- Tea Knowledge
Soft and gentle in appearance, it is no wonder that this Yixing has been named after one of China’s four beauties Xishi, who with her good looks is told to have eclipsed the moon and shamed the flowers. Though natural purity is its evocation, the potter has adorned this otherwise traditional form with her slightest, ever so whimsical intentions. Elevated like a button nose, a snub spout branches from its cushy body and an upturned handle—thinner at the top and wider at the base—offers a surprisingly intuitive grip. Functional as well as playful, the unique features are a delight to discover, suggesting the good nature it could bring to a tea table.
The precious Lao Zhuni (老朱泥) is a rare red ore extracted from the now closed mine in Xiaomeiyao (小煤窑), among the most famous sites for Yixing ore extraction. This Zhuni is particularly rare because the clay has been aged before being shaped into a teapot and fired, soaking and tempering the material. The suffix "lao" ("old" in Mandarin) refers to the long storage.
Zhuni shrinks significantly during firing, and the resultant density and superior heat retention recommends it for use with aromatic teas or those brewed with the hottest water, such as rolled oolongs or black teas.
Why do I need a Yixing teapot?
The material and the shape of Yixing teapots are ideal for brewing tea. They bring out the tea flavor like no other tea vessel. Hand-made Yixing teapots are also valuable handicrafts sought after by collectors. Their value raises with time, usage and artist popularity.
Yixing teapots are made of a rare and depleting clay mined in the mountains near Yixing, a city in the Jiangsu province. The high density yet porous nature of the clay absorbs the smell of the tea brewed in it. For this reason, it is advised to use the pot with only one kind of tea (for instance with black teas or green teas). Bring your tea to the next level; allow yourself an authentic Yixing teapot.