What makes purple clay teapots superior?

By: J. Jia

[I:4:J]The Chinese have a secret that lets them fully enjoy their fragrant, healthy tea - they brew it with purple clay teapots. And you know what? These teapots really have qualities that set them apart from the pack. So today I'll share some secrets as to why tea drinkers have come to adore a strange thing called purple clay.
You can find purple clay at nowhere except Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China. Therefore it is also called Yixing purple clay. Its particles are sand-like and abundant in iron and silicon. And its distinctive structure has two layers of itty-bitty pores, which allows purple clay teapots to 'breathe'.
Some purple clay teapots are seen as great additions to cultural collections and are used as ornaments, but for those who like to drink from them, these pots have five characteristics that won't be forgotten.
1. Purple clay teapots let your tea utterly show off its intrinsic characteristics in color, scent, and savor. From Chinese emperors to ordinary people, they all know a purple clay teapot is the best match to their tea. Make the best use of things, and let your tea has nothing to hide from you.
I still remember the first time I used my purple clay teapot three years ago. The tea leaves were the same as before, but the tea tasted much better. I thought to myself: This pot is really worth the money: my tea turned out to be so great!
2. The breathable purple clay teapots can keep your tea from turning sour. The Chinese believe tea left overnight is not drinkable, especially in the hot summer. However, purple clay teapots are an exception to the rule. The tea in them will remain fresh all day long, thanks to the porous structure of purple clay.[I:5:J]
If you have something urgent to deal with in the morning after brewing tea, go for it! The tea soup in the pot will stay fresh and be considerate enough to wait for you at the end of the day.
3. A purple clay teapot seems 'alive' because it is very absorbent. First, it accumulates some tea flavors and fragrances during each infusion, and releases them into the next brew. So the tea is always better and the flavor gets stronger as time goes on.
But that's not all, because every batch of tea brewed in a purple clay teapot adds to its elegance and sheen. That's because the porous surface allows the tea to seep inside, which then becomes a part of the pot forever. For this reason, it's best not to wash your pot with soap or chemicals, otherwise the tea stored inside will be lost. Some people say the oils from your hands can also be trapped by the pot, which adds to the bright color on the outside.
Finally, tea lovers suggest a purple clay teapot should be specially used for brewing a certain type of tea, so the color of the absorbent teapot will grew more similar with the color of the tea soup. Maybe the slow color change of your teapot will fascinate you, who knows?
Now you know three merits of Yixing purple clay, so check out my Website at the end of this article to see the last two special qualities:

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Specialist J. Jia has studied Chinese pottery, paintings, and other art including Yixing teaware for 20+ years. From time to time, he endorses the work of certain potters. See samples of quality tea sets from China here.

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