Well, some excitement today — I am finishing the cooking process for one of my new pots, so it will be good to go tomorrow :). This is the teapot I got from the Confucian teahouse, and is what I intend to use to brew Taiwan oolong. Can’t wait.
The two step process I learned in Hong Kong goes something like this. First, clean the pot of any dust/particles/residues by rinsing it, and then put it in a cooking pot and boil it in water for maybe two hours. This will burn off all the unpleasant stuff that may be coated on the pot, as well as making it easier to clean out the rest of the pot-making residues. This I did for the two pots I got from Beijing not too long after I got back.
The second step just involves the boiling of the pot in the tea that you intend to use it for. So for this one, I brewed a bunch of taiwan oolong (using the pot to brew it), poured it into the cooking pot, and then boil it for also about two hours. This is essentially giving it an initial round of seasoning, starting it on the long process of gaining the flavours of the particular tea that it is destined to make. After this, the pot’s basically ready for use.
The oolong I’m using for this is stuff that my girlfriend sent me from Taiwan a while ago. I never opened it since, at that time, I already had too many bags of tea open and didn’t want to open another one. It is labeled as a “yuqian jinxuan cha”. Yuqian means “before rain”, which is normally a designation used for longjing. It is a little odd to see it here, but the idea is the same. Jinxuan cha is usually a medium level oolong from Taiwan. I tried a little of it when I was brewing the tea for the boiling, and it tasted good. I will have to give it a real spin tomorrow and see how that goes (with pictures of my new baby!). Can’t wait 🙂