23 July, 2012


I wrote recently concerning the extraordinary generosity of His Kengship, the Marquis de Keng. We have much else for which to be thankful, and this article is one of gratitude.


Thanks first to Mr. and Mrs. Essence of Tea, who have bestowed upon us an entirely charming pu'erdao [pu'er knife].  Pictured above and below, the images will fail to communicate the sheer mass of this pen-sized implement, which is so significant that it seems to bend light.  It really is extremely heavy.


I have long been looking around for good cups, and was iterating ever closer to the beautiful hand-made examples seen around the interwebs.  We have long been using some simple cups bought many years ago while visiting Sichuan, and which, while functional and sweet, could certainly be improved upon.

Thanks again to Mr. and Mrs. Essence for including a pair of cups of the type shown below, which have now become permanent fixtures on our teatable.  They will undoubtedly be showing up in the images shown on this humble site.  Perhaps less obvious, again, is the density of material used in their construction, which causes them to retain heat for much longer than our lighter, lower-quality porcelain cups.

These may or may not be the "late Qing" cups listed for sale at the web-site of Mr. and Mrs. Essence; if so, I can heartily recommend them.

2006 Simao Gupuer

Another long-time teachum, ST, hails from Singapore - the land of the unfathomably excellent storage conditions.  His daughter is studying an undergraduate degree nearby, and he was kind enough to send us the charming pot shown below.  Its skin is lustrous and its weight is reassuringly heavy.  Again, it takes an age to cool, and keeps its heat for as long as one might ever need, such is its construction.

I shown the pot below during its maiden flight, brewing a tea from fellow-Singaporean, Keng.

Singaporean Tea

Thanks to one and all for the lovely gifts, which are most sincerely appreciated - and most frequently enjoyed.


Keng said...

Hi Hobbes, you are most welcomed. I always wish I can write as elegantly as you. Cheers!

Nick Herman said...

Hmm..the majesty of your teapot is diminished by its association with MATLAB. *shudder*

Hobbes said...

Always too generous, Keng!

Nick, you need to let The 'Lab into your life. Come play with us* - for ever, and ever, and ever.



*Engineers. It seems most statisticians use R, being the open-source hippies that they tend to be.

Simeon said...

Ah Hobbes ----- I see you also have a cake of the WALLET BUSTING E.O.T. 2012 Gua Feng Zhai . I managed to keep mine fully intact for all of two and a half weeks before my will power finally caved in today --------- ! A charming pu'erdao indeed ! I have one identicle myself - also a very kind and generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Essence of Tea . Can you translate the Chinese characters on the blade for me please ? All the best !

Hobbes said...

Dear Simeon,

My ability to read Chinese is really rather terrible. Fortunately, Lei has been kind enough to translated the seven characters on the blade:

Renchen Dingzhi
(Renchen - A certain year, in the traditional method of counting years. Dingzhi - "Custom made")

(Tea's charm / harmony. The "yun" here is that often used in tea, which is quite hard to translate. It refers to a charming feeling about something of quality, or a harmony, or a resonance. Hence, it is sometimes appropriated with musical terminology such as rhyme, which is rather unsatisfactory. You get the idea!)



Deshar Au said...

That is truly a lovely pu'erdao. May I ask if you know where one might purchase one?

Many thanks,

Hobbes said...

Dear Rebecca,

Thanks for the post - your first I think? Then pu'erdao is a pretty one, and so very heavy; I'm afraid that I don't know if it can be bought, but Essence of Tea would be the place to try.