In my opinion Chinese tea pots are an essential accessory for enjoying your brew. Although having said that my personal favorite method of brewing is the good old chuck the tea in a cup or guywan, add water, sit back and let it brew for a while method!
But, every now and again I like to get the Yi Xing tea pot out and do it properly. The pots come in many shapes, sizes and designs and are perfect collectors items.
I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most famous factories in Yixing in 2002. We almost missed the factory as we arrived so late; our Chinese bus driver managed to propel the bus at breathtaking speed towards the factory. I’ve never seen anything quiet like it, he was like Stirling Moss on speed! He managed to manoeuver the full sized coach with pin point accuracy through a very packed Chinese town at dusk and we just made it in time.
Boy am I glad we made it; the factory was so cool and the museum of antique pots was amazing. They not only made tea sets out of famous purple clay but statues as well. Needless to say the group spent plenty of Chinese Yuan in the factory shop!
As well as pots and cups, whole sets are available for the full Chinese tea ceremony experience or Gong Fu tea brewing as it’s called in China. Antique Yi Xing goes for a fortune but new products are more reasonably priced. Guywans are also interesting collectors items. They are used for brewing tea, but can also be used for drinking it.
Whichever way you take your brew, by far the most important things in my mind are good teaand good company!
The history of Yixing tea ware goes back to at least the Ming dynasty around Ad 1360-1640. Since then there has been a long lineage of famous tea pot masters. It is believed the famous purple clay is the best material for making tea ware.