- Tea Knowledge
Petite yet poised, this Yixing is on the very small side, and its thin walls, slender handle, and hollow foot all contribute to quick cooling for a teapot well-suited to delicate aromatics and teas that require cooler temperatures. Its shape evokes the tall, paper lanterns that lit up Chinese nights for centuries, and its details—parallel lines of the rim and foot, the joint-like crook of the spout, the vertical symmetry of its sides—speak to care in the construction. Those who prefer looping a finger through the handle may find room enough for two, while the meagre weight makes it a pleasure to hold. All will appreciate the inclusion of a built-in ball filter.
Resembling hongni in appearance and composition, the somewhat yellower xiao hongni (小红泥) is derived from a different layer of ore from the mine of Lanshan (拦山). Its reddish tone and brewing properties are comparable, however, meaning it will do well with teas that benefit from a bit of smoothing, such as young sheng Pu'er or heavily-roasted yan cha.
Why do I need a Yixing teapot?
The material and the shape of Yixing teapots are ideal for brewing tea. They bring out the tea flavor like no other tea vessel. Hand-made Yixing teapots are also valuable handicrafts sought after by collectors. Their value raises with time, usage and artist popularity.
Yixing teapots are made of a rare and depleting clay mined in the mountains near Yixing, a city in the Jiangsu province. The high density yet porous nature of the clay absorbs the smell of the tea brewed in it. For this reason, it is advised to use the pot with only one kind of tea (for instance with black teas or green teas). Bring your tea to the next level; allow yourself an authentic Yixing teapot.