Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yixing Teapots

I have a soft spot for Yixing (pronounced ee-shing) teapots. I'm not a big tea drinker, but sometimes I like to have green tea while I'm blogging. I bought our first pots several years ago, so the concept was not a new one for me, but I've always bought them sight unseen on-line.

YiXing teapot, also known as Zisha (Purple Sand), first originated in China and is made from clay produced in the town of YiXing, located northwest of Shanghai in the province of Jiangsu.

Yixing teaware is prized because the unglazed surfaces absorb traces of the tea which enhances the brew and therefore a teapot should be dedicated to a single type of tea consumed.

The colors form naturally from the clay and come in purple, yellow, green and red. The forms of Yixing teapots include antique styles, modern motifs of nature, animals, geometric figures, Chinese Zodiac and Buddhist forms.

I was hoping to find a pot to bring home for Becky as a gift. I was pleasantly surprised to find many shops carried Yixing pots. This shop was in the old Shanghai district. Yes, I had to haggle. The price I wound up paying was competitive to what I would have paid on-line. But it was a good experience and this was the first time that I got to see the pot before I bought it.

Becky's new pot
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

This shop carried some mid level pots and some finer pots. Since I made my purchase before looking at other shops, I was nervous that I could have found a better pot for my money. As the trip went on I leaned that I got a good pot and could have done a lot worse. My haggling skills may have been better, but I did as well as I would have on-line (and then there would have been shipping) and my dealer made a profit. So it was win-win.

Here is a video presentation of a master potter making an Yixing teapot.


Steffe said...

Shanghai haggle. Sounds like fun. I enjoy green tea every now and then. I didn't know about the Yixing teapots.

Addicted to The Click said...

Beautiful tea pot...

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I adore tea pots, and these are extraordinary. Good job haggling. I've haggled in Mexico for pottery - it can be fun but was stressful to me at first. I understand about the win-win. Gorgeous tea pot - fascinating about the clay, its absorption and the brewing of a single type of tea. Great post - very enjoyabl.

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