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Gongfu Yixing Zisha Tea Cup
A tasting cup is the equivalent of the western tea cup, in that the brewed tea is poured into this vessel for drinking - the main difference is that Pinming cups, the tasting cups, are usually smaller and thinner. An important thing to remember in this regard is that Gongfu style brewing focuses on enjoying each and every aspect of the tea to the fullest.
Qing Shui Ni: The ore for this purple clay is a type of mica-rich hematite, often used for drinking mugs in ancient times. Because this clay contains relatively fewer impurities than other raw materials, and because it does not change shape or glaze when firing, it is widely used for crafts. It is mellow and ruddy as well, often earning the name of “red purple clay” or Hong Qing Shui. The clay has a quaint look to it, and after using a teapot made of this material for brewing the same type of tea over and over, the taste of that tea in further sessions will gradually deepen. For these reasons and others, both teapot makers and tea drinkers love this kind of clay.
Yixing County is known as the Pottery Capital of China for its extensive 6500-year history of the craft. The area boasts abundant resources of argil, tea, bamboo, and charcoal, each of which contributes an important base material for the making of pottery. Yixing Zisha products have earned countless prizes both at home in China as well as abroad, with a few exceptional works presented as national gifts during international diplomacy.