Yixing clay is a type of clay from the region near the city of Yixing in Jiangsu province, China. Other common names of this clay are Zi Sha, Purple Clay, Pueple Sandclay, Wu Se Tu(Penta-color Soil) etc.
The finished stoneware, which is used for teaware and other small items, are actually comes in five main colors: purple (紫泥), red (紅泥), green (綠泥), yellow (黃泥) and turquoise (青泥). While other colors can be found, purple clay is the most abundant. Therefore all clays of this nature are generally named zisha clay regardless of its actual color. They are known as Zisha ware, and are typically unglazed. Yi xing clay is a double-pore structure of porous materials. Stomatal fine, high density. The clays used for the Yixing wares are very cohesive and can be formed coil forming, slab forming or most commonly slip casting. The clays can also be formed by throwing. The most famous wares made from yixing clay are Yixing clay teapots.
Yixing teawares are prized because their unglazed surfaces absorb traces of the beverage, creating a more complex flavour. For these reasons, yixing teawares should never be washed using detergents, but rather with water only, and connoisseurs recommend using each tea vessel for one kind of tea (white, green, oolong, pu-erh or black) or sometimes even one variety of tea only.
Yixing teapots absorb a tiny amount of tea into the pot during brewing. After prolonged use, the pot will develop a coating that retains the flavour and colour of the tea. It is another reason that soap should not be used to clean Yixing teapots. Instead, it should be rinsed with fresh water and allowed to air-dry. A studious tea connoisseur will only steep one type of tea in a particular pot, so as not to corrupt the flavour that has been absorbed.
Yixing teapots are smaller than their western counterparts as the tea is often brewed for only a few seconds before it is served to guests. And the smaller tea pots are more popular because they could keep the fragrance of tea better than larger ones. Reusing the same tea leaves multiple times, the first brew of the tea leaf is usually used only to clean tea, teapot, and cups and is not to be consumed. Chinese people traditionally drink from cups that hold less than 30 ml of liquid and are simply repeatedly filled so that they may cool rapidly but can be ingested before the tea becomes cold. Also Yixing clay tea wares have good performance of resist hot and cold blast. It won’t cracking due to sudden changes in temperature. While Yixing clay transfer heat slowly, you don’t feel hot when touch it.
The function of Yingxing teapots in the art of Chinese tea is as important today as it has been for the last four hundred years. Today, the term zisha is synonymous with Yixing teapots and the art of tea.
To collectors and tea connoisseurs, Yixing teapots are more than just an instrument--they are works of art that satisfy us with visual beauty, textural allure, and flavorful delight.
|Material||Pottery Clay/Tao, Purple Clay/Zi Sha, Qing Shui(Pure) Clay|
|Manufacturing Technique||Hand-made, Hand-moulded|
|Country of Manufacture||China|
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