Chaozhou Shi Piao Teapot

A pot shaped like a leaf must be an alphabet for tea. At first glance one notices the popular shi piao (ladle) form; a wide and flat base suitable for long tea leaves and compressed pu’er, along with a sturdy ovate handle that adorns it. The artist has made efforts to stretch the red clay in lyrical fashion, masking the corners of the body, the neckline, and closing off the lid to an almost invisible seal. The silence is broken, and as if in concentrated effort the spout casts forward, its four sides rising up like a stratovolcano, until a jet of tea streams into the beholder’s cup. 

The clay

Chaozhou red clay from Phoenix Mountains is very fine and has an elasticity that supports being thrown on a wheel. It is not hand-built like Yixing teapots which leads some stylistic differences between the two. The thinner walls dissipate heat quickly making it suitable for more smaller thus delicate tea leaves, whose higher aromatic profile should be protected from overheating. Containing the same minerals to the earth Dancong tea trees are grown, the two are considered a good brewing match, though the clay itself is versatile for other types of tea too. It does well in softening and rounding any tea liquor, and adds character to the flavour while preserving its brightness.

  • ARTIST: She Haibiao (佘海标)
  • MATERIAL: Hongni, 红泥 (lit. 'red mud')
  • SHAPE: Shi Piao, 石瓢 ('stone gourd ladle')
  • CAPACITY: 110ml
  • HEIGHT: 5.2 cm
  • WIDTH: 7.3 x 10.5 cm