The fact that it has taken me THIS long to bite the Ruyao bullet is both tragic and baffling. I love celadon, I love crackles, I love matte textured teaware...so what gives? I think I was hesitant because I was weirdly thinking that the crackles messing up the pristine teal color of the teaware would bug me, that the stains would tick that place in my mind that makes me neurotic about the wood grain patterns in my hardwood floor not flowing organically...or the part that makes me fly into a rage at that one gaiwan of mine where the printed pattern doesn't match correctly. It is maddening!
Part of my preview for Teaware.house's grand opening included a beautiful Ruyao Seafoam Green Tea Pitcher which has essentially taken over as my main cha hai. True when I am using a set I match the cha hai to it, but any other time, this beauty has taken over. I fell in love the moment I held it, the smooth texture and graceful lines enamored it to me. So far the crackles are gentle, like a fine webbing across the surface. I decided to take all my Ruyao pieces and soak them overnight in a super thick soup of black tea and leaves to give it an even yet delicate cracking, that way any other crackles that show up will give the pieces a more organic crackling. The only problem with this pitcher is created a monster.
With my order I got a nice Douli Ruyao Hat Cup, in fact all but one of the cups I got were hat cups, I adore that style so much. This cup is slightly paler than the chai hai or gaiwan, matching my Ruyao teapets more, it being paler does not bug me, especially since it matches my teapets, though my camera on my phone really freaks out sometimes and makes it blindingly white...thanks phone, such a useful thin. The crackling on this one started out really slow, barely noticeable after my soaking, but after a session with some LaoChaTuo Shou it looks like a tea egg now, I can't wait to see how this will evolve with more use.
The gaiwan, well, when I first had my order picked out, all I was getting was cups and teapets, I have fourteen gaiwans, I REALLY don't need anymore, but I am a serious teawarehoarder and decided, well I am getting this cup and I have a pitcher, CLEARLY I need a matching gaiwan. I have no regrets! I love its low profile and soft texture, it feels wonderful and my hand and the lid fits wonderfully meaning I can let out a torrent or a very controlled flow when pouring. The crackling is gentle and fine, much like the cha hai, but wow, after my shou session and leaving the a few leaves in it overnight, it looks amazing!
Last night I was lounging in bed talking with Ben and said 'after I get this Duanni pot I am eyeballing, I think all my teaware purchases are going to be Ruyao' and he responded 'you really seem fixated on it lately' but the real question will be, what next? More cups? Teapots? Teapets? I have developed a secondary addiction.