I've been minding the store on my own the last couple weeks at FLT. Shiuwen has been in Taiwan meeting the farmers and general teafolk she works with over there. And she returned yesterday with all kinds of goodies!
She brought me a generous and fantastic little gift, an unglazed pot made by Lin Studio. And it's made out of Taiwanese, homegrown, volcanic clay. Beautiful and strange!
The texture is grabby like fine grit sandpaper. The shape is very cute. But what I noticed when I got it home and started to season it was the smell. It smells strongly of some mineral, but I can't place it, and it's only when I get it very hot. I circulated through it some Tie Guanyin soup, and it smelled wonderful as the last of the liquid evaporated off the clay. I haven't tasted a brew from it yet, but I'm dying of curiosity. I'll probably try it in the next couple of days.
I think it's really exciting to see all the different kinds of clay people are using to make unglazed pots now. I've used a Taiwanese clay pot (light grey color) for Dong Ding quite a bit, and enjoyed it. I also occasionally use a pot made of Japanese red clay (not Tokoname) for High Mountain Oolongs, which is really fun. It will be fun to see how the clay teapot market develops as it grows, and more diverse clays become teapots. Woohoo!