I can now call her 'my precious'! This pure silver teapot (995) is now mine! I spent my Lunar New Year vacation in Taichung brewing various teas with it. I also let my wife and mother-in-law blind test the resulting tea: the same Zhu Shan winter Si Ji Chun (of January 2007) came out much better with the silver teapot as with a white porcelain tea competition set, both said. The temperature obtained with the silver teapot was much higher than with porcelain.
From my various tests, I feel that the effect of the higher temperature brings out the 'fresh' fragrances of green Oolong and young raw puerh with more clarity, purity and strength. I thought this good result would only be obtained with the best High Mountain Oolongs, but the cheaper Si Ji Chun Oolong I tried proved me wrong. Good quality and fresh Oolongs of any altitude (and price range) benefit from this teapot.
Besides the material (silver vs porcelain), the other reason why the tea coming out of this teapot was hotter is the volume (20 cl vs 10 cl). A smaller pot will tend to cool down faster than a bigger one. This is not very important if you brew very quickly, but it will have an impact if you brew for longer times. This is the case when you test a tea or when you have a high quality tea that will have more body and aftertaste when you brew it long (instead of being 'just' fragrant when brewed quickly). That is one of the reasons why my 20 cl big Da Bing Ru Yi is a fitting teapot for high mountain Oolong. That's also why you see people pouring hot water on the teapot while the tea is brewing inside.
I'm having a good and busy time now revisiting my various teas with this teapot. There is so much more to say and show about it!
Jamais deux sans trois ?
2 hours ago