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Mar 31st, '13, 15:31
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西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by futurebird » Mar 31st, '13, 15:31

Based on my adventures with taobao I've looked at pictures of more yixing teapots than anyone should. And when doing this you can't help but notice what is popular and what isn't. As I mentioned in another post the most popular sizes are 150-300ml. (And that seems aimed are groups of people drinking tea together. Less common in the west... FOR NOW :twisted: )

But what about teapot shapes? Is it the classic shuiping hu that dominates? No way! It's xi shi, or as I like to call them "ball pots."

But why is this style so popular?

I don't know all of the reasons, but one could be functionality. I have one of these pots and it pours more smoothly than anything else I've ever poured (including very nice shuiping hu pots owned by a friend.) No shaking needed.

I don't like the look as much as the classic styles... but I find that I turn to it more and more often, the 7-hole spout never clogs and it has none of the issues some of you have pointed about about ball filters (didn't really notice those issues until, I think, teaism mentioned them)

The only draw-back is they are rare in sizes under 100ml.

Anyone know anything about these pots and their rise to popularity?

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Mar 31st, '13, 16:11
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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by gingkoseto » Mar 31st, '13, 16:11

I know yours is totally an innocent question, but I could imagine some people are giggling out there :D
Many Chinese tea drinkers like it because it's a "sexy" shape :mrgreen:
I have an impression (not sure if it's correct though) that Taiwan high mountain oolong contributes to the popularity of xishi too. Many people like to use either xishi or a round pearl shape teapot for high fragrance oolong.
I like xishi too because I always like chubby teapots. For this shape with a short spout, it could be challenging to make the spout good enough to guarantee fast pouring. But when it's well made, it could function very well.

Xishi was developed from wen dan (pomelo) style. I like wen dan better, but xishi is nowadays more popular and more commonly made.

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Mar 31st, '13, 16:20
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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by futurebird » Mar 31st, '13, 16:20

Oh dear, have I started swearing in Mandarin without knowing it again?
:oops:

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by tingjunkie » Mar 31st, '13, 18:24

Not quite. It's supposed to represent a woman's breast. Don't feel bad though, I call the round pots with the very short spouts (like this one) "Tanuki Balls" pots. :lol:

I personally hate the look of the xi shi pots because of the upside down handles, but I seem to be in the minority opinion on that.

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Apr 7th, '13, 18:16
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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by futurebird » Apr 7th, '13, 18:16

Thanks for the information, as much as it makes me blush to bump this thread... I'm wondering just how old this style is. I'm going to try and find out.

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Apr 8th, '13, 11:34
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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by Evan Draper » Apr 8th, '13, 11:34

The xi shi shape has a story behind it, so that will stick in people's minds and make it popular, even if they aren't breast-crazed :)

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by Alex » Apr 8th, '13, 17:19

I've always like xi shi shape the breast.

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by futurebird » Apr 28th, '13, 17:35

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Chinese ... 4854b98163

Image

:shock:

Some potters just take things too far!

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by Muadeeb » Apr 28th, '13, 22:47

Nice, but they could always be a little bigger. :wink:

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by tingjunkie » Apr 29th, '13, 00:32

They look fake to me. :D

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by lordsbm » May 1st, '13, 13:11

Here's my take on the subject.

西施 is one of the four renowned beauties of ancient China. During her period in China history, people considered full figure as beautiful compared to other periods where slim is better.

The shape of the pot takes her form. In the past (and now), people (especially scholars) valued the history of the four beauties. So it's not hard to see why Xishi teapot is well-liked.

Due to the simplicity of the shape, it's also easier to make. Duan shui, dao li are tricks that often "wow" people, and it's easier to be achieved with Xishi teapot. Also easier to maintain/clean (IMO).

edit: It's harder to make smaller teapot, especially when it's handmade. 120-180ml seems to be more popular as they are about the size of gaiwan. Using 5-8g tea is more common with the Chinese.

To my understanding, China locals are more practical towards the tea they drink. They normally buy tea within their means. If they can only afford, 20RMB a month, they drink 20RMB tea. Rarely they go for something expensive.

Teapot to most (excluding collectors) is just a tool for brewing tea daily. So no point getting small ones, therefore small ones are less popular. Those that need small ones, normally have them custom made.

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Re: 西施 (xi shi) teapots. The "round ones"

by bagua7 » May 2nd, '13, 03:37

I love these as long as the spout is not too short (some have shorter spouts and the pouring rate is awful...some tuition pots there which why shopping online for Yixings sucks quite often).

Image

Short spout


Image

Longer spout

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