I had plans to have a new 'boiling water' setup and had purchased these items many months ago. Procrastination crept in. The kettle in the top pix, which I had bought in Hong Kong about 18 months ago, is a Lin Ceramics model. This is a 1.4 litre kettle. A similar kettle was also used at Lau Yu Fat teashop in Hong Kong. The shop had been using these kettles for a few years and I had been impressed with the performance, durability and the 'smoother' boiled water from the kettle.
I had also purchased an infrared cooker. Made by Kamjove, China, this brand is preferred by the tea drinking communities in China. Their induction cookers were reliably used by many teashops in China and reviews on Kamjove products were good. The model I had purchased is a radiant (infrared) cooker. The 'shell' of this cooker is made from clay. I had observed this cooker being used at a teashop in Guangzhou. The cooker was used throughout the day and I like its ability to have controls to boil a full kettle of water but also keep the water at a very small boil as well. It has a auto-off function after 5-10 minutes. I personally believe that for brewing pu erh and high roasted oolongs, water temperature should be as high as possible (close to boiling) so that the aroma and taste could be fully brought out during brewing. Information on the cooker box indicated that kettles/pots made from iron, silver, copper and glass can be used on this cooker. This gave me more flexibility in using different kettles made from different materials. I realised I have a small kettle collection as well (about 10 in all).
Now all I need is to season my ceramic kettle. I was told to boil/cook a mild rice porridge in the kettle to season it. I had been procrastinating on this procedure but hope to do it during this weekend. Last pix show a trial run I had with this cooker. I felt the tea 'stayed' warmer using this setup....maybe its my imagination.
I had mentioned many times in my blog that all you need is a gaiwan/teapot and 2 cups to have a good tea session. So why did I spend moolah on this boiling water setup? Visually, it looked good. And....the water tasted better but ever so slightly. The improvement is very tiny. To me....brewing tea using a seasoned teapot or purion tea ware will also give me a tiny improvement in the taste and aroma of my tea. All these tiny enhancements, which I perceived, are some of the 'fun things' to have in a tea session. Yes, these add-ons are not necessary but on long weekends...... using these 'extras' does make a tea session a more interesting exercise.