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Masters of the purple clay

Updated: 2021-02-20 09:33 ( China Daily )
A classical form of a purple clay teapot. [Photo provided to China Daily]

After the clay is baked it becomes waterproof ceramic, but is porous, allowing air in. This helps to maintain the aroma of the Chinese tea, and it keeps its color and taste for a long time.

"For centuries tea drinking has been an important part of Chinese culture," Zhou says.

The fine-crafted teapots of Yixing became widely sought after by the literati and the wealthy. Some names of the finest teapot artisans, such as Shi Dabin (1573-1648), Chen Mingyuan (born about 1680) and Shao Daheng (1796-1861), as well as their creations have endured long after they passed on.

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