- by vinux
The unique material of Yixing — purple sand, has created many skilled craftsmen and made Yixing a famous city of pottery. The valuable wealth they create and exquisite handicrafts that have been preserved in the world are the proofs of their craftsmanship and quality. Therefore, purple sand is a special characteristic, an art, a quality and a moral!
Can a purple sand pot improve the quality of tea? — Yes.
Assuming there is a standard to compare with, in general, the comparison standard for this type of discussion is porcelain cups or glass mugs used for brewing tea. Tea tasting has its own standards, and the same should apply to tea ware.
From my personal values orientation, when evaluating the various indicators of tea sets, the ability of tea making (the ability of the teapot to express the quality of tea) should always be first. As for aesthetics and appreciation, these should be discussed only after satisfying its basic attribute as a practical utensil.
The quality of tea soup is composed of many factors, such as the quality of tea, performance of tea ware, brewing water, environmental weather, and the technical strength and state of the brewer. If other factors are fixed as constants, it can be understood that:
Quality of tea soup = Quality of tea * Ability of teaware to brew tea.
The teaware’s tea-brewing performance should be higher than 1 if a certain performance as the benchmark (for example, a porcelain lid bowl) is taken. Therefore, high-quality teawares should provide an index of “>1” for its tea-brewing performance.
If the extreme high quality of tea (i.e., all parameters related to tea soup quality are perfectly expressed) is set as a constant, then the tea pot index is within the (0,1) interval. The better the tea pot performance, the closer the tea pot index is to 1. Here, the so-called tea pot index is a qualitative rather than quantitative description of the performance of the teapot.
So how did the tea’s flavor come about?
The tea brewing performance of a purple-clay teapot should be attributed to its microscopic unique structure with dual air holes. After the correct production and firing process, the dual air hole structure of the finished teapot can ensure proper insulation and breathability.
More accurately speaking, regarding thermal insulation, it is the temperature change curve of the tea ware. In comparison, the temperature change curve of porcelain and glass teaware is undoubtedly too “steep”. This difference in performance can be reflected in the brewing of tea – provided that the right teapot is selected and used.
In terms of breathability, it ensures that the tea leaves have a certain “breathing” space when brewing. Brewing tea is not just a matter of “stifling”–of course, this is something that the “reciters” who only look at the physical data cannot understand. From the microscopic level, it determines the rate, ratio and other differences in which the different substances contained in the tea are extracted into the tea soup, eventually leading to a comprehensive presentation of the quality of the tea soup.
By choosing and using a zisha teapot correctly, the performance of tea can be more balanced and excellent. The soup feeling, aftertaste and other aspects of the tea will all be improved to some degree (relatively).
The so-called “lingering flavor”.
The so-called “taste” of the purple sand pot is caused by its micro-double gas hole structure that can absorb the aroma. That is to say, it belongs to the “sub-performance” of the air permeability of the purple sand pot. This is actually not necessarily an absolute advantage for tea making – there are always people saying that if a teapot has been kept for a long time, even without adding tea and water, it still has tea fragrance, but what kind of tea leaves would you mix in? (joke)
There is actually no difference between the smell and odor of a purple sand pot, so when making some tea with certain odors (for example, old tea stored for many years), this performance can be expressed as an advantage – absorbing odors.
If a new purple sand pot or a purple sand pot that has been used to brew other teas is used to brew high fragrant teas (such as Oolong tea), the performance of the tea will be reduced due to the interference of scent or odor (all odors different from the aroma type of brewing tea can be considered as odor).
Only through long-term soaking can the air holes of the teapot be filled with (or replaced by) the aroma of the selected tea, so as to express the quality of the tea without distortion. At this time, “nurturing pot” can be regarded as a process of breaking in.
One pot of tea.
For Oolong Tea, a high-aroma tea, there are differences in aroma type among different varieties (including small varieties under the big varieties). For folks who drink this kind of tea, these differences cannot be ignored, thus the saying “one pot one tea” was born. However, it is a prerequisite that you must be an “expert” to enter this discussion.
If the quality of tea does not reach a certain level or if there are not too strict requirements for the quality details of tea, then it is permissible to relax the correspondence between tea and pot. A pot can be used to brew a type of tea flavor.
As for other non-aromatic teas, such as Pu’er tea and white tea, the scope can be widened. For example, Pu’er tea can be divided into several major categories based on raw or ripe, new or old, storage and so on, and then select the corresponding pottery according to its performance.
When it comes to selecting teaware, there are a few things to consider. For example, the quality of the material used to make the pot and the shape and size of the pot itself. Additionally, it is important to consider whether or not you will be using the pot for purely aesthetic or practical purposes. Lastly, think about your personal preferences when selecting teaware so that you can find something you truly enjoy!
Selecting teapots, according to the density of the mud material and the firing degree of the teapot, can be divided into four approximate ranges. Tea can be selected according to its nature. Furthermore, other indicators of the teapot can also be considered: size – there is an index called “tea-water ratio” for brewing tea.
When the capacity of the teapot is within a certain range, the water-tea ratio is linearly correlated, that is, the amount of tea can be determined by multiplying the capacity of the teapot and the water-tea ratio. However, when the capacity of the teapot is too large or too small, the existing water-tea ratio becomes invalid.
When the volume is too large, the time for the teapot to pour out soup will not be proportional, thus prolonging the tea-steeping time. At the same time, the temperature curve of the teapot and its breathability will also show nonlinear changes. If the tea set is too small, it will cause problems such as tea strands being unable to stretch completely and poor tea quality extraction.