Thursday, June 25, 2009

Read This, And Become An Expert On Selecting Purple Clay Teapots

By Jason Jia

If you already know that a purple clay teapot is needed to bring you a wonderful tea time, the problem is: how do you choose the best teapot for you? This article will show you some basics, and make you an expert when picking a purple clay teapot.

To choose a good, suitable purple clay teapot, you should pay attention to three aspects: how useful it is, the quality of the workmanship, and the quality of the materials used to make it.

Is it practical for your needs?

1. Suitable capacity: For a tea service for two to five people, a 350 ml purple clay teapot is suitable. Of course, the more people there are to serve, the larger the pot should be. Purple clay teacups are usually pretty small, as the Chinese think they are fit for sipping tea carefully and gracefully.

2. Appropriate height: Purple clay teapots of various heights have various uses. A relatively tall pot is usually used to brew black tea, while a relatively short pot is appropriate for making green tea. A pot that's too tall tends to let tea aromas lose, and a pot that's too short may easily overflow. So a teapot that's not the right height might spoil the fun.

3. Big mouth: At the end of your tea time, remember to empty your teapot in a timely manner so no mold or tea stains will develop in it. It is a nuisance to pull the soppy tea leaves out of a small-mouthed purple clay teapot. To save the trouble, choose a pot with a relatively large opening on top.

4. Straight pour: Make sure the spout is long enough, straight, and doesn't have any imperfections or particles stuck inside. When pouring tea, the flow from a good pot will be very even with no spatters of water flying off the sides. When you tip the pot to empty it, all of the liquid should drain out with just one simple motion. And the tea should stop coming out as soon as you want to halt the flow.

Was the artist careful in his work?

A good purple clay teapot is most likely handmade. It should display its artistic value and the potter's level of skill. So keep your eyes open, and make sure that your purple clay teapot is flawless.

1. Proper firing: Only an experienced expert can make the correct judgments when firing a purple clay teapot. You can detemine the quality of the work by tapping the body of a pot with its lid. If tapping the pot produces a sound like a small bell, it means the firing was done correctly. If the noise ends quickly or sounds like metal clanking, the potter did a poor job. Note: Don't use the outer rim of the lid, since that is the most fragile part of the whole pot.

2. 'Three Points One Line': To guarantee a great flow from a purple clay teapot, each potter must carefully place the button, spout, and handle in perfect alignment. When shaping a pot, even a moment of inattention may cause a major defect. So as a shrewd customer, you should pay attention to this rule as well.

3. Airtight cover: Apart from a tiny hole to balance the air pressure, the cover of a purple clay teapot should be absolutely airtight. This helps it hold in tea scents and hot steam, and offers you a perfect brew. You may test the cover in this way: Spin the cover to make sure it revolves easily and smoothly on the pot; then press the tiny hole on the cover when pouring, the flow should stop running instantly.

4. Flawless details: An outstanding potter always attaches great importance to the small features of his pot. So when you pick a purple clay teapot, don't forget to check out every piece. For example, the interior should be tidy and clean, and the artist's personal seals should be clearly imprinted underneath the lid and under the base of the pot.

Quality of the Clay

At first glance, some purple clay teapots shine with bizarre, oily sheen. These signs show that the material is impure or poorly mixed. A master potter only chooses the best and purest purple clay, or mixes up several kinds of purple clays to get an uncommon result. Touching quality purple clay feels like touching fine, soft sand. So run your hands over it to test. And quality clay will shine with a natural, soft luster.

To know about my last two pieces of advice and become an expert on choosing puple clay teapots, just check out my Website!

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