Yixing “Purple Clay” Teapot
800 ml Dragon Yixing teapot, made in Yunnan province China, and imported by Elora Tea.
Yixing, pronounced "Yee shing", means "Purple Clay." Legend has it that a Chinese farmer was notified that his Samurai master was passing by, and required food and tea for himself and his servants. Tradition required that the farmer serve tea, but he was a poor man, and grew his own tea, which he would serve from a crude, home made pot, fashioned from the local purple clay. He knew he had run out of tea, and when his master arrived, he did the only thing he could: serve the best food that he had, and hot water out of the pot. To his surprise, no-one commented, and when his master prepared to leave, he asked "how was the drink?" The Samurai replied that it had been delicious.
The farmer, to his surprise, tasted the water in the pot, and discovered it tasted like the tea he grew on his farm.
Yixing clay, when fired, is a porous clay which will take on the flavor of a tea used in the pot over time. Those using Yixing pots typically use it for one tea only, sometimes reserving it for honored guests.