Yixing tea cups is a traditional handicraft in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, which is a new type of pottery. It began in the Song Dynasty, flourished in the Ming and become popular today. The natural Yixing tea cups are made of purple-clay. The structure is tight, similar to porcelain, high strength, fine particles, surface like shell and stone, but it does not have the translucency of porcelain. The Yixing tea cup's material has great air permeability, and it's not easy to damage the tasty and the tea leaves is not easy be deteriorated, it making the tea soup more mellow and delicious.
Purple-clay has good breathability, so the taste of tea is hard to go bad and even becomes better!
These Yixing tea cups are made by the purple-clay in the original place in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, which is entirely natural and does not contain any chemical manufactured products. So what are the benefits of Yixing purple-clay tea cups and how to preserve it?
The Features of Yixing Tea Cups
1. Good Plasticity. Yixing clay has high plasticity. It can be processed into different sizes of different shapes that you want. And it have strong adhesive but would not stick your hand and tools when you making tea cup. The handle of the tea cup can be made separately, and then after being glued to the cup, it can be processed by carving, and then processing. Such a large technological capacity that would provide the ceramic artists' to show their creative intention and skills.
2. Small Shrinkage. The shrinkage of purple-clay pottery from clay molding to firing is only 8%. Therefore, the lid of the tea cup can be tightly fitted, the shape and contour are regular and undistorted.
3. The Yixing clay can be made into finished product without adding other raw materials. There are two pore structures in the finished product. This makes the yixing clay cup have good air permeability. At the same time, the tea cup has precise shape. Therefore, the fragrance of the tea leaves can be maintained for a long time, and keep the tea fresh in the tea cup. The cups with great performance in cold and hot water, even if you pour the boiling water and then rushed into the cold water, the cup will not burst.
4. The Yixing tea cup is smooth and glossy after molding. The longer it is used, the surface will be shine, which other clay has no such a function.
Benefits of Yixing Tea Cups
1. Yixing tea cup is suitable for tea. The double porosity of Yixing tea cup would keep the original flavor of tea.
2. The Yixing Tea Cup has its own unique function to absorb the tea soup. After being used for a long time, it can produce a more mellow taste when brewing tea. Even you just pour hot water into the teapot without tea leaves, the water has strong tea flavor. This is impossible for glass tea cup and other tea cup.
3. It keep tea warmer for longer. Because there are many bubbles in the inner wall of Yixing clay, the bubbles are filled with stagnant air. This air forms an insulator, which can keep the temperature better.
4. It has strong adaptability to hot and cold changes. When we poring the hot water into it , there is no need to worry about the rapid change of temperature and cracking, the heat transfer of clay is slow, so it will not hurt you hands and fingers, and it's a good item to warm your hands in winter.
5. Tea doesn't go bad overnight. It can greatly delay the moldy deterioration of tea in the yixing tea cup.
6. There are various minerals and trace elements in Yixing tea cup, which is good for health.
7. Tea brewed in this kind of cup will have better flavor, color and smell, which other kinds of tea sets cannot achieve. Even under the hear-wave in summer, the flavor of tea do not change a bit for several days.
8. The Yixing tea cups look gorgeous and it is a practical kit. Also, it combines elegant style, practical uses and beautiful patterns. It is better if you keep it for a long time or give it to others as a high-class gift.
How to Select The Yixing Tea Cup?
1. Observe the Appearance
Besides material, the type, appearance and character of Yixing tea cup are also very important. Compared with the high-quality Yixing tea cup, the poor tea cup is rigid and stiff. Because it is machine-made, and it does not focus on the details of lines, so it looks vulgar.
2. Feel the Texture
Pick up a Yixing tea cup, first thing is to observe it, then you should touch with the hand. If necessary, you can pasted your face to feel it. Because the Yixing purple clay soil contains a considerable proportion of sand, so you skin would feel comfortable and warm when you touch it. The tea cup made in other clay looks smooth. But in fact, it feels astringent and greasy to when you hold in hand. In addition, compared with other kinds of clay, Yixing clay has a distinctive feature that it feels different. Touching yixing clay is like touching bean paste by hand, which is thin but not greasy. Therefore, for a Yixing tea cup, the touch feeling of the cup is particularly important.
3. Listen to the Sound
The high quality and authentic Yixing tea cups are made by hand, hammered and pressed for many times, and then goes through several processes. After firing, the sound of knocking is relatively clear. When other clay tea cup is only made from the model, so the sound will be dull. The sound of Yixing tea cup should be combined with many factors. If the sound is too sharp, it is mostly a new cup. If it is extremely sharp and crisp, it may be made of chemical mud.
4. Look at the Internal Structure
It is difficult to see the handmade trace after several processes in Yixing clay tea cup. However, some signs can be found by carefully observing and touching the inside of the tea cup. Because it is difficult for the cup maker to make the inside of the cup smooth.
How to Use and Maintenance of Yixing Tea Cup?
Only if you preserve the yixing tea cup for ages can you enjoy more fragrant tea. Also, the cup will look even brighter than ever before.
1. Before using a new tea cup, you shall pour clean water and tea in the cup and boil it on the shimmer for about half an hour to one hour. Remember, water must be fully contained in the cup in case of burst of the tea cup by high temperature. Or, you can dip the new cup in the brewed tea for 2 hours and air it in a dry, ventilated odor-free place.
2. When using an old tea cup to brew tea, you must flush the cup with hot water. After the drinking tea process, you have to throw away the residue in the cup, wash the cup with hot water and clean it.
3. The surface of the cup must maintain clean, both for old cups and new cups. You can clean them with hand or soft cloth, which can help them stay beautiful and shining. By doing that for a long time, you can even develop a kind of relationship with the cup , which is a very delightful thing.
4. Be careful when using the cup and do not break it up.