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Generally, the price of Yixing teapots are dependent on such factors such as age, clay, artist, style and production methods.The more expensive pots are shaped by hand using wooden and bamboo tools to manipulate the clay into form, while cheaper Yixing pots are produced by slipcasting.Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) is considered the golden era of the purple clay teapot.During this time, the Yixing teapot proved unique, elegant and highly individualized.Hundreds of teapot shops line the edges of the town's crowded streets and it is a popular tourist destination for many Chinese.While Dīngshān is home to dozens of ceramics factories, Yíxīng Zǐshā Factory Number 1, which opened in 1958, processes a large part of the clay used in the region, produces fine pottery ware, and has a large commercial showroom.Much more evidence exist that the Yixing teapot was developed in the Ming Dynasty dating back to 1368-1644. Zhou Gao Qi, a writer who lived during the Ming Dynasty authored an account on the development and production of Yixing teapots.
Archaeological excavations reveal that as early as the Song dynasty (10th century) potters near Yixing were using local "zisha" (紫砂 or 紫泥 ; literally, "purple sand/clay") to make utensils that may have functioned as teapots.
These often elaborate and whimsical pots are traditionally used for gongfu steeping, where tea is served in small cups over the course of many very short infusions.
Ideal teas for this are oolongs and pu'erhs, although some black teas will be quite lovely, as well.
They can also be used for green or white tea, but the water must be allowed to cool to around 85 °C (185 °F) before pouring the water into the pot.
Yixing teapots absorb a tiny amount of tea into the pot during brewing.