I began this morning looking to purchase my first piece of Yixing teaware. Initially, I began my search looking for a pretty teapot. Yes, I know that is the girl in me. Needless to say, my search led me to various websites where many advised purchasing Yixing teaware. Some of the reasons cited centered around the craftsmanship, the history, the beauty.
If you are not familiar with Yixing teaware (also called Purple Sand), it is a traditional pot made from Yixing clay used to brew tea. Originating in China, Yixing clay is made from clay produced in the region of the town of Yixing, in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu.
With great anticipation, I set out to find a Yixing teaware set. And was almost set on buying this particular set from Mrs. Lins Kitchen. That is until I began seeing warnings about fake Yixings coated with shoe polish to appear authentic and low quality clay imposters. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I found retail sellers with authentic Yixing teapots ranging from $200 to $1000 not including matching cups. Now I sit in front of my Mac in a quandry…
How do I discern an original from a fake? Do I have to tap into my inheritance in order to obtain a quality Yixing? Is a Yixing truly worth the hype? Especially when the experts recommend that you designate brewing one type of tea per Yixing pot due to the porous nature of the clay.
Consider this post a call to the Yixing experts. What advice would you give to a Yixing novice?