- by vinux
As the culture of tea becomes more popular, having a personal purple clay teapot is no longer something new for those who like to drink tea. More and more tea lovers are discovering that good tea needs good tea sets to brew a better tea soup. So, what should beginners pay attention to when choosing a purple clay teapot?
A purple clay teapot, both an art piece and a practical utensil, cannot be bought with the same mindset as shopping in a vegetable market. It is wrong to be greedy for a cheap price or blindly pursue a large capacity.
Before a novice purchases a purple sand pot, they should first determine what their purpose is: making tea or collecting? If it is for making tea, then they should choose the pot according to their specific requirements of tea-making, such as the material, capacity and shape. For example, when infusing rock tea, a larger pot body is preferable since it helps to expand the tea leaves; while for infusing Tieguanyin, zhu clay should be chosen due to its high density close to porcelain which helps preserve the fragrance. If it is for collection purposes, then characteristics of the material and craftsmanship along with shape should be considered. Pot with an antique style is suitable for brewing fermented teas such as Wu Long Tea (rock tea), Pu’er Tea and black tea; while refreshing pots are suitable for green teas and Wu Long Teas with heavier fragrances.
This small red clay teapot with a high lid resembling a Mongolian yurt, and thin lips, is perfect for brewing fragrant oolong tea. The lid of the teapot has a gathering aroma function which is not inferior to that of the smelling cup.
If you have a shape of pottery that you really like, traditional shapes are more popular (such as stone gourd, Xishi, Qin Qian and imitation antique, etc.). If so, look for it according to the picture. If not, choose what you like. But try to focus on light and simple pottery. This will help you understand the changes of purple sand brewing, and at the same time save decoration, so the price of pottery can be cheaper.
If you have found a teapot you like, as a beginner, don’t rush to buy it. If you have the time, go back to have look a few more times and see if you really like it. There is an unwritten rule that a good teapot should be appealing – the more you look at it, the better and the more you like it will be your best choice.
It doesn’t matter if the title is high or low, take a look at the thing first; observe the pot itself (the quality of clay and workmanship are most important). Even if the title is very high, if the pot is not well made, it’s just a white card! Of course, it goes without saying that if the pot is well made and with good clay materials and high title, then it would be even better. The proportion should be coordinated for an aesthetic feeling.
Read professional and authoritative books and look at pictures of high-quality purple clay products. Keep the “standard model” of this type of product in mind so that you can use it as a reference when selecting an urn. Theory must be combined with practice, patiently cultivating your beloved urn and admiring its changes; if you have the chance, definitely visit Yixing (the source of purple clay) to see and experience it yourself, form your own viewpoint and understanding instead of just following what others say! Purple clay urns are certainly something that “pleases will pay”! The more good things there are, the more money they’ll cost. Of course, mastering skills is not enough, some basic knowledge is also necessary when buying urns.
When choosing a pot, don’t consider too much, such as a foot of water does not disperse flowers, mouth does not drool, etc., these are secondary factors, as long as it does not affect the use. For the so-called “three points and one line”, that is, the highest point of the mouth of the pot, the highest point of the pot opening and the highest point of the handle on a straight line, I suggest that it is roughly equal. Handicrafts are not mechanical parts after all, deviations are not so accurate, especially with shrinkage factors included. Moreover, for many pot designs, mouth handles may be super high or not on a straight line. This should not be your main consideration when choosing a pot.
True purple sand pot can be felt through the eyes and hands; the color is calm, not gaudy or greasy, although there is a certain luster, but should be like a thin fog from inside to outside, not garish. The surface sand feeling is obvious with a sense of level, and particles are hidden and visible. Touching it gently with your hand is not greasy, non-adhesive and comfortable, like bean paste or even baby’s skin, making you reluctant to put it down.
Do not be influenced by the body forming process, which is commonly referred to as full manual, mold forming. In the early stages of a novice entering this option, there is no more practical meaning for you, only increase your troubles and easily be misled, which in turn will affect your normal judgment. A pot placed there or hidden among many pots will attract your eyes if it is not determined by the body-forming process. Moreover, now the mould-forming purple sand pots are much more expensive than those made by hand!
If you chose container and syringe, then the sealing between the lid and body is not a factor to consider, because the two types of vessels are limited by the craftsmanship, leakage is inevitable.