8 Yixing Teapot Features You Should Know About
The city of Yixing isn’t just the average industrial town in China. In fact, it’s known for its purple clay (‘zisha’) teapots, also known as Yixing teapots.
This teaware is often seen as the gold standard when it comes to steeping equipment. So what features make it so special? Let’s find out.
- Yixing teapots enhances the tea taste by making it richer and more mellow.
- The longer the teapot is used, the more glossy it becomes. That’s because the teapot absorbs a tiny amount of tea every time it's used, allowing the pot to develop a shiny surface.
- Yixing teapots have excellent resistance to heat and cold. High quality pots, can even be used on the stove or in a microwave oven without cracking.
- Its heat preservation properties make Yixing teapots the best teaware for teas that require more heat for an optimal brew. With its slow heat transfer, an Yixing teapot is also safe to hold and use without burning your hands.
- The special clay absorbs the fragrance of tea. If you well nourished and frequently used teapot in plain water, the water will start smell and taste like tea!
- The color of a Yixing teapot is normally reddish brown, dark-brown, yellowish or green-bluish (depending on which clay type is used), but it changes over time when used regularly. It is amazing how the color changes and varies depending on the tea you use. For example, if the pot is used for black tea more often, the color will change to mahogany; if it is usually used for green tea, the color will change to brown. It's not very usual to use a clay teapot for green tea though. To find out which tea types are suitable and why you should dedicate a clay teapot to specific tea types read this article.
- Well-processed Yixing clay is easy to mould, which makes it suitable to transform it into different styles. After moulding, it will retain its form while heated in a kiln. This property of Yixing clay enables artisans to create all kinds of unique Yixing teapots, such as one of the 18 Mansheng teapog shapes.
- The porous nature of Yixing clay allows the pot to preserve the full flavor of the tea. It's said that even when you keep tea overnight, it doesn’t spoil or change its color.