A handcrafted Yixing Clay teapot.
This Yixing teapot is ideal for brewing black and oolong teas, as well as aged pu-erh teas.
Yixing clay teapots are made from Zisha or purple sand from Yixing, a small town on the west bank of Lake Tai about 120 miles west of Shanghai.
The composition of the clay allows for minimal shrinking during firing, and this makes for a tightly fitting lid, which reduces oxidation and holds the tea’s flavour. The porosity of Yixing clay also helps it to absorb the flavour of the tea brewed in the teapot. Teapots made of purple and keep tea fresh and they make tea vibrate with taste.
Although this very special clay has been known since the 10th century, but the production of Yixing teapots flourished with the popular fashion for tea drinking among the literati in the late Ming dynasty. In Yixing you have to dig 10 meters down to find the clay, then sift and purify it and let it settle in a hole for a certain period before you can mix it with other ingredients. According to the classics no family would ever share its recipe with another.
Many of the teapots are small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. They hold very little tea, which was to be consumed like a fine liqueur.