Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yixing Zisha Chun Si Hu

25 cl for 185 grams.

Chun Si (Pronounce Tchoon Se) means Color of Spring. This handmade teapot is made of Yixing zisha clay and dates from 7 or 8 years ago. It has a built-in, flat filter with 9 holes.

I find that small Yixing teapots are beautiful when they are sober and have simple lines. Big teapots, on the other hand, often look clumsy when they are sized up versions of classic shapes. But a big size means there is more volume to transform and to play with. That's probably why big Yixing teapots are much more likely to be decorated with special shapes. They can feature plum blossoms, bamboo trees, dragons... Such pots often end up being put on display on a shelf, because they are so valuable or because their design is aimed at beauty instead of making tea. (You'll notice that I use the word 'pot' and not 'teapot' here).

This teapot is inspired by the tradition of big, artistic Yixing pots. It's not the work of a famous artist. The aim was to make a teapot, not a work of art. Still it's very well made. The zisha clay is of a good quality, the walls are not too thick, it was fired at a high temperature and the round shape will fit most teas. I had good results with both lightly oxidized High Mountain Oolongs and strongly roasted Oolongs. Puerh would brew well, too. I wouldn't recommend to use it with your most precious leaves (keep those for for a small gongfu teapot). However, when you have many thirsty guests or little time, it's sometimes good to have a bigger teapot.
Trick: When making tea with a bigger teapot, remember that gongfu principles still apply. Some important ones:
- preheat the teapot well, use that water to preheat the cups,
- use good water,
- big teapots take longer to empty. The last drop is likely to be much more concentrated than the first. I suggest to fill the cups back and forth to make the tea more even. (Or you could use a pitcher, but this would lower the temperature of the tea faster).

1 comment:

Bruno said...

I'm quite admiratif, the wooden shape handle so the other vegetable details are indeed well done.
A beautiful piece of Art.