Hello, young explorer! Do you like tea? A warm, refreshing pot brewed to perfection. Well, if you said yes, then let us introduce you to the right – and very expensive – way of enjoying tea. In a zisha teapot!
The art of making zisha teapots began hundreds of years ago in 10th-century China. They get their name from the rare clay made from zisha ore.
The ore itself is 350 million years old! It’s rare because it’s being heavily mined and deposits are depleting. Zisha ore is only found in the Dingshuzhen region of Huanlong Mountain. This is located close to Yixing, the ceramics capital city of China.
After mining, the ore is powdered and then turned into a flexible, brownish-purple clay. The folding of the clay is done with care, so that air pockets are created. These air pockets allow oxygen to flow in and out of the teapot to enhance the flavor of the tea inside.
This porous nature of zisha also helps to intensify the flavor of subsequent teas. Meaning, the inner walls of the teapot absorb the flavor and fragrance of the current tea and then transfer the same to the next serving. How cool is that!
Now let’s see what zisha experts add to the teapot – well, everything!
Most zisha experts have been using the same process of creating teapots for 600 years. This means complete handwork. No machines.
Right from beating the clay to a thin sheet, to shaping it into the desired teapot shape, and engraving designs on the final product, all of it is done by hand. Believe it or not, perfecting this art takes about 25 to 30 years!
Although zisha teapots are small – having the capacity to hold just a couple of cups of tea – getting one teapot ready can take eight to ten days! The mouth of each teapot itself takes an entire day!
Who would buy such luxurious kitchen items? Enthusiastic tea drinkers! To them, a zisha teapot is a piece of art, not just a vessel for serving tea. And we think this is accurate.
A zisha teapot is truly a brilliant piece of art.