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post #3361 of 21761

I think you and me are on the same page kiteki. I have little enough self control when it comes to head-fi gear. Putting me on a path towards high end speakers would be a path towards my financial ruin. I've decided to one day maybe get myself a nice pair of Paradigm Signature S6 speakers and call it a life. I'll never have a B&W speaker system but it's free to dream so why not dream. As for what i'll have driving my Paradigm's, no idea. Marantz makes some nice stuff as does Macintosh. Macintosh is pretty pricey of coarse but maybe, just maybe.

 

On the other hand maybe if I ask very nicely Magik will adopt me as his little brother and I can finally have all the cool toys I wish.

post #3362 of 21761

Great post Romy. Sorry to hear about your friend as well, sadly our mind is one of the worst ways to go :/

 

On a lighter note, tea. For Chinese greens, I would check out Teaspring. Everything I've had from there has been fairly good quality for the price. Their oolongs are supposed to be fairly good, although I haven't had more than a sample from that selection.

 

For Japanese greens, I fully recommend O-Cha. Every Sencha I've had from there has been phenomenal, but make sure you do a little research on steaming methods before you buy. I bought some deep steamed (fukamushi) sencha from there as one of my first green purchases. While it had a very umami flavor (grassy and slightly salty), I hated it. I prefer asamushi, but you will be your own judge.

 

Also if you haven't gotten one yet, I would pick up a gaiwan. For nicer teas, you can see the price is steep. A good porcelain gaiwan will last you forever, and you can brew anything in it. I have a 150ml one, which is good, although for oolongs you may choose smaller. Also with a gaiwan, you can do multiple steepings very easily. Some smokier oolongs are good for up to 8 or so steepings, gradually going up in time with each steep. There's an art to temps and timing, so if you're curious either research on Teachat or PM me for help :)

 

Another useful tool for Sencha (and gyokuro if you feel fancy) is a kyusu. Now you can get one in any shape and size you want. Check out the Tokoname section on Artistic Nippon. It is a "sorry about your wallet" place, especially if you enjoy the art :) I personally had a small kyusu for about $65 that was ideal for 1 person, but it shattered in a dropping accident :/

 

As far as an all-in-one, I'm a big fan of Norbu Tea. The owner's name is Greg, and he is EXTREMELY helpful when it comes to deciding. A couple of my favorites:

 

http://www.norbutea.com/2011Fall_ShengtaiOolong

 

This tea is the definition of smoky goodness. And you can steep it SO MANY TIMES. 

 

http://www.norbutea.com/HongMaoFeng?category_id=43

 

And if you haven't tried it, get some Pu-erh. From Greg, I have a brick of this:

 

http://www.norbutea.com/09Norbu_LaoChaTou_Brick?category_id=35

 

If you'd care to try some of that (or a couple other Pu-erhs I have), just send me a message. Pu Erh is probably one of the hardest to get into, simply because it's almost gambling. There are fakes of the big companies such as CNNP and Menghai, and every year will taste different, although will have the same flavor profile. Newer Shu will smell like dead fish (quick fermentation), while newer Sheng (slower fermentation) will taste so powerful it is, for me, undrinkable. While older Sheng is preferable, it is also very VERY expensive, depending on the maker, type, and storing conditions.

 

Another couple good sources are:

 

Hou De

Yunnan Sourcing

Hibiki-An

Jing Tea Shop

 

As for the many many others, I haven't used or communicated with them. Yunnan Sourcing has AMAZING prices, but order in bulk, the shipping (and wait) will kill you.

post #3363 of 21761

I never knew there was an art behind making tea

 

P.S.

 

If this is the proper way to serve fancy tea it's incredibly wasteful

 

post #3364 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

I never knew there was an art behind making tea

 

P.S.

 

If this is the proper way to serve fancy tea it's incredibly wasteful

 

Formally there is, but honestly I do 1 wash on most things to open them up a tad, and drink the rest. That's way too much time for my day.

post #3365 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosshorn View Post

Also if you haven't gotten one yet, I would pick up a gaiwan. For nicer teas, you can see the price is steep. A good porcelain gaiwan will last you forever, and you can brew anything in it. I have a 150ml one, which is good, although for oolongs you may choose smaller. Also with a gaiwan, you can do multiple steepings very easily. Some smokier oolongs are good for up to 8 or so steepings, gradually going up in time with each steep. There's an art to temps and timing, so if you're curious either research on Teachat or PM me for help :)

 

 

Cheers to Gaiwan users everywhere! My primary shown below...Black Pearl w/gold accent (Style period - Ming Dynasty 1368-1644).

beerchug.gif

 

Black Pearl Gaiwan | Ming Dynasty | 1368-1644


Edited by Silent One - 12/11/12 at 10:18pm
post #3366 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

 

Cheers to Gaiwan users everywhere! My primary shown below...Black Pearl w/gold accent (Style period - Ming Dynasty 1368-1644).

beerchug.gif

 

Black Pearl Gaiwan | Ming Dynasty | 1368-1644

That's a gorgeous piece, I've vowed to get a super nice thin walled one eventually, at least if I can find a bargain wink.gif

post #3367 of 21761
My wife's favorite set.



19th century Ottoman court. Big cups in this one, probably ~.5 liters.
Edited by Magick Man - 12/11/12 at 11:02pm
post #3368 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosshorn View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

 

Cheers to Gaiwan users everywhere! My primary shown below...Black Pearl w/gold accent (Style period - Ming Dynasty 1368-1644).

beerchug.gif

 

That's a gorgeous piece, I've vowed to get a super nice thin walled one eventually, at least if I can find a bargain wink.gif

 

Thanks, I absolutely adore it! Got it from some cat in China, many moons back (Dragon Tea House - eBay). They no longer make this style. But do offer the same Black Pearl combo with a Tea  set but different styled cups with a Tea pot. This gen cup is more attractive. It's 250 ml if memory serves and the pearl dots are actually slightly raised on the surface. This makes holding/gripping the cup with wet hands more secure. Although, I don't know why one might have wet or greasy hands while indulging, save cooking, cleaning and washing dishes.rolleyes.gif

 

I have a few others but in other color schemes and style. Originally, I started out using my "Lidded bowl" in classic fashion - steeping; holding and/or drinking with one hand or two. Recently, however, I started serving as a caregiver to a loved one - so that others may live or simply live better - the interruptions are many and can come right at seating; indulging. This often left my perfectly made and elegant teas over-steeped.mad.gif

 

My solution was to engage two Gaiwans - one to steep, the other to drink from. I have grown to appreciate this two-step process better. And when honey drops by, I simply grab another Gaiwan. wink.gif


Edited by Silent One - 12/11/12 at 11:04pm
post #3369 of 21761

Very nice, Magick Man!

post #3370 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

Very nice, Magick Man!

Thanks. She's a hardcore antiques collector, and tea sets are one of her favorite collectibles.
post #3371 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

 

Thanks, I absolutely adore it! Got it from some cat in China, many moons back (Dragon Tea House - eBay). They no longer make this style. But do offer the same Black Pearl combo with a Tea  set but different styled cups with a Tea pot. This gen cup is more attractive. It's 250 ml if memory serves and the pearl dots are actually slightly raised on the surface. This makes holding/gripping the cup with wet hands more secure. Although, I don't know why one might have wet or greasy hands while indulging, save cooking, cleaning and washing dishes.rolleyes.gif

 

I have a few others but in other color schemes and style. Originally, I started out using my "Lidded bowl" in classic fashion - steeping; holding and/or drinking with one hand or two. Recently, however, I started serving as a caregiver to a loved one - so that others may live or simply live better - the interruptions are many and can come right at seating; indulging. This often left my perfectly made and elegant teas over-steeped.mad.gif

 

My solution was to engage two Gaiwans - one to steep, the other to drink from. I have grown to appreciate this two-step process better. And when honey drops by, I simply grab another Gaiwan. wink.gif

I actually really like that idea. I had an even smaller gaiwan that I loved (100ml or so), but I used to sling the water off of it after I washed it. You can guess where that ended up :(

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

My wife's favorite set.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

19th century Ottoman court. Big cups in this one, probably ~.5 liters.

Those are gorgeous!

 

Excuse the shoddy picture quality:

 

700

 

700

 

700

 

 

This is one of my favorite cups (the other one along with my gaiwan is in the kitchen, too lazy to go get them XD) It's a Hagi piece by Eiichi Shibuya made in a run of 20 unique pieces, just for Teachat. Pictures really doesn't do it justice. I remember when it finally arrived in the mail, I was in awe of its beautiful lines, its glaze, and the feeling overall. As you can see, over time the cracks in the glaze have shown from constant use (and also using hotter teas such as black and Pu-erh in it). To me, it makes me think of ice cracking on a hot spring rock. There is no damage due to these cracks, it is purely cosmetic and has happened to all 20 cups (although some only used it for greens so it has been a slower process).

post #3372 of 21761
Wow, all this talk of speakers and tea paraphernalia makes me want to get into speaker-fi and tea drinking. I have an addictive personality, I think.
post #3373 of 21761

Great stuff mosshorn; Magick Man! In times past, I use to delight friends with a wide variety of tea cups and Gaiwans as gifts. But, when I started visiting folks (recipients) and observing Gaiwans being used for pop, liquor and beer, I gave pause. Then witnessed the washing of scared bowls with soap & water eek.gif...and I was done! 

 

Now I look to buy other gifts for the non-tea drinking crowd. I was merely trying to encourage the experience of tea.

post #3374 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by compoopers View Post

Wow, all this talk of speakers and tea paraphernalia makes me want to get into speaker-fi and tea drinking. I have an addictive personality, I think.

 

 

 MF is seeking wink.gifa new path...we gonna take her there.

post #3375 of 21761

Does anyone happen to know much about the city of Champaign, IL? I'll probably be spending the bulk of my summer there next year while studying for my board exams, and I was just wondering what the overall feel of the town was --- I know it's a college town, with a few tech startups and corporations, but that's about it.

 

Also, if anyone can fill me in on the feel of Edinburgh, Scotland and Montreal, Quebec as cities, I'd greatly appreciate it too. They're two places I'm considering for doing some visiting clinical electives next year as well (University of Edinburgh and McGill, respectively).

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