Purple Clay Teapot - Heaven-made for Tea

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Purple clay mine
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Purple Clay

Purple clay teapots (zishahu) are produced in Yixing, China from "purple" clay. This rare clay is mined near Taihu Lake, a hundred miles northwest of Shanghai. Purple clay mine was formed 3.5 hundred millions years ago, in the geological age of Paleozoic Devonian. In China, purple clay has been developed and used for more than a thousand years.
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Clay in its original form
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Iron Content

Purple clay (zisha) has the reputation of being a high quality clay because of its fine texture and porous nature, as well as being easy to mould. They became popular during the Ming Dynasty gradually replacing porcelain china. The various types of clay in the purple clay group contain different quantities of oxidised iron. As a result they produce different colours after being fired at various temperatures during the production process.
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Beautiful and functional
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Collector's Dream

In early days, a single zisha teapot could equal the entire wealth of an average family. Today there is a thriving industry which offers genuine and affordable zisha pottery to people all over the world.
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Purple clay teapot
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Like any natural resource, zisha or purple clay is a finite raw material and has suffered shortages due to its popularity and value. For this reason, the Yixing government banned the mining of zisha in 2005 and has only recently re-opened mining. Still a true Yixing zisha teapot may soon be a thing of the past.
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