stuck in the clay on the inside of the lid. Perlite is used by studios in Yixing, but I have forgotten how exactly perlite is involved in the process: finding a little perlite in the surface of a pot is not uncommon on pots from the 60s to the 90s, so I was surprised to find some on a modern pot!

Perhaps what truly made me decide to purchase this pot is the puffed lid: while not quite as puffed as the Factory 1 puffed lids, this pot has that kind of look to it, and I couldn't resist.

While the studio claims this pot is made with Zhaozhuang Zhuni, I consider such origin claims to better represent the appearance and performance of the clay blend used by a factory or studio, rather than being a legitimate origin claim (especially at this price point). This is attractive red clay and performs very well. This studio's clay has been tested for cadmium and lead (and neither were detected).

This little pot is nice and light at 109g, and has a respectable 14-second pour. The flat seven-hole filter allows for a smooth pour and prevents the spout from getting blocked by leaf fragments during use. 

I tested this pot with sheng pu erh, shou pu erh and high roast oolong (HK-roasted Three Stamp Shuixian, which I carry here on the site). While the pot performed respectably with the pu erh, the performance of this pot with the Three Stamp really surprised me. I store some of my personal stash of Three Stamp Shuixian in a vintage pewter caddy that was made in HK long before the handover, and the character of the Three Stamp in this caddy is very different from when I store this tea in glass jars or plastic. I've had disappointing results over the years in other pots, but today's session in this shuiping was incredible! I was able to taste character I've never detected in my pewter-stored Three Stamp, and the pot made the tea smooth and sweet. This is truly a great pot for oolongs with some roast on them (and perhaps green oolongs as well, but I didn't test the pot with them).

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