- Tea Knowledge
The beauty Xishi has a new look: in a silky matte hongni, the classic form has been modified by the artist, with a wider body and slightly flatter top, the reverse handle chunkier for a secure hold, and, most notably, the traditionally concave spout become convex. Inside, a built-in ball filter strains tea while the conical spout channels and curves the stream for a beautifully smooth and quick pour. It's a slightly pop-y and very pleasant to use rendition, while remaining rooted in the historical style, named after a famous concubine.
Resembling hongni in appearance and composition, the somewhat yellower xiao hongni (小红泥) is derived from a different layer of ore from the mine of Lanshan (拦山). Its reddish tone and brewing properties are comparable, however, meaning it will do well with teas that benefit from a bit of smoothing, such as young sheng Pu'er or heavily-roasted yan cha.
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.