Kettlepots – Basics of Chinese teapots

June 3, 2015 Kettles , Kettles & Teapots 3760 Views
Kettlepots – Basics of Chinese teapots A lot of tea lovers in the world find Chinese teapots charming, but have no idea what exactly they should be looking for when buying these kettlepots.

Gong-Fu Cha’, meaning ‘Tea with great skill’ is the art of making traditional Chinese tea. It is far said and believed that the teapot used is extremely pivotal in making the perfect cup of tea. Some basic fundamental features to look out for while selecting a Chinese tea pot include the following:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Type of clay
  • Firing temperature

Let us look at the important properties of every tea pot which Gong-Fu Cha enthusiasts propagate:

  • Any tea is best made in clay teapots and the best teapots are made from “Purple Clay” (Zisha) from the Yixing (Yee-zhing) area of China
  • Zisha clay has excellent porosity and heat handling properties that significantly improves the taste of tea when compared to tea made in glass, porcelain or glazed teapots.
  • A Yixing teapot should only be used for one type of tea.
  • High-fired teapots with a finer, thinner clay are excellent for use with any tea and a must for Green, White and Oolong teas. Low-fired teapots that use a thicker and more porous clay work best for Black Tea (called Red Tea in China) and Pu-Erh Tea.

Kettlepots_Yixing teapotCredits

Additional features of Chinese teapots include:

  • The clay of the teapot helps retain essential oils thus enhancing the taste of the tea. So the clay remains porous keeping the tea oils accumulated within giving that unique taste to your tea.
  • A teapot is used for a single variety of tea; no other type of tea leaves can be used in it unless they are from the same family or class of teas. It is most advisable to not mix the teapot with different tea leaves.
  • The teapot you choose should be user-friendly which means it should be easy & comfortable enough to use it in terms of the handle, weight & lid. A smaller lid opening tends to keep the fragrance of tea in the teapot whereas a larger opening allows the fragrance to escape. But the type of opening varies with the strong & light flavors of the tea leaves.
  • The spout should have a built-in strainer. It needs to be as large as possible to not constrict the flow of tea being poured.

clay teapot


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