The "Zisha hu" or purple sand pot was first made in the area of Yixing more than 5 thousand years ago. During the Ming Dynasty 960- 1644 these pots became the preferred tea pot. The unglazed and uncoloured clay teapot could best capture the real colour and fragrance of the tea. The purple sand clay is rich in iron and quartz.The iron helps maintain the water tempature and the quartz helps create the double pore surface which enables the delicate oils from the tea to be absorbed into the clay. Traditionally each tea had a separate dedicated teapot.
After the clay is ground and prepared the pots are rolled and pressed, not thrown like most forms of ceramic ware.The pot is then assembled by adding the spout and handle and the purple clay becomes dark brown once fired. Many pots are decorated but for the purist the true spirit of Yixing tradition leaves the teapot plain to highlight its simple beauty. Round pots reflect the Feminine and square pots the Masculine.