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For around one thousand years, the zisha purple sand clay of Yixing, China, has been the favored material for fine teapots. Zisha clay has unique properties that make it perfect, practical, and safe for tea drinking.
Zisha clay’s sandy quality makes it porous enough to allow the pot to breathe, pulling the tea fragrance into the walls of the pot. This enhances the tea drinking experience over time. The porosity also reduces the likelihood of mold formation and disburses excess heat in brewing.
Yixing China’s zisha clay is most safe for tea drinkers for other reasons. Since the clay deposits vary in color, they can be mixed as desired to produce different colored pots; therefore, no artificial dyes or colorants need be introduced. This clay is not merely safe, its richness in minerals makes it nutritious!
Zisha clay’s desirability has spawned a magnificent culture of teapot craft mastery in the area of Yixing. Tradition and innovation thrive there, and the beauty and utility of the teapots bear witness to it.
Seasoning Teapots for Safety
In order to season teapots prior to sale, Feng Xiao Liu stuffs them with tofu and sugar cane, then boils them in filtered water. A teapot made from impure materials will not pass this test (For greater profit, some teapot makers substitute inferior clay, yet advertise zisha high quality clay.) After the seasoning process, Fengxiao determines the poor quality teapot by its odor and appearance. She then will discard or return the inferior pot.
As a result of seasoning, each pot sold at Sinofilia Tea Shop is guaranteed to be healthy and ready for great tasting tea. Using and caring for a fine teapot will add to its value and collectability now and into the future.
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