Yixing Teapots – Cultural Object

Teapot_(Yixing_ware,_about_1900)

(Found online on Wikipedia)

Three years ago I received a teapot from a friend. I knew nothing about its construction or history, it just looked nice. This class has made me dig deeper into the type of teapot it is and how it was made. I discovered my teapot was made from Yixing clay, also a traditional style of teapot production which uses clay from Yixing, a city in the Jiangsu province of China. The roots of this style and clay date back to the Song dynasty (10th century) in China. However, it was not used as a mainstream method and material until the Ming dynasty (14th to the 17th century). My pot is below!

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Tea masters say one can only brew a single type of tea in each pot, because, over the years, the tea’s taste seeps into the clay and will brew stronger, more sought after tea. However, if one begins to brew multiple types of tea in the same Yixing clay pot, one will be mixing flavours and never be able to brew an untainted tea in that pot. It is preference, of course. Nonetheless, there is an art and appreciation that builds around keeping things pure and taking care with what one does. I have only ever brewed Keenum tea of Qimen, in the Anhui Province, China. It is a famous black tea from China known to be fruity, with hints of wine and pine.

(Photos below were found on Google images)

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catphoto                  eb912e598f

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