- Tea Knowledge
A queen among teapots, the obloid body swells regally upwards, wreathed in its shimmering mantle of silver. Filled with, say, a deeply dark infusion, or an equally pale one, it dispenses a generous quantity of liquor through the straight spout, and unlike open clay teapots, can easily be cleansed of previous aromas and therefore used with multiple types of tea. Its beauty doesn't come with a lack of function: a built-in ball filter strains leaves, and the top handle of woven black reeds keep the hands from burning. A final aesthetic touch: into the pure metal on each side, a whorled shell-like pattern has been impressed. For those who value it, the luxury of such a silver teapot represents the pinnacle of the gongfu cha experience.
A true luxury for the gongfu cha enthusiast, the material may shape the taste of the tea in a way similar to, but distinct from, that of unglazed clay. Likewise, its existing patina will gradually develop further with use, meaning the appearance of the surface may differ from the photos. It comes with a certificate verifying its authenticity, as well as a set of polishing materials.
Silver teapots—an ancient art
Long before Yixing teaware started to be known for its fine forms and producing good tea, let alone became the sought-after collectors' items of today, the most valued material for teapots was silver, praised above all others by the Tang Dynasty tea master Lu Yu. Though kept alive in other parts of East Asia, the rise of ceramics saw the decline of the art of silversmithing in China, and it is only now being revived by studied masters using time-honoured techniques. Melted into a disc, the silver is hammered bit by bit into its final shape in around twenty-five rounds, requiring some 300,000 strokes by the artisan, followed by trimming, soldering, filing, and polishing each piece into the desired shape with a pleasing sheen. The final work is an unparalleled artefact of ancient tradition and everlasting beauty.