Yixing tea pot's Material and Characteristics:
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The yixing purple clay teapot is reputed as the "first of all tea-sets in the world" for its unique material and characteristics£»tea inside it does not seep though no glaze is applied on its surface,tea brewed in it tastes rich and mellow for the teapot is porous;tea in it does not decay or change its color when kept overnight,it long retains its full flavor,for the base clay is odorless;the teapot keeps tea warm in winter,but not hot for the hand in summer,it does not crack when heated on a stove or when boiling water is poured in;the longer it is used,the more lustrous it becomes,the more refined and classic it looks,and the more fragrant the tea kept in it.,
Yixing tea pots are made by a very special unglazed clay material called"zisha"clay.
Zisha, or purple clay, from which Yixing ware is made, is found throughout the hilly southern area of the Yixing region. The particular qualities of this clay substance set the Yixing apart from other unglazed earthenware teapots. Geologists have pinpointed the origins of Zisha in the area compressed sedimentary lake deposits.
there are actually three different varieties of Zisha. The most common of
these are the Zini or rose-brown clays. The other two more rare clays are know as Banshanlu or creamy white to light-brown clays and Zhuni or red clays. Chemically, all are composed primarily of quartz, kaolin and mica and contain high amounts of iron oxide, which lends the clays their purple-red color. Zisha clays are also fairly sandy.
Recognized by artisans and literati centuries ago, these characteristics of the Zisha or purple clays help to make Yixing pots especially well-suited for brewing tea. Excavations have shown that the composition and structure of the clays used in making authentic Yixing teapots today closely resemble those used in pots from the 1500s and later.
Yixing tea pot each piece is shaped by hand on a potter wheel and left unglazed, both because it makes better tea and because doing so allows the color of the clay to shine through. Highly prized for its porous nature, which is excellent at absorbing the flavor of tea, Purple sand or clay does not really in purple color only, it depends on the layering from the ground, different layers has different color, Yixing clay occurs naturally in the characteristic colors: light buff,
cinnabar red and purplish brown. it can have many natural color after fired.
Other colors are created by mixing these three clay. A principal factor
in determining the depth of the color is the concentration of iron in the clay.
zisha clay has very special characteristics chemistry composition and texture,a 4% 0f the water absorption rate,a very low thermal conductivity,and other unique qualities,it already is confirmed and is received that zisha clay is best raw materials for made teapot in whold world. When properly refined and fired to a high (but sub-porcelain) temperature, it produces a type of pottery that is
slightly absorbent. Legend has it that if you have prepared tea in an Yixing teapot many times, you can reach a point where by adding boiled water alone you can make tea because the teapot itself holds enough of the tea flavour. the characteristics of yixing teapots as follow:
(1) One of the special attributes of Yixing teapots is the ability to retain heat. Small pores produced in the clay during firing retain both heat and flavor, and the low shrinkage rate of Yixing clay allows the skillful potter to make a closely-fitting lid that inhibits oxidation thus heightening the tea flavor.
Yixing tea pot can keep tea's heat,primary colour,aroma and taste.this is proved by the test:the fine qualities of tea will been retain for 5 days if you use yixing teapot.but it only can retain 3 days if you using other ceramics teapots.
(2) The Yixing teapot is free of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic materials. Yixing ware is unlike other unglazed earthenware teapots. The Yixing teapot has a
fine and solid texture, a four percent water absorption rate, a very low thermal conductivity, and a double air hole design which enhances the pot brewing properties. The principal standards for evaluating a teapot brewing quality are the color of the tea soup produced and the level of tea phenol, caffeine, and aminophylline. The performance of the Yixing teapot is far superior to that of the standard teapot with respect to all four of these criteria. Not only are the Yixing teapots beautiful and unique works of art, but also, they are excellent brewing vessels. in fact,yixing teapots exceeds the strict standards imposed by china¡¯s pottery reserch institute and are also approved by the usa"fda".to ensure this high standard of quality,
(3) after firing, Yixing tea pot is solid and impermeable, yet porous enough to "breathe". A Yixing teapot enhances the tea brewed in it with respect to colour, smell, and taste. Its walls seem to absorb the tea and keeps fragrance. In summer, it keeps tea overnight without spoiling. With hot tea inside, it does not scald the hand with purple sand being a slow heat-conductor. But in winter, it may serve as a handwarmer and may be left on a low fire to make certain types of tea which need simmering. To the Chinese tea connoisseur, it is the "ideal teapot".