Oh I love this little pot - I try not to pick favourites when I do my sample testing but the cute flattened shape and wide mouth caught my eye. I was rooting for it to perform as good as it looks and I was not disappointed!
We buy about 50 or so individual clay pots per year for testing. They are selected according to many factors - capacity, price, shape and reputation of the producer. Once they are arrive at our London HQ we put them through a 10 step assessment process to select ones which we purchase for our clients.
This flat little pot shone through those tests and is definitely worth considering for your collection. Here are a few reasons why:
1. The shape. Simple yet elegant. Minimal yet playful. It catches the eye without trying to be showy (there are far too many potters trying to over-embellish their pots in my opinion).
2. The mouth. That opening is so great for loading even the most tangled up Gushu Maocha without a mess. It is also very easy to clean.
3. The clay. Great performance with a lovely level of rounding - not too much to cut out bright aromatics but well enough to handle the most aggressive of teas and 'forgotten brews'.
4. The size. At around 100ml, this is one of the smallest capacity Yixing Zini pots out there. This makes it perfect for solo and small group brewing without using up much of your precious leaves.
5. The pour. Faster than most Yixing clay pots because of that minimal straight spout and flat shape.
This pot is half-handmade by Madam He Qiuwen in Yixing. She has been a Zisha pot craftswoman since the 1990's and her work is known for smooth and minimal contours.
Half-handmade means that it is made by hand but utilises moulded shapes to assist the production.
This flat shape is a classic shape in China even if other shapes are more commonly produced in modern days. It can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Xianfeng of the Qing Dynasty.
Flattening the profile adds greater difficulty in the production requiring highly skilled potters. The clay has been selected, shaped and fired to provide a smooth texture. Polishing with a dry cloth after your sessions will build up a beautiful patina.
This pot is suitable for most tea types and can be used as an 'all-star' pot although we would nudge you towards PuErh (Raw and Ripe) for the most compatible effects.