- Tea Knowledge
A warbling knob seems to spread out onto the shallow domed lid and over the edge, something about the pale, textured hongni giving a sense of movement to the piece. The design appears to be an interpretation of the You Quan ('remote spring') form, where the knob abstracts a jet of water bubbling up in a serene pool, but its artist Jiangli has christened her teapot Han Yu: 'cold (i.e. humble) jade'. It may be true that it is neither bold nor flashy. But the cute hook of the spout, the ripple of the lid, and the swell of the body with its unusual, almost seamless foot are several little prominences that are sure to endear. Fill the wide mouth with large leaves, empty through the built-in ball filter, and enjoy a humbly great cup of tea.
Hongni (红泥) is perhaps the largest umbrella term for the various Yixing ores, but those that fire to the namesake bright red are not that common anymore, increasing their value. The larger particle size results in a more matte surface and less density than, for example, zhuni, but the luster will increase with usage.
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.