Grades of Yixing Zisha


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Grades of Yixing Zisha

Postby ck2998 » Apr 15th, '09, 00:08

Hi,

I am rather confused about the various types of Zisha and hope fellow Tea lovers can enlighten me.

From what I know, Zisha is a collective term to refer to purple clay. Ching Shui Ni is a higher grade of zisha and the top grade is Di Chao Qing.

But what is the meaning of these terms? How rare are they? In practice, how can I tell Ching Shui Ni, Di Chao Qing apart from the normal zisha?

Are there other grades/type of zisha around ? Is there a ranking order?

Thanks
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Postby chrl42 » Apr 15th, '09, 06:43

During the Cultural Revolution, Zisha did have grade, there were Te Pin Zi ni (special mixed Zi ni) #1~#4, normal Pin Zi ni also might have grades. Not much these days.

And Qing Shui ni is not high grade of Zisha, Qing Shui ni is called Pu ni (normal clay), Qing Shui ni is usually mined from mid part of Zisha ore and is what makes up most of Zisha. Must be of pure clay without any mixing tried. However, Huanglong mountain's Qing Shui ni is somewhat different, it's still treated 'one of sought-after clay'.

Di Cao Qing is top graded Qing Shui ni, it's mined from the bottom of Qing Shui ni mining range, has a characteristics of being reddish brown. Amount is very few, but Di Cao Qing also has various quality from various regions (it's mined from #4 mine, #5 mine and Tai Xi). So Di Cao Qing just being better Qing Shui ni is not quite right, because there are lots of Qing Shui ni better than Di Cao Qing as well. Difference is Qing Shui ni is clay type and Di Cao Qing is sand type.
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Postby finddream2020 » Apr 15th, '09, 12:26

huanglong mt 4# qing shuini is better than some worse di cao qing, but generaly, dicaoqing is high quality than qing shuini.

whatever clay, they have Common feature, for example, the color is puer and uniformity, the clay contain Fine particles, but not too bright. when you use it, it change very Ruddy,because the good struction of clay Absorpt tea.

the good dicao qing and qing shuini has alot different, for example dicaoqing has "ji yan", so when fire it ,it has the effect of "jin sha yin xian". but it is hard to say in english. if i have time i will show you some pic, you can understand.
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Postby apache » Apr 15th, '09, 14:11

finddream2020 wrote:huanglong mt 4# qing shuini is better than some worse di cao qing, but generaly, dicaoqing is high quality than qing shuini.

whatever clay, they have Common feature, for example, the color is puer and uniformity, the clay contain Fine particles, but not too bright. when you use it, it change very Ruddy,because the good struction of clay Absorpt tea.

the good dicao qing and qing shuini has alot different, for example dicaoqing has "ji yan", so when fire it ,it has the effect of "jin sha yin xian". but it is hard to say in english. if i have time i will show you some pic, you can understand.


I read a blog it said qing shuini is referring to the way the clay is mix with water only and no additive. So in a way di cao qing can be qing shuini as long there is no additive, but qing shuini may not be di cao qing. She also said real zhu ni is yellow before put inside the kiln. Zhu ni can be difficult to work with, as it contract a lot after fire (18 to 25%), so only around 70% of pots survive the kiln.

For the flake zhu ni, red dye and glass are used to make it appear bright red with glossy looking, but it is best to avoid these kind of pots.
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Postby ck2998 » Apr 16th, '09, 03:06

Thanks for the points raised.

I can now understand why Qing Shui Ni (Clear Water Clay) and Di Cao Qing (Bottom Mined QingShuiNi) are so named.

Given a pot in front of me, how can I tell if it is Qing Shui Ni from the other ZiSha?
Is there a particular colour or feel that I should go for?

finddream2020, can you include the Chinese character of "ji yan" and "jin sha yin xian"? Given my knowledge of romanised Chinese, I guess "Jin Sha Yin Xian" means "Golden Sand Silver Thread"
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Postby babalian » Apr 16th, '09, 04:57

ck2998 wrote:Thanks for the points raised.

I can now understand why Qing Shui Ni (Clear Water Clay) and Di Cao Qing (Bottom Mined QingShuiNi) are so named.

Given a pot in front of me, how can I tell if it is Qing Shui Ni from the other ZiSha?
Is there a particular colour or feel that I should go for?

finddream2020, can you include the Chinese character of "ji yan" and "jin sha yin xian"? Given my knowledge of romanised Chinese, I guess "Jin Sha Yin Xian" means "Golden Sand Silver Thread"


I believe she is referring to 鸡眼 (Ji Yan) and 金砂隐现 (Jin Sha Yin Xian).
These are the two characters for describing Di Cao Qin. 鸡眼 (Ji Yan) is referring to the green-yellow chunk of clay in the Di Cao Qi ore, after you smash the ore the Ji Yan will become yellowish (or goldish) colored particles. If the teapot is made of Di Cao Qin then you will see these tiny yellow or gold ish particles in both inside and outside the teapot. People call this special look 金砂隐现 (Jin Sha Yin Xian)
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Postby finddream2020 » Apr 16th, '09, 07:04

i show you two pot made by my father , the frist one fang gu pot use good qingshui ni, the sencond one duo qiu pot use good dicaoqing(huanglong mt 4#).

Image

Image

the qing shuini is light color. and no gold sand.

Image
Image

the dicaoqing is dark color. and has beautiful gold sand in it.

do you understand?
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Postby chrl42 » Apr 16th, '09, 11:03

babalian wrote:鸡眼 (Ji Yan)

Image

babalian wrote:金砂隐现 (Jin Sha Yin Xian).

Image

Oh BTW I love how this website is turning Chinese ones :D
Last edited by chrl42 on Apr 16th, '09, 11:12, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby TIM » Apr 16th, '09, 11:03

Image

Chen - Do you think this early republic pot is a good example of dicaoqing?
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Postby finddream2020 » Apr 16th, '09, 11:43

yes, it is a very good di cao qing, and your camera is very good, i am hard to show the detail of the pot, may be i will change my camera. :)
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Postby TIM » Apr 16th, '09, 11:47

finddream2020 wrote:yes, it is a very good di cao qing, and your camera is very good, i am hard to show the detail of the pot, may be i will change my camera. :)

Thanks Chen. So to confirm this, you call this gold sand: 金砂隐现 (Jin Sha Yin Xian)?
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Postby finddream2020 » Apr 16th, '09, 11:54

yes, you are right, now, good dicao qing only a little amount now.
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Postby chrl42 » Apr 16th, '09, 12:06

I understand Di Cao Qing as "rough in eyes, soft in hand"

Di Cao Qing so far is the softest clay to my hand. :)
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Postby ck2998 » Apr 16th, '09, 20:20

Its nice to have some gold in your teapot.

All else being equal (size, capacity, shape etc), how much more does a Qing Shui Ni and Di Cao Qing teapot cost over a normal Zisha one?

If one is to brew Puerh in all 3 pots, will there be a noticeable difference?
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Postby chrl42 » Apr 16th, '09, 23:41

ck2998 wrote:Its nice to have some gold in your teapot.

All else being equal (size, capacity, shape etc), how much more does a Qing Shui Ni and Di Cao Qing teapot cost over a normal Zisha one?

If one is to brew Puerh in all 3 pots, will there be a noticeable difference?


I will speak only to the point something I heard before..

Qing Shui ni is clay type, so it's very absorptive at first (due to low temp-fired) but over-using might reduce that ability.

Di Cao Qing has lots of sand in it, from iron to silica, from small particle to big particle, all in one. So it's breathing from beginning to end. Unlike other breathing clays, Di Cao Qing doesn't seem to minimize its original aroma, just get rid of foul taste left over.

Di Cao Qing is fairly new term, 1) back then, most of clays were mined from the earth surface (not much deep inside), I don't know if there was Di Cao Qing in #1, #2, #3 mine. 2) back then, not much clay classification was done, so Di Cao Qing at a time was Zini, Qing Shui ni at a time was Di Cao Qing etc..

I personally like Di Cao Qing for Shu and Hongcha. I don't know if breathing is all good for brewing tea, from my experience, breathing clay as well decreases tea's Cha Qi, in this case I'd pick Zhuni. But it's just my opinion.
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