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Aged Clay, Shui Ping Yixing Teapot (ZiSha: ZiNi)





A timeless design piece – the Shui Ping pot by master Gao Juntao. The pot master partially handcrafted this model from 20 years aged purple mud (Yixing ZiSha, Zi Ni – 老紫泥) extracted from the outdoor mine of Ding Shu town in Taixi Village.

Aging the clay is a lengthy procedure that improves the properties of the famous purple clay and is sometimes mistaken for simple "long-term storage." It starts by putting the wet mud in a kiln or pottery tank that is not exposed to sunlight and air while simultaneously controlling the temperature and humidity. 

Staying in these conditions for a certain period, the clay is fermenting, which has a pronounced beneficial effect on the mud properties. Namely, it facilitates the equal penetration and distribution of water, making the clay more homogenous. It also assists in the elimination of organic matter and increases the plasticity of the material - the clay becomes purer and more pliable. It then improves the compatibility of various components in the mud. Teapots made from aged clay get additional points for better air permeability, allowing the tea to breathe and interact with the clay. Last but not least - it accounts for a warmer, more vibrant color and a better overall look and feel of the finished product.

The minimal amount of time for a lump of clay to age is twelve months - however, some clays can age for as long as forty years.

"Purple mud", or Zi Ni, has the reputation of the clay with the most sought-after properties for making teapots starting from the Ming dynasty onwards. It offers an optimal combination of porosity, air permeability, and high isolation properties. The Shui Ping (水平) design is a classic teapot shape, especially loved throughout Southern China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Southeast Asia - the places where Gong Fu tea culture prevailed. Its classic size of 110ml is just enough to fill three to four Gong Fu cups. Hui Mengchen, a pot master in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, was the one who made this teapot design as popular as it remains today. Its functionality is based on the concept of "three dots and a line", where the spout, the lid, and the handle merge into one straight horizontal line. The design was so perfect that it almost didn't change for the next half-millennium.

Our Shui Ping teapot's big, rounded belly ensures enough space for wider-leafed varieties to open up fully. It also helps concentrate the ample aroma in place for an olfactory feast during your Gong Fu tea ritual. The wider lid makes it easy to fill or refill the pot even with big-leaf tea varieties, and the straight spout ensures a quick and steady flow of the tea soup. Pair it with one of our high aroma, medium to heavy roasted oolongs, and blacks for the ultimate Gong Fu experience.

Master Gao Juntao was born in Yixing, the Chinese hometown of pottery. Inheriting a family tradition, he devoted himself to the art of purple sand from a young age. He extensively explores ancient and modern knowledge of Zisha pottery art in his learning process. Throughout the years of practice, he has developed a unique artistic concept, praised by the general audience and fellow artisans.


    Capacity: 110ml

    • Speed of pour: 12.2 ml/sec (since each teapot is individually crafted, the pouring speed may vary)

    • Filter: 7 holes

    Material: Aged Huang Long Mountain Zi Ni (Yixing clay, ZiSha) – 陈化黃龍山老紫泥

    • Shape: Shui Ping (水平)


    NOTE: Avoid using detergents when cleaning.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 8 reviews
    David W
    What a pot for the price!

    This Zini pot is a delight. I have dedicated it to medium aged raw Puerh and it is dreamy. Softens the bitter notes, thickens the tea, and accentuates the butteryness of the brew whilst not taking too much (except on the first few brews which you have to expect as it seasons, and in my books is a sign of good clay).

    And just on the pot-side of things. It is joyful. Lovely deep rich Zini color, really nicely made, great balance and a nice pour. For under $150 I genuinely don't see how you could find better. Get it before it goes up is my advice.


    It works

    Briliant teapot

    I was bit worried that it would mute Hongcha too much, but to my surprise it has muted just the things you dont want to have in tea. Its thick, smooth, sweet, rounded and flavour with aroma just sings through it. If you´re thinking about this pot, dont hesitate and get it, its easily the best one I have and the measurment is absolutely perfect (110 to the rim, so 100 ml of usable space.) It would rock with puerhs, heicha or darker, roasted oolongs too (like Yancha or dark taiwanesse.) It became my favourite pot after two brews.

    Excellent for oolong

    Makes incredible yancha, highly recommend

    Jim Pitts
    Great little teapot

    Very well made Yixing teapot and the perfect size.