yixing teapot order from steepster

20 Jul



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.

100% safe transport!


Why we choose yixing teapot

19 Jul

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.

zhu ni clay yixing teapot, raising...

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.

Semi-handmade yixing teapot fit well just as a brewing vessel

19 Jul

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.

Yixing teapot history

18 Jul
Yixing of Jiangsu Province, China, is the homeland of chinese pottery.

The zisha pottery of Yixing is known for its elegant form, elaborate craftsmanship, archaic colour and functional performance. Coming initially from in Northern Song Empire(960-1279), Yixing zisha teapot has past hundreds of years from Song to Yuan and finally ageing in early Ming Empire. Within the Ming Empire(1368-1644), Yixing teapot be a necessity in teahouses and peasant families, and was sought after through the upper classes. They’re considered luxuries for that high authorities of court and royal homes.
Evaluating the zisha yixing teapot along with other artistic representations for example music and painting, we noted the concepts their enjoyment aren’t much in difference. To get the connoisseurship of zisha teapot is straight forward with someone but hard to others. Connoisseurship of zisha yixing teapot must germinate from an enjoyment from it. One needs to create a passion for zisha teapot before it’s possible to go much deeper and much deeper into the field of teapot and comprehend the true zisha pottery and it is material qualities, chemical composition, molecular structure along with the yixing teapot’s colours, form, decoration means, artistic styles, master potters etc. Only in so doing may improve a person’s connoisseurship and progressively establish design for a person’s collection. No connoisseurship can be done with no substantial collection. You ought to remember that it’s quality that counts not quantity when growing an accumulation of Yixing zisha teapots.

New yixing clay teapots and after nutured effects comparison

18 Jul
Nurturing the yixing clay teapots, some people say seasoning the teapots, is a translation of “养壶” in Chinese. 养(Yǎng, help to develop, to raise, care for) 壶(Hú, pot). YǎngHú is a slow process that require patience and the right technique. It is the general concensus in the Chinese clay teapot community that a well nurtured yi xing teapot is more valuable than when it was new. Most importantly, it enhances the tea it steeps. It is just like raising a child. A good Yǎng-ed teapot looks and feels better.  Here are some examples of new pots and seasoned pots:
yixing teapot new&seasoned comparison
The picture above is Qing shui ni version of yixing clay teapot used and new comparison
duan ni clay xi shi yixing teapot new&seasoned comparison
The two pictures above is duan ni version of yixing clay teapot used and new comparison
jiang po ni yixing teapot shi piao new&seasoned comparison
The picture above is Jiang Po Ni version of yixing clay teapot used and new comparison
zi ni yixing teapot ju lun zhu new&seasoned comparison
The picture above is Zi Ni version of yixing clay teapot used and new comparison
qing shui ni yixing teapot fang gu new&seasoned comparison
The picture above is Qing Shui Ni Clay version of yixing clay teapot used and new comparison
Yixing clay teapots’ major advance is the clays used to make teapots slightly air and liquid permeable. This permeable property is what makes Yixing zisha teapot so good for steeping tea.

How to choose a yi xing teapot 1

18 Jul
ceramic teapotLet’s go on to talk about teapot, let me just say that most seasoned tea drinkers have at least 3 or 4 yi xing teapotsof different shapes and sizes. I am not saying you need a few teapots to be a serious tea drinker. It’s just that in order to make the best out of your tea leaves in different settings, you need to use different teapots.
Getting back to the topic, let’s first talk about size. Teapots come in sizes/volume from 1 gongfu teacup to about 1 liter. The ones used to make

small yixing teapot

Chinese tea typically aren’t bigger than 500mL, like the ones used in Chinese restaurants. Big yi xing teapots of this size usually cannot make very good tea. (There are exceptions when steeping aged fermented tea like Pu’er). In gongfu tea, the right teapot size depends on the number of cups of tea to make in each steep. The yi xing teapot should be just big enough to make the number of cups needed. The reason here is that a teapot too small will not produce enough tea in one steep. A teapot too big will produce more tea than you need, which results in waste if you pour the excess away or you "destroy" your tea leaves by oversteeping if you leave the excess in the teapot. (In traditional gongfu tea we pour straight from the teapot to the cup, so there is no other pot to collect the tea from the teapot).
Another aspect here is that most tea expand when steeped and take up space, reducing the available water volume. How much the tea expands depends on the type of tea and the amount of tea leaves you use. Tea like Gunpowder and Tie Guan Yin expand more, while dragon well and Pu’erh don’t expand much. If you like to make strong tea, you also need a slightly larger teapot because the more tea you use, the less room there is for water in the teapot. Okay I need some tea now. I’ll be back for Part 2.

How to choose a yi xing teapot 2

18 Jul
I talked about choosing the right size of yi xing teapot in previous. This article, let’s look into the types of yi xing teapots to choose. Using the right type of teapot is crucial to brewing a good cup of tea.
Yi xing teapot (zisha teapot,purple clay teapot), is the traditional gongfu teapot. It is THE teapot I recommend for brewing most tea. Here’s why: The clay used to make Yi xing teapot is very unique. It’s slower in conducting heat and has good permissibility.
A good yi xing teapot is capable of concentrating the heat from the hot water into steeping/brewing the tea leaves. It is also very durable because its good permissibility prevents it from cracking. A yi xing teapot that is used everyday doesn’t need to be washed/scrubbed. All it takes is a quick rinse with boiling water before use and it’s ready for action. Yi xing teapot lets you bring the best out of your tea. But a good one now demands quite a premium.
Flat teapots have wider bottom which work well for spreading the dry tea leaves out and preventing "soaping" of tea leaves inbetween steeps. Having a wide bottom (Shi piaostyle or Xu bianstyle) to spread out dry tea leaves allows the leaves to expand evenly during steeping. Better expanded tea leaves release more flavor, producing better liquor.
duo qiu(drop ball) yixing teapot with round bottomshi piao yi xing teapot with flat bottomxu bian yi xing teapot with flat body

Yi xing clay, pruple clay, purple sand, zisha clay teapot effect

18 Jul
Yixing clay (Purple clay, purple sand, zisha clay)’s unique properties make it ideal for brewing tea. The quality most immediately apparent is the attractive color of purple clay. This color, sometimes augmented by natural pigments, is never hidden on YiXing teapots by glazes. Similarly, the inside of YiXing teapots are always left uncoated. The porous nature of purple clay absorbs the flavor, smell, and color of the tea that is brewed in it.
Over time, YiXing teapots develop a seasoning from repeated use, making the tea brewed from a well used teapot a special treat. For this reason, most people will dedicate a single flavor of tea to a specific YiXing teapot, so that the seasoning is not disrupted by cross-brewing.

Yixing teapot general knowledge – holes of spout

18 Jul
Type of yixing teapot’s spout holes is an import way for distinguish the date it made, there are three type of spout:
1. Single hole is popular in Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty.
2. Sincere the end of Qing dynasty, most of yixing teapot’s spout is mesh style, can be 6,7,9,10…..holes.
3. In 1970s, in order to meet the needs of exporting yixing teapot to japan, people started to produce a number of half ball mesh, so that water outflow more fluent and better filter the tea leaves.
Now, some XiaoPin(capacity <150ml) zhu ni yixing teapot’s spout is single holes, there are two reasons:
The teapot size is too small that mesh style spout will impact the outflow water fluent.
Zhu ni XiaoPin is so hard to make that mesh style spout is even more hard to make, so keep it sinle hole, save the time and save the work.

Introduction of zhu ni clay yi xing teapot

18 Jul
Zhu ni clay was first produced in Zhao Zhuang( a village in south ding shu town of yixing city). In history, it is called “Shi huang ni clay”.
The ore mine is located in the bottom of other yixing clay, with high iron oxide, hard like stone.
The shape of zhu ni clay ores is trival, need to collect by human. It’s hard to make pots only by pure zhu ni clay, used to be yixing teapot’s decorate clay.
In history, zhu ni teapot is made by 80% xi shan(shan means “hill” in yixing) delicate clay ( also located in Zhao Zhuang), and 20% Dong Shan jia ni clay, using sand filtration by water (old clay making method). Because of Zhu ni is not so much fire-resistant, so  Dong shan jia ni is added to, this kind of clay don’t change zhu ni clay’s clor, but improve the fire-resistant of zhu ni clay. The real zhu ni clay is in the core of Xi Shan delicate clay, break it will get the pure zhu ni clay.
Zhu ni ore mine is not only find in Zhao Zhuang, it also located in: Huang long shan, Qing long shan, Xiang ya shan, Lan shan, Xiao me yao, Wu shan lao yan kou, xiang shan, etc.
There is a mistake about zhu ni clay, many people believe “wrinkle” style zhu ni teapot is the best, that’s not true, in fact zhu ni teapot also can be smooth, rough, drape or fine. “Wrinkle” or “drape” style seems special compared to other yixing clay teapot surface. but we can’t  evaluate the quality of zhu ni just by the surface.
Zhu ni also has many colors, no all zhu ni clay teapot are red, in fact it has red, purple, black, yellow and green, so many color, just like the flower.
The difference of zhu ni clay influenced by: lode position, stale time, blend method and ratio, make method, firing temperature.
Has so many different characters, so zhu ni is indeed some yixing teapot collector’s favorite.
Huang long shan er huang zhu ni clay – 36mesh – 1135
Huang long shan zhu ni clay – 40mesh – 1170
Xiao mei yao kiln zhu ni clay – 50 mesh – 1140
Huang long shan zhu ni clay – 60mesh – 1150
Hong wei zhu ni – 50 mesh – 1135
Xiao mei yao zhu ni clay – 60 mesh – 1140
Zhao zhuang golden zhu ni clay – 60 mesh – 1125
Zhao zhuang er huang zhu ni clay
Xiao mei yao kiln er huang zhu ni clay – 40 mesh -1125
Xiao mei yao kiln shi huang zhu ni clay – 60mesh – 1125
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