Dragon Boat Fish Teapot
Our friend, and go-to teaware vendor for over 20 years, knows that we are always interested in unique styles of teaware. When he sent us photos of this pretty little teapot, crafted in the shape of a swimming fish, only weeks before Dragon Boat Festival, we instantly recognized the cultural significance and were compelled to share it in celebration of this traditional Chinese holiday.
This pot features a unique fish design made of unglazed red clay. The long tail serves as a stylish and ergonomic handle that allows for smooth, easy pouring of your favorite tea from the "mouth" of the fish. The lid is adorned with a smaller fish that provides an easy hold when pouring. It has a capacity of 175ml, which is a standard size for Gongfu style brewing. This method of brewing tea offers the best results for whatever quality loose leaf tea you wish to brew.
Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea
We chose to complement this teapot commemorating a historical holiday with the most traditionally made tea in Taiwan. Tie Guan Yin, which translates as Iron Goddess of Mercy, is the most labor intensive type of tea to make. But luckily, there are still a few artisans who remain committed to their local tradition.
Traditional methods of tea making typically involve much more "curing" of the tea leaves — which has the dual purpose of bringing out a distinct character, and stabilizing the tea leaves to maintain flavor — giving it a prolonged shelf life as well as a distinguished profile. In this sense, Tieguanyin Oolong is a prime example of a traditional product of regional origin.
These tea leaves were cultivated and cured in the most traditional fashion that has survived into Taiwan's 21st century tea industry. Not only were they cultivated in the most historical tea growing region in northern Taiwan, they were cultivated and cured in an overall context that is now very rare. It is rare because it is one of the few remaining resources of heirloom Tieguanyin tea trees in Taiwan, and it is naturally cultivated, and it is processed in the most boutique home-style tea factory we've ever seen.
Proper Care of Your Pot
If you're luckily enough to nab one of these teapots, be sure to check out our guide on how to properly prepare and cure your pot for use.