China is the homeland of tea and Chinese tea pots are world-renowned for being highly functional and decorative. Different styles of tea pots are used in different regions of China.
For example, large teapots are popular in northern China while tiny teapots are popular in the south.
Although tea originates in China, the style of many pots that are commonly used today is actually European.
Chinese Tea Culture
The Chinese drink tea regularly and serving tea is an integral part of Chinese culture. On formal occasions, the Chinese serve their elders or higher ranking officials tea as a symbol of respect.
Drinking tea is also a central practice during family gatherings and weddings in China.
In traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom kneel before their parents and serve them tea. Chinese people also serve tea when they make a serious apology to others.
YiXing Tea Pots
The Chinese regard YiXing tea pots as being the finest of all Chinese tea vessels because of their vibrant natural color and ability to absorb the aroma, flavor, and color of the tea steeped in them.
Another advantage of using YiXing tea pots is that they retain heat and thus bring out the deep flavors of certain teas.
YiXing tea pots are made from unique purple clay called "zisha" and have been produced since the Sung Dynasty (960-1279). Zisha clay is porous and thus absorbs the flavor of the tea.
After decades of using a Yixng tea pot, it is said that you can brew tea simply by pouring boiling water into the pot.
Many people choose to brew just one type of tea in their YiXing tea pot so the flavor is not affected.
Yixing tea pots are characterized by their deep purple color. Glazes are not used on Yixing tea pots because it masks their natural color.
The inside of these traditional Chinese tea pots is never glazed to maintain the zisha clay’s porous nature.
Small 100-150ml YiXing tea pots are used to brew tea during traditional Kung fu tea ceremonies in the Chaosahn region of China. YiXing tea pots tend to be small in size because they are designed for individual use.
Many Westerners are surprised by their small size since tea pots in the West are typically large. YiXing tea pots typically hold only one to two servings of tea. In the past, Chinese people carried their own YiXing tea pots around with them.