ABOUT YIXING ZISHA
Yixing Zisha teapots are also called Yixing purple clay/sand teapots and they are in short - famous. This traditional style of teapot is commonly used to brew tea in China, dating back to the 15th century and is made from clay produced near Yixing in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, China.
Yixing teapots are usually preferred for brewing black and oolong teas, as well as aged pu erh tea due to their ability to retain heat. However white or green teas can also be brewed if correct water temperatures are used. Yixing teapots feel surprisingly heavy, unlike regular teapots. Almost all new Yixing teapots are dull looking and rough to the touch. They are made of natural colours of ‘purple sand’ which can be mixed and then fired at different temperatures which create a variety of colours.
Like Jianshui and Chaozhou teapots, Yixing teapots absorb a tiny amount of tea into their pot during brewing. After prolonged use, the teapot will developed a coating that retains the flavour and colour of the tea. With use and time, the teapots will develop a beautiful sheen from the tea oils which have been absorbed. It is for this reason that soap or detergent should not be used to clean Yixing teapots. Instead, it should be rinsed with hot water and allowed to air dry. Most Yixing teapot collectors will only steep one type of tea in a particular pot, which results in a pretty little collection of teapots.
Prices can vary from a few dozen to thousands of dollars. The price of Yixing teapots are dependent on factors such as age, clay, artist, style and production methods. The more expensive pots are shaped by hand using simple tools while cheaper Yixing pots are produced using moulds.
Price is not necessarily an indication of quality. We have seen many expensive pots which were rather poorly made, whereas some of our cheap half-handmade pots have been some of our best performing pots. In this day and age, there is also a great degree of fakery around so it is best to do your research and be cautious, especially when splurging on an expensive Yixing teapot.
These teapots will only get better with age and even appreciate in value when they are well-seasoned and ‘yang’ed – definitely worth the time and money invested in them.