A customer came in and asked me if I had any Lishan Tea this season. I told him yes, and he said he would like to try some. I took out a gaiwan and started to make tea. I usually brew my oolongs in a porcelain gaiwan. He asked me why I didn't brew tea in a yixing pot (he saw there were at least five of them on the tea table).
I told him I love yixing pots, but when I let people taste a tea for the first time, I prefer to use a gaiwan. I believe a gaiwan will give a tea a more "orginal" taste than a yixing pot. After he sampled the Lishan, he was quite satisfied with the quality.
After I receive a new season's Oolong, I am normally busy comparing them and then offering tea tastings to customers. After I have finished my initial round of tasting and sampling, I can spend time to try out some teas in various yixing pots.
I was about to test out Lishan tea in a gaiwan and a yixing pot today when my tea friend, Doug, came to help me take some tea photos. I invited him to taste the teas with me.
After I rinsed the tea, we both agreed that the smells from the lids were different. The one from the yixing lid was more creamy, and the one from the gaiwan lid was bolder. We did three rounds of tastings to compare the difference. The Lishan brewed in the yixing pot was full bodied and well balanced, but I thought it lost a lot of high notes. The Lishan brewed in the gaiwan had more flavors and was smoother. I liked the tea that was brewed using both methods, and had a hard time deciding which one I preferred. Doug liked it from both methods, too, and he preferred it from the gaiwan.
Everyone should be free to experiment with their teas and their brewing methods until they find something they like. When you do, please let me know!