The above pot and cup come from the Fürstenberg manufacture in Germany. Established in 1747, it is the second oldest porcelain manufacture in Germany. (Theo oldest is Meissen, 1710).
This blue on white set is called 'Lottine', named after Duchess Philippine Charlotte, the founder's true love! Nowadays, this set is only produced in white, without the exquisite handpainted decoration (and is called old Fürstenberg).
This 1760 design represents an interesting mix of Chinese and European influences. The European customers continue to favor the classic blue on white porcelain. However, the paintings and designs take a new European approach. The flowers represent the refinement of European aristocrats.
The knob in shape of a rose is similar to the Herend (Hungary) teapot I used 2 years ago in France. It's on top of the pot and the focus of our attention.
The oval and refined shape of the handles of the pot and cups find their inspiration in the baroque and/or rococo movements. There's an element of grandeur, power and magnificience. At the same time, it's also a good symbol of the frivolous, happy life of the European courts before the American and French revolutions.
The high shape of the Lottine set shows that it wasn't designed for tea but for coffee! But this didn't prevent me from brewing tea in it! The 'rules' of tea brewing apply here too: a good preheating of the pot (and its cover) and the cups. However, to adapt my tea to this pot, I didn't fill it to the top.
I'm using a red tea (fully oxidized) picked by hand on the East coast of Taiwan.
Cultivar: Da Yeh Oolong
Harvest date: June 26, 2011. (See the previous winter version for more details).
The red fruit and honey flavors are intense and carry all the warmth and sweetness of Taiwan's summer! These intense fragrances burst like a bouquet of flowers and fruits. The clean and mellow aftertaste lingers graciously on the palate.
The big spent leaves are pretty impressive! I was able to get 3 very nice brews out of them using this Fürstenberg set. Using a gaiwan and a higher leaves to water ratio, you could get more brews. But I find that the tea came out well balanced using this relaxed method.
The clarity of the golden dark orange brew is shining in the white porcelain. This tea is so concentrated with fruity flavors, that it's a good fit to brew it more lightly than Oolong and use bigger cups with fine walls. The underlying honey sweetness of this particular red tea has surprised and seduced those who have tasted it. (I've added it to my selection!)