Week In Pictures (August 1 – 7)

A cryptic preview of a new tasting set we’ve been working on. The famous/ancient six tea mountains are Yiwu, Manzhuan, Mangzhi, Yibang, Gedeng and Youle. The difference between these mountains is perhaps not as striking as comparing Yiwu to Jingmai, but there are still noticeable differences. Made entirely from fall 2014 ancient tree material, these teas offer not only a unique learning experience, but are excellent quality on their own.

As much of our Jianshuui zitao teaware has come and gone rather quickly lately, we never miss an opportunity to get over to our studio’s Kunming location. They typically send us a message when new stock is coming in and allow us to get first eyes on it. Their Kunming location is across the city for us, so visits usually require a little bit of planning, or at least blocking off a portion of our day. On this particular day we arrived after hours and still had to wait for some stock to arrive. We made the most of it and spent the evening drinking tea (still don’t know if it’s their tea that’s good, or the fact that they always use such well seasoned Jianshui teaware…) out of this elaborate and unusual pot.

Due to the density and properties of Jianshui zitao, the clay has to be formed by throwing on a wheel. Some shapes that you would see from Yixing zisha are not as easy or even possible with zitao. This pot is one that would be particularly hard to make, but turned out excellent in this case. While at first we felt it was a little exaggerated for our tastes, that was kind of what we liked about it. Unfortunately it was never for sale, and remains at the shop as a sheng puer pot.

This was one of our recent Jianshui zitao tea jars. The style of artwork was one we couldn’t pass up. Whimsical and cute will always win our hearts over stale and typical.

We get gifted a lot of tea and up with a lot of samples, with this dian hong and globe amaranth flower cake being one. The tea itself is quite nice and refreshing, but considering our heavy tendency to drink sheng puer, we just don’t see ourselves finishing this tea during its prime. Want to try some? Just place an order and tell us you say this cake on our social media and we’ll gladly send you a chunk! Who knows, maybe we’ll take a shine to you and give you a full 100g cake…

What makes our Sentry Jianshui gaiwans easy gaiwans? String, hand threaded with love. #tea

A photo posted by Bitterleaf (@bitterleafteas) on

Behind the scenes preparation of our Sentry Jianshui zitao easy gaiwans. Each one of these has the grip hand threaded with love by yours truly.

Stare too long at the center of them and you’ll fall down into the Abyss

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