The art of drinking and serving tea, which many call as “Chinese tea ceremony” plays a very vital role in China. In fact, the ritual of preparing tea has held a special place in the hearts and minds of the Chinese.
Although the ceremony emphasizes the tea, the overall style of tea drinking is still of great importance. Chinese teapots and tea cups are highly needed and each piece plays a role distinct from the other.
Speaking of Chinese teapots, nothing is more suitable for a wonderful tea experience than the original Chinese teapot – the Yixing. Usually pronounced “E-ching”, these collectible pots are so charming and can be starkly simple with designs that are thousands of years old. Many people even claimed that these teapots are whimsical, being shaped like lotus flowers and with Buddhas and pre-Majolica subjects like vegetables, fruits or animals.
The contemporary Yixing Chinese teapots come in different shapes. The most common shapes are chairs, wheelbarrows, and other unusual styles that never fail to bring smile to one’s face.
What’s interesting to know about Yixing teapots is that its primary importance lies in its special, red clay, which is only found in the Yunnan province of mainland China. This Chinese teapot is porous and absorbs odors easily. It is even unglazed. After time, the Yixing teapot will take on the character of your favorite Chinese tea.
If you are thinking of buying a Yixing Chinese teapot, here are the 14 things you need to know:
1.The cap of the pot must be firm and should not move around easily.
2.The body must not feel grainy.
3.The knob on the cap must be in sync with the rest of the body. It must be ergonomic.
4.The Chinese teapot usually contains enough tea to serve 2 to 3 persons and not masses.
5.When water is poured out of the teapot, it should come out in a beautiful stream.
6.The handle should enable one to handle the teapot firmly.
7.Look for Chinese teapots with net on the mouth to catch unwanted tea leaves.
8.The hardness of the body should be just right.
9.The color should not be dyed.
10.The shape should be flowing and there should not be awkward proportions.
11.The pot should have unusual shapes for it indicate craftsmanship.
12.A good Chinese teapot should be made of purple clay or zhu in clay.
13.The bottom of the teapot must have a name of the artist engraved onto it.
14.Good Chinese teapots tend to have skin that feel brittle. Its walls are thinner than the inferior teapots.