• by vinux

The unique material of Yixing – Purple Sand has created a great number of skilled craftsmen and contributed to Yixing’s reputation as the capital of pottery. The invaluable wealth they create and the exquisite craftsmanship that have been passed down from generation to generation are the proof of their craftsmanship and quality. So it can be said that Purple Sand is a kind of special quality, a craft, a quality and an ethic!

It is well known that purple clay teapots are suitable for brewing Da Hong Pao, Pu’er and Tieguanyin, while few people try to brew green tea with a purple clay teapot. Many people use glass cups to brew green tea and after a long time many people think that green tea cannot be brewed with a purple clay teapot. Is this statement correct?

There is an opinion that it is not recommended to use a purple clay teapot to brew green tea, because:

One, can’t see the dance of green tea floating in water.

Second, the purple sand pot will stew the tender green tea, losing the freshness of the green tea.

Actually, it’s not like that.

Glassware is a later product. Due to the pleasant sight of green tea when it expands in water and its convenience in brewing, it has been widely liked by people. However, this should not negate the advantages of purple sand teapots.

Steeping tea for too long is a situation that usually occurs when someone does not know how to brew tea properly. Brewing tea requires attention to details such as heat, water temperature and the amount of water. Moreover, from a scientific point of view, the double-hole structure of purple clay teapot ensures that it is breathable but waterproof.

This feature is not present in glass cups, iron kettles, porcelain pots and other tea sets for steeping tea, ensuring that green tea kept its freshness for a relatively long time in a purple sand teapot. If green tea is steeped with water at 80℃ and the infusion time is controlled properly, it will not become dull.

In addition, because purple clay teapots have good air permeability and water absorbency, a teapot not only doesn’t make tea taste stale, but also enhances the aroma of green tea. Su Dongpo has a famous poem: “Always fine tea like fine people”. This poem was left by Su Dongpo when he was the censor in Hangzhou, and West Lake Dragon Well Tea is one of the types of green tea.

Su Dongpo was very particular about the utensils used for making tea. He believed that “the smell of copper and iron is not suitable for spring water”, and it was best to use stone-fired water. When Su Shi was in Dongpo Academy in Yixing, he even designed a teapot called Dongpo Teapot by himself. It can be seen that using purple sand teapots to make green tea has a long history and is a more traditional way of making tea.

First of all, select an appropriate teapot shape and clay material. The spout should be wide for smooth water output, and the body should be short. The best type of clay is purple-clay-based, with large grains and good ventilation. Red clay is not suitable as it has a high density that will suffocate the tea leaves. High bodied teapots are also not suitable as they too can smother the tea leaves.

Secondly, it is important to master the appropriate water temperature, generally not exceeding 90 degrees. Good tea can be brewed with 80 degrees. Finally, use the appropriate time for pouring out the tea and immediately open the lid to cool down in order to prevent overcooking the tea.