This yixing teapot is already 7 years old and made with grinded zi sha stone. This kind of good material is progressively being used up in Yixing as its factories manufacture millions of teapots every year. So, in case of yixing teapots, it makes more sense to buy old rather than new.
Teaparker even suggests to buy those made early this century, but they are not easy to find and not very cheap either.
This particular one was made by Xi Mei Hua. Under the lid, you can read his first name, Mei Hua.
It is rather a large pot in my collection: 170 ml. And it weighs 200 gr. As I wrote yesterday, I dedicated this teapot to old pu er. I could also have used a zhu ni hu pot. But the characteristics of this zi sha pot are somehow similar to the zhu ni hu, as its walls are quite thick.
The teapot came in this solid wooden box. A small red tea towel was placed above the teapot to protect it well against shocks. I am quite confident that with its thick walls and solid box it can travel the world in a parcel.
One can also test the quality of the teapot by carefully touching its rim with the lid. My teapot will give a high pitched sound, sign it was baked at high temperature. Bad quality pots are baked at lower temperatures and sound a low pitch. The baking temperature will have an effect on how well the teapot is able to handle the boiling water. This is the kind of test that shop owners don't like. It's like playing with something fragile that doesn't belong to you. Only do this if you are really serious about purchasing the teapot.
I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.