The seemingly endless array of Yixing teapot designs is inspiring and dazzling, and more than one hapless admirer has ended up becoming a passionate collector of these small beauties.
Well-designed Yixing teapots have a simple elegance and an overall warmth that is very appealing. The unglazed surfaces of the teapots project a rich sense of beauty that focuses on the lines of the form of teapot and the color and texture of the clay.
These teapots are intentionally small in size to correspond with the Chinese gong-fu style of oolong and Pu-erh tea preparation and drinking: small teapots, small cups, and multiple infusions of the same leaf. Yet these teapots are impressive in stature and reputation and, and teapots made by recognized teapot artisans are highly in demand.
The form of each teapot and the shape of the body is often conducive to steeping one type of tea over another. It is essential that the handle and lid be in harmony with the body of the teapot. The balance and pouring ability of the teapot must be confident and sure, providing control for the user when dispensing the tea.
Most new Yixing teapots have a matte finish, or have been softly burnished with a wooden or bamboo tool by the artist. Over time, the surface of the teapot will develop a soft, lustrous patina from use and handling.