What is Zishahu?
THE HISTORY OF ZISHAHU

Zisha Hu, or Purple Sand Tea Pot, is a unique Chinese art form that developed during the Song dynasty (960-1279), but reached the height of its fame during the early Ming Dynasty (960-1644) through the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). 
 
This very elegant, but simple style of earthenware became increasingly popular as tea preparation itself moved towards simplicity. The process of preparing tea during the earlier Tang Dynasty (618-907) involved grinding of leaves and the addition of incense. 
 
HOW IT CAME POPULAR?

As this complex method began to fall out of favor it was replaced with the use of simple, but wonderful whole tea leaves and buds. The unglazed and uncolored purple sand clay teapot proved it could best capture the real color and fragrance of this new style of tea. 
In addition, its aesthetics reflected the cultural and philosophical ideas of  the times. Transcending its purpose of brewing tea, zisha tea ware became a symbol of simplistic beauty.
 
WHY PEOPLE USE IT TO BREW TEA?

In the Song Dynasty it was decided that the zisha clay was the best material for  brewing tea. The reason for this is its distinctive mineral content. The clay is rich in iron, quartz, mica, kaolin, hematite, isinglass, in addition to many other trace minerals. 
The iron contained in the clay helps sustain the temperature of the heated water, allowing for a very rich and complex infusion of tea. The quartz and other components leave mineral remains after the clay is fired at 1100-1180 degrees Celsius.
 
This creates a distinctive double pore surface. This highly porous structure is the key element that makes Yixing ware indispensable for fine tea drinking. These many microscopic holes not only allow the pot to adapt to drastic changes in temperature, but also allow the tea to breathe which in turn brings out the fragrance, color and taste of the original tea leaf. 
 
The tea’s delicate oils are absorbed into the walls of the pot, creating yet another enhancement of flavor. Therefore, brewing one type of tea will give a distinctive character to your zisha ware.