Lao Zhuni

Flat Lamp Yixing Teapot

This stout zhuni seems to be a play in symmetries: the the line of the flattened lid's rim is paralleled by the pedestal of the foot; meanwhile, the thick spout with soft edges is mirrored by the thin handle, yet all is in harmony. The low height-to-width ratio, with the benefit of a wider mouth, suggests filling with unrulier leaves that deserve quicker brewings, and a built-in net filter allows pouring in a reasonable time while not clogging the fingerlike spout. And zhuni's natural gloss means there's no need for polishing to get the magic out of this lamp: beauty will emerge both from within and without.

The clay

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.

  • ARTIST:  Jiangli
  • MATERIAL:  Lao zhuni 老朱泥 ('old vermillion mud')
  • SHAPE:  Bian Deng, 扁灯('flat lamp')
  • CAPACITY:  115 ml
  • HEIGHT:  6 cm
  • WIDTH:  7.5 x 11.3 cm