• by vinux

Speaking of the selection of clay, I think purple sand is an excellent tool for drinking tea. There are six major kinds of tea and countless good teas. Purple sand has several kinds of clay mixed and derived, which correspond well to make all the teas taste their best.

Overall: The Correlation between Mud and Tea Brewing

The relationship between mud and tea soup should be seen from the combination of color and texture:

The feel of Zhu Ni clay is delicate and high-frequency, with a tender and exquisite color. It can be paired with light to medium-fired teas such as Tie Guan Yin or Dong Ding, as well as high-aroma red teas such as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong and Jin Jun Mei. These are also well matched with Zhu Ni clay.

The feeling of Dan-Nee is relatively solid and masculine, and the color also appears bright and refreshing. It is quite consistent with non-fermented yellow tea, light fermentation white tea. For pu’er in general, people usually choose to brew it with Dan-Nee.

The feeling of purple clay is relatively steady and atmospheric, the color is more simple and natural, which is quite consistent with the semi-fermented tea (oolong) and aged black tea. Puer tea is definitely the first choice for purple clay pot.

In addition, clear glaze belongs to purple clay, but the texture of dark purple clay pot is more delicate and the color is more pinkish, so the selection of tea can refer to purple clay and cinnabar clay, and choose according to the degree of fermentation.

The downhill mud should be mentioned separately. It belongs to a symbiotic mineral of section mud and purple mud. Its color is orange-red or orange-yellow, which is suitable for a wide range of tea types. But it should be noted that in the brewing process, downhill mud is particularly suitable for rock tea. It can remove the dryness in rock tea very well and excellently bring out the unique taste of rock tea. Therefore, pot friends who like rock tea, downhill mud pot is absolutely an indispensable good tool for brewing tea.

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The density of the teapot affects the effect of brewing tea. High density teapots can produce tea with a more refreshing taste; whereas low density teapots brew tea with a heavier taste. If you want the brewed tea to be more refreshing, like green tea, clear tea, scented cake, white-haired oolong, or red tea, use a high-density teapot such as porcelain teapot and purple sand teapot. If you want the brewed tea to have a heavier taste such as Tieguanyin, Narcissus, Buddha’s hand or Pu’er (post fermentation tea), then use low-density teapots such as coarse pottery pot and purple sand pot. This is similar to the principle of cooking utensils we use. We would like to fry vegetables into crisp green, so we use an iron pan and fry quickly over high heat. But if we cook fish head, we prefer slow simmering with a sand pan or stew pot over low heat. Of course it’s still edible if we cook fish head with an iron pan; but without doubt the soup won’t be so thick and smooth; and if you fry vegetables with a sand pan? That would be terrible!

The relationship between insulation degree and tea brewing is that the better the insulation performance of the tea set, the more fragrant and mellow the brewed tea will be. The better the insulation performance of the container, the better it can maintain temperature stability and prevent heat conduction, which can help you make a cup of delicious tea.

We are accustomed to expecting a good heat-retention effect from teapots, but this is actually not correct. If absolutely necessary, the pot would need to be thick and of a loose texture, resulting in difficulty in selling it. Furthermore, tea should be poured out after steeping at an appropriate concentration, so where can the heat be retained within the pot? Even when using meticulous tea-brewing methods, timers are sometimes used to control the steeping time down to the second.

For example, a silver teapot in metalware is a good utensil for brewing tea. Its density and thermal conductivity are better than that of porcelain teapots. The most important characteristic of “clear tea” is its elegant aroma and the quality of it largely depends on this aspect. Brewing tea with a silver teapot is the best way to express this style.

The comparison between glazed teapots and purple sand pottery
Glazed teapots and purple sand pottery are two types of traditional Chinese art. Glazed teapot is mainly made of porcelain, which has a shiny glaze layer on the surface. The porcelain is tough but lightweight, making it easy to transport and handle. Purple sand pottery, on the other hand, is made from clay mixed with quartz stones and colored minerals that give it a unique dark purplish-brown hue. It is heavier than glazed teapot, but more durable and less likely to break. Both styles have their own distinct beauty and appeal to different tastes.

Glaze application is like putting a dress on the clay of ceramics, and the glaze with its beautiful colors brings out appreciation for it. Without the glaze, one can appreciate the beauty of the clay itself. Yixing purple sand is a representative of the latter, expressing deeply both the beauty and sentiment of the clay.

Gaining and losing can be seen from two perspectives: one is that when using the same purple sand teapot to steep the same type of tea, with time, there will be a mutual complementarity between the tea and teapot, thus making the tea brewed with an old pot richer in flavor than with a new one. On the other hand, if different types of tea are brewed in a purple sand teapot, they will interfere with each other’s flavors, especially if it’s an old or water-absorbent pot. During a tea-making exam at a teahouse class once, one student used an unglazed clay teapot that had been used to brew oolong for years to brew white oolong for the test. The first infusion was almost undrinkable. If you only have one pot and use it for all kinds of tea, it would be best to use an internally glazed pot; clean it thoroughly after each use to avoid leaving any tastes behind that would interfere with subsequent infusions. That’s why standard cups used by professional tasters of various teas are made from porcelain both inside and out.

Writing here, a word of caution, many friends know about one pot for one tea, but don’t know why one pot for one tea. Is the “one tea” a type of tea or a category of teas? After reading this passage, the pot friends should have an idea.

The relationship between the shape of a teapot and the brewing of tea is that the shape of a teapot affects the taste, aroma and appearance of tea. Different shapes and sizes of teapots can be used to bring out different flavors in tea, as well as create unique brews. The size and shape of a teapot also influence how much water is needed to steep the leaves and how quickly it takes for them to release flavor into the brew. Different shapes promote better circulation of heat or air, allowing for a more even steeping process.

In terms of the function of making tea, the shape of the teapot is only manifested in three aspects: heat dissipation, convenience and viewing. The wide-mouthed teapot has a better heat dissipation effect, so it is most suitable for tea leaves that require a water temperature of 70 or 80 degrees Celsius. Therefore, lids are often used to brew green tea, fragrant sheets and white-haired oolong tea. The large-mouthed pot is also very convenient in putting tea and removing dregs. Many people tend to use lids as brewers for this reason.

A teapot with a lid that is almost as large as the shape of a bowl, after brewing tea leaves, it is easy to take off the lid to observe the shape and color of the tea leaves, as well as the thickness and concentration of the tea. This helps in appreciating and controlling the tea leaves. Those types of tea that are focused on appearance such as Longjing, Biluochun, White Down Silver Needle and White Down Oolong can be even better expressed with this kind of brewer if combined with an appropriate tone.