Origin: Yi Xing City, China
Material: Yi Xing clay (red clay) 朱泥
Craftsmanship technique: 100% handmade
Introducing this exquisite handmade Yi Xing clay teapot with a small figure of piggy on top of the lid. Pig is commonly considered a symbol of fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture, hence it's often used for decorative purpose. This particular style of Yi Xing clay teapot is called "Xi Shi" 西施, and it's named after a historical beauty figure from Tang Dynasty about 1100 years ago. Tang Dynasty is often compared with Renaissance not only for its fervent period of culture, art, politics and economy, but also for its beauty standard as a slightly more plump body figure is more praised. Hence the Xi Shi style teapot also has a plump body and it's precisely prized for this feature. Yi Xing clay teapots are highly valued and desired both for its craftsmanship and its material.
The clay is also known as purple clay and it's only from Yi Xing city in China. The clay color tone of this teapot belongs to the category of red Yi Xing Clay, which is the highest grade of the red clay and is called Zhu Ni in Chinese 朱泥. In general, there are three types of red color tone Yi Xing clay, red with slight yellow, yellow with slight red, and red with slight purple. Zhu Ni's red color is due to high content of iron, which is highly valued. Because Yi Xing clay has a purple tone, it's sometimes referred as "purple clay", but not all Yi Xing clay types are purple color only.
Yi Xing clay is famous for being "breathable", meaning that it has a high level of perseverance of tea. If you leave tea leaves in a real Yi Xing Clay pot, it's unlikely it will go bad even for 3-5 days in normal room temperature. One purple clay teapot can only be used for brewing one type of tea since the breathable clay material will absorb tea oil and fragrance over time to enhance the flavor of that one type of tea, so you do not want to cross flavor or aroma in one pot by brewing different type of teas. Yi Xing clay teapot is also known for its high heat retention, thus it's recommended to use it for teas brewed by high water temperature, such as Shu Pu Erh, Sheng Pu Erh, or high roasted oolongs. Over a long period of time, the Yi Xing clay will be saturated by tea liquid color and because of absorbing tea oil, the clay will become more and more radiant, which is another reason this type of material is highly praised and desired. Many people in China collect Yi Xing clay teapot precisely for this reason.
Dimension: width 3.9in (handle and sprout included), height 2.6in, diameter of opening 1.8in, diameter of bottom 1.9in, volume 130ml