Wooden gift box, tea towel pouch, three yixing clay cups as gift in it, wrapped by bubble paper and put in strong corrugated board carton.
Yixings grow in value with continued usage. As long as you pour your initial cup of tea over the pot, then brew one to drink, the pot will form a glossy exterior and gain its value. If you’re going to get one, you might as well get something that will make the growing worth while. I think of these things like little pet rocks. An yixing teapot is something you’re going to invest a lot of time in raising. You’re investing your time into this thing: at the very least, it’ll hold your favorite flavors to give back to you. At best, it’ll hold memories of time spent with friends, loved ones- moments of your life.
Yixings are made with a purple sand clay, and this clay absorbs the tea flavours, seasoning the pot with prolonged usage. Hence, Yixings are recommended for use with only one tea.
Most inexpensive (but authentic) yixing are semi-handmade, with facilitation of molding tools (but very different from the mold used for slip cast). By American standards and compared with a lot of other commodities, I think this semi-handmade method is more than qualified for “handmade”. But in yixing world, the real handmade ones are those made with sculpting standards and without facilitation of molding tools. Most yixing in the market are semi-handmade, and handmade ones, even by unknown craftsman, could easily get above $250 in Chinese market, and a few times more in western market. If you use yixing teapot as a brewing vessel instead of collecting it as a sculpture work, semi-handmade is good enough. So the inexpensive and authentic options for you I can think is our yixing teapot web shop, because till now most of our yixing teapots are semi-handmade.
Above is our shop, two of them are my relative, they are all making yixing teapot by plaster molding tools. Some of yixing teapots sale in our web shop is make by them.