Teapots-Clay (Zhe Sha)

Chart: Teapot Sizes based on No of People Served
Size of Teapot Volume (ml/fl oz) Number of People
1 Size 70 ml / 2.4 fl 1 – 2 People
2 Size 100 ml/3.4 fl 2 – 4 People
3 Size 175ml/6.0 fl 3 – 5 People
4 Size 225ml/7.6 fl 4 – 6 People

The different shapes of teapots allow for the different types of leaves to expand in their own unique way to maximize the surface area exposed to water while brewing inside the teapot.

There are 3 types of manufacture:
i) Handmade
Handmade teapots are formed into shape by an artist who hand cuts the pieces and assembles them into shape using traditional tools such as wooden picks and paddles. There is a certain pride in owning a handmade teapot, especially if it is made by a famous artist. The making of teapots is a highly skilled art and some Zisha teapots from famous artists are collectors’ items and fetch very high prices, especially if from the 1980’s or 1950’s or even from the Qing Dynasty (1644 –1912). Antique teapots are prized because no two are alike, with each one having a unique history, patina, “taste” and “personality”. Knowing antiques requires highly specialized knowledge so only deal with an expert you can trust.
ii) Half-handmade
Half-handmade is assembling machine-moulded pieces by hand with traditional tools. Many good teapots using Zisha clay are made in this way.
Moulded teapots are made by a mass-production process of assembling pre-moulded pieces by machine, such as the two halves of the teapot and lid and attaching a pre-moulded spout and handle. Even though moulded teapots are not as valuable as handmade or half-handmade teapots, many are made with Yixing clay and are still superior for tea-making than glazed or porcelain teapots.

4) Type of Clay
Yixing (Yee-zhing) clay is the famous clay from the Yixing region of Jiangsu Province in Central China from which the finest teapots have been made for centuries.
There are 5 type of Clay:
i) Purple Clay (Zhi Ni)
ii) Red Clay (Hong Ni/Zhu Ni)
iii)Green Clay (Lu Ni)
iv) Mixture Clay (Duan Ni)  
    v) Black Gold (Hei Jing Ni/Wu Ni)                                                              


New teapots must be season before using it usually called open the teapot for the first use. Here’s one of the step in seasoning the Yixing Teapot:-

1. Rinse the teapot in hot water and brush vigorously inside and outside with toothpaste (which is gently abrasive) and a toothbrush.

2. Put a large pot of water on the stove lined inside with a cloth. The pot should be large enough to completely submerge the teapot

3. Wrap the lid in another cloth and place in the large pot with the teapot. The cloths prevent breakage by stopping the teapot and lid from hitting the sides of the pot and each other when the water is boiling

4. Bring the water to a boil, cover and boil the teapot and lid for 30 minutes

5. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the water to cool

6. Remove the teapot and lid and rinse thoroughly in warm water

7. Optional – If you know what type of tea you will be brewing with that particular teapot, bring to a boil and add 2 – 3 tea-scoops of the tea leaves that you will be using for that teapot. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and steep the leaves for about 30 minutes to make a strong tea. Strain out the leaves and any small particles. Repeat Steps 2 to 6 using this strong tea instead of water.

Your teapot is now ready to start make tea.                                                                                        


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