Tea is recognized worldwide as one of the most popular and healthy drinks. Prepared by brewing leaves of the tea plant in hot water, people from all walks of life love it for different reasons. Not only do they find it delicious and refreshing, but it is also nutritious and health-giving. But when it comes to devotion to tea, only a few countries out there can actually contend with China. In fact, drinking tea is actually considered as a pastime on that side of the world. And one element intrinsically tied with drinking of tea in China is the Yixing teapot.
It is because of tea why the making of pots is big in China. Made of ceramic, they have the ideal combination of insulation and heat retention to keep their favorite drink at its optimal state. But the Yixing teapot takes this functionality to a completely different and higher level.
What makes the Yixing teapot such a precious commodity when it comes to drinking tea in China? The answer lies in its intrinsic qualities. Let’s start first with the clay used in making them. The clay used in making these pots is derived from a specific geographic location found in the Jiangsu Province. There’s something about this clay that gives it its charmed properties. When used to prepare tea, it absorbs and retains a small amount of the tea into the pot, creating a distinctive taste that tea experts love. This flavor is actually strengthened further with prolonged use. However, this same property is the reason why you steep only a particular type of tea in a given pot, as it interferes with the accumulated taste.
Another characteristic that makes these pots such a big part in China’s tea-drinking culture is its size. Chinese people like to bring around a cup or two of their favorite tea wherever they go, and the Yixing is constructed to do exactly that. It’s more compact than your usual teacup. On the average, a Yixing pot can carry about a cupful of tea. But this endows these teapots unparalleled portability, a must for any traveler. Combining a spill-proof spout with a good-sized handle, these pots are made for traveling, and the Chinese love it for that.
The last factor that makes Yixing teapots special is that they are considered to be works of art. Each pot is constructed uniquely by craftsmen who spent literally years to perfect the skills needed to make them. In fact, Yixing artists even have an apprenticeship system that develops more skilled craftsmen. Because of this, Yixing teapots have incredibly high quality. It’s unsurprising to see pots made by the best Yixing craftsmen to sell for thousands of dollars. And with the quality of these works of art, it’s definitely worth every cent.
Yixing teapots are probably the only one of its kind in the world. Not only are they stylish, but they are also functional. In a way, these teapots best encapsulate China’s love affair with drinking tea.