To stimulate what's left in the old gal, I decide to break in a new tea pot. This is a Jian Shui teapot I bought some months ago from Crimson Lotus Tea.
|Jian Shui for Crimson Lotus Tea|
The other reason I bought this teapot is a cuteness factor. It was made by a very young villager, 20-something guy I believe, and it is not master ware by any stretch. Doesn't have the usual aesthetics we look for, a knob matching the shape of the pot, for example. The lid hangs over just a bit. But the black clay reminds me a bit of Santa Clara pottery from the southwest. It has a cuteness about it, because if a teapot could be a little teddy bear, then this pot qualifies. That is as lame a reason to get a teapot as I can come up with. And because it is just so cute I've been unable to start using it. But like many things with an old lady, it's now or never.
|The only marking is a clay tool indentation, hard to see.|
Okay, so what tea shall I use to christen my new tea pot? Recently a tea vendor wrote me and said, "I want to ask you if you've tried a type of tea, old tea nuggets." Thought that was the perfect endearment for an old lady, and I floated along on that for a few weeks until...wait. Tea nuggets are lumps of tea forming in pile fermentation. Tea vendors have Their Ways but he didn't mean that way, silly me. No, I don't think I've tried old tea nuggets before, but looking around stashes recently mailed to me, a reader friend sent me some old tea nuggets and I'm just now noticing it.
|Some old ladies prefer chocolate...|
When hit with boiling water, the aroma from the pot is that of porto port, by that I mean Portuguese tawny port, not the red grape kind most Americans find in liquor stores. I started drinking Portuguese port after playing Eleanor of Aquitaine in college, in the play "The Lion in Winter," a joke from the line "the royal boys are aging with the royal port" wine cellar scene. For some reason playing that part meant a lifetime of gifts of port from theatre people, I still get bought port when I go out for drinks with actors. Tawny port aged in wood is quite remarkable, and my tea here has the smell of tawny port.
|Second steep, plus leaves.|
Requiescat in Pace.