Yixing clay teapots, called Zi Sha Hu in China or ‘purple clay’ teapots, are perhaps the most famous teapots for making Chinese tea.
They are so called because of a small town in Jiangsu province, where a specific iron ore compound causes the unique colouring of these teapots. They were cooked without glaze and used to prepare specific types of oolong tea.
Capacity of traditional Yixing clay teapot: 250ml
Features of Yixing clay
A Zisha teapot needs to be seasoned before use, and then improved daily. In addition to simple daily use, it should be rinsed and dried constantly with a soft cloth or tea brush.
Due to the porous nature of the clay, the teapot should be gradually tempered by using it to steep a type of tea. This seasoning was part of the reason for using the Yixing clay teapot. In addition, craftsmen have created imaginative teapots incorporating animal shapes.
Yixing clay teapots are intended for use with black (red) and Oolong teas, as well as aged Puer tea. They can also be used for green or white tea, but the water must be allowed to cool to about 85°C before pouring it into the teapot.
Yixing teapots absorb a small amount of tea inside them during preparation. After prolonged use, the teapot will develop a layer that preserves the flavour and colour of the tea. For this reason, soap should not be used to clean Yixing teapots.
Instead, they should be rinsed with fresh water and left to air dry. A knowledgeable tea connoisseur uses only one type of tea in a particular pot, so as not to corrupt the absorbed flavour.
Yi Xing, the city in eastern China, is famous for its purple clay teapots. The teapot bears numerous features such as various types, exquisite design, perfect hand-carved patterns. On the other hand, the ceramic teapot is the typical symbol when it comes to Yi Xing, and has been renowned for decades.