This beautiful hand-crafted Yixing tea pot is made from the clay of the Yixing Chinese province. Yixing ware has the unique ability to absorb the tea flavor with continued usage. The fired clay contains tiny air pockets which provide insulation and enhanced taste and aroma of fine tea. The different colors are achieved from pigments added into the clay before firing. Due to the handmade nature of this tea pot, the textures and patterns will vary from piece to piece.
Why buy and dedicate a Yixing teapot for different kinds of tea?
Yixing teapots (or Zisha teapots) are known to be great to brew different kinds of tea. Due to the porous nature of the clay, this kind of teaware is very absorbent. Overtime the teapot will acquire the taste of the tea you steep in it. Because of this feature, you want it to only absorb one type of flavor.
Therefore, as a starting point you could dedicate one teapot for:
raw pu erh tea
ripe pu erh tea
oxidized / roasted oolongs
Some drinkers like to make a difference between origin. For example, black tea from Yunnan and Fujian have a different flavor profile and therefore it could be worth it to use a different Yixing teapot. Others, even brew different pu erhs in different teapots based on age.
However, generally we believe the above division is specific enough as a start, unless you've deep pockets and love to collect Zisha clay teapots.
Why not green or white tea?
Generally you won't often see green or white teas being brewed in a clay teapot. One main benefit of the Yixing teapots is that it isolates the heat very well making it suitable for the above teas that needs to be steeped at a high temperature. Green and white teas however often taste better when steeped at lower temperatures. And because of the light flavors, they often don't taste as good when brewed in a clay teapot, compared to for example glass or porcelain teaware.
Avoid flavored teas or herbs
As said before, clay teapots are very absorbent. When flavored teas or other types of herbs are steeped in a Yixing teapot, it will absorbed those strong flavors, affecting the taste of teas you steep in it in the future. For flavored teas or herbs we strongly recommend using glass or porcelain.
8 Features You Should Know About Yixing Tea Pots
1. Yixing teapots not only preserve the original color, aroma and flavor of the tea, but also enhances the tea taste by making it richer and more mellow.
2. The longer the teapot is used, the more glossy it becomes. That’s because the teapot absorbs a tiny amount of tea each time while brewing, which allows the pot to develop a shiny coating.
3. Yixing teapots have excellent resistance to heat and cold. It can be used on the stove or in the microwave oven without cracking.
4. With its slow heat transfer and heat preservation properties, the teapot is safe to touch and use, while brewing, without burning your hands.
5. The special clay absorbs the fragrance of the tea. If you just put plain water in a frequently used Yixing teapot, the water will smell and taste like tea!
6. The color of a Yixing teapot is normally reddish brown (though other colors are now also available), but it changes over time when used regularly. It is amazing how the color changes and varies depending on the tea you use. For example, if the pot is used for black tea more often, the color will change to mahogany; if it is usually used for green tea, the color will change to brown. It's not very usual to use a clay teapot for green tea though. To find out which tea types are suitable and why you should dedicate a clay teapot to specific tea types read this article.
7. Yixing clay is easy to mold, which makes it suitable to transform it into different styles. Moreover, after molding, it will retain its form while heated in a kiln. This property of Yixing clay enables artisans to create unique teapots that often resemble fruit/melon like shapes.
8. The porous nature of Yixing clay allows the pot to preserve the full flavor of the tea. It's said that even when you keep tea overnight, it doesn’t spoil or change its color.
Yixing Teapots (pronounced ee-shing) first appeared during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) in the Yixing region of China, located in the Jiangsu province, about 120 miles northwest of Shanghai. The Jiangsu province is the world's only source for the unique clay from which Yixing teapots are made, called purple or red clay. Yixing teapots were relatively unknown for many years until the late Ming Dynasty (1600s) when their use and production began to flourish. Demand from Europe and throughout China fueled an active industry in which many artists developed their craft to high levels of mastery.
THE SHORT STORY OF YIXING
How to season your Yixing Tea pot