I was in Taipei, Taiwan last week and I spent an afternoon at Lin Ceramics Studio.
For readers who are unfamiliar with Lin Ceramics - this ceramic company was started in 1983 in Taiwan. They mainly produce mainly tea ware and are famous for their purion ceramics. Today, Lin Ceramics have more than 10 showroom / outlets throughout Taiwan.
I had good impressions of Lin's purion tea ware and own a few purion teapots and teacups. I was introduced many years ago to Lin's purion by Mr Lau of Lau Yu Fat teashop in Hong Kong. I found that pu erh and high roasted oolongs seem to taste more amplified. I cannot explain the reason for this 'change' and a few tea buddies who owns these tea ware found similar results in their tea as well.
Purion is a mixture of natural mineral ore and pottery clay. Lin's brochures stated that the mixture "combined both Porphyries Andesite, infrared ray and bamboo charcoal". I googled this and found andesite was mainly volcanic rock. The brochures further elaborated that "we partnered with a Taiwanese ceramic artist Gu Chuan Zi, to develop the purion collection. Purion is a mixture of natural mineral ore and pottery clay. This formula is able to improve water quality, elevating the taste and texture of tea, liquor and coffee".
But I digress. I cannot explain why using purion tea ware seem to make the tea taste different. There are other tea ware I had encountered that makes the tea taste different as well. Japanese tetsubins, Yixing clay and certain porcelain seem to have different effects on tea as well. The difference is subtle but serious or hardcore Chinese tea drinkers can discern this difference. I will devote a blog entry on this topic.
Back to Lin. I visited the concept store in Yongkang area. The 2nd pix showed an artistic tea set. The 5th pix shows a Lin Celadon set which is popular with tea drinkers that drink lighter roasted oolongs and green teas like the famous Taiwan's high mountain oolongs. I had the opportunity to compare and taste tea using various Lin teapots (see last pix).
Lin Ceramics are also located in the famous Taipei 101 building / mall. They also operate 2 branches at the Yingge old street in Yingge district, which is less than an hour's train ride. Yingge old street is renowned for the many ceramics shops and is a wonderland for the tea ware enthusiast.
I managed to purchase and hand-carry home a few purion tea ware, including the rare triple fired purion teacups. I will list a couple of these soon.