Sleepydrakos01 wrote:5. The spout should have curves like a woman.
I have some of this type of spout as well as other types, but I'm not sure why this would be better. I always thought of this as a visual aspect.
Sleepydrakos01 wrote:13. Yixing teapots should be small - not large. I read that real zisha clay is limited in the ability to stretch - so real yixings are rather small.
I definitely prefer smaller Yixings, but I must admit that some of the best quality ones that I own are the larger ones, between 250cc and 375cc. I never use them anymore because I usually brew gong fu style and 8 infusions from a 350cc pot is too much tea. I do think the larger ones are fine when brewing for multiple people.
Sleepydrakos01 wrote:14. Yixing teapots should be one of a kind. Mass produced teapots I guess would be ok, but not as good as handmade.
Some of the Yixing Factory # 1 and # 2 teapots seem to work quite well, especially the older ones. Many of the very popular, classic style "shui pins" are from these factories. Some of the factory teapots also use special, high quality clay. As far as the craftsmanship, I agree that nothing beats the feel of a completely handmade Yixing but for practical use, I think the right pot from either category works well.
Sleepydrakos01 wrote:Please add more guidelines for choosing a zisha teapot.
Don't forget to match the pot to the tea you will be brewing in it. Size, shape, thickness of the clay, and overall weight are important and contribute to the overall quality of the brewed tea.
Sleepydrakos01 wrote:I have even read that they add chemicals to the zisha and sometimes use cement to create the teapot.
Unfortunately, there are many stories like this and I believe they are true. Care must be taken when purchasing an Yixing and the vendor should be reputable. I would very much suspect the quality and safety of the 19.99 specials that are so common online. Even if safe, the clay quality is suspect.