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96ml Factory 1 Laser Label Zini Square Yixing Teapot

96ml Factory 1 Laser Label Zini Square Yixing Teapot

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October 27th, 2021

This Yixing teapot was originally sourced by Tony of Origin Tea, who closed up shop around eight years ago. The teapot was purchased from Tony by a tea aficionado in Ohio, who used this teapot for oolongs and pu erh with his local tap water. Unfortunately his local tap water was a little too hard for tea, and there are minor scale deposits in a few of the inside corners of this teapot, but they do not at all affect performance. This teapot then came back to Asia (to me), and I believe I've owned this teapot for five or six years now.

This teapot was produced in the late 90s-early 00s period, right before Yixing Factory 1 closed for good. During this period, some very nicely made pots were produced, and this is an outstanding example of this particular form. The pot is beautifully and very evenly crafted, which makes it a collector-grade pot. Not every pot in this form from Factory 1 would be as evenly and perfectly crafted, and the best-made teapots always attract a premium.

While the previous owners used it for a variety of different teas (pu erh and oolong, for the most part), after resetting the pot, I have found it to work best with high roast oolongs, due to the muting effect of the clay on roast. There are lovely larger grains of sand in this clay, and the manganese content in this clay is well balanced to reduce the roast flavors and allow the true flavor of the tea underneath to shine. The small volume and 22-second pour time is ideal for oolong, as well, so this is definitely a perfect gongfucha pot. While this pot will work well with high roast tieguanyin, the square shape seems best suited to yancha for me, just based on tradition. HK high roast shuixian and dahongpao do very well in this pot indeed!

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