What is a Jianshui Teapot?

  • Last edited: December 30, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Around a week ago, I decided it was time. Time to purchase my first expensive clay teapot. After doing some research and watching some videos on Mei Leaf’s Youtube channel, I really wanted a Jianshui teapot because they look awesome! When that was settled, a new question arose: which model should I pick? I went for the big bottom one because this one is the best looking one in my opinion.

What is a Jianshui teapot?

It is a 200 ml clay teapot from Jianshui, a county in Yunnan province in China. On Mei leaf’s website, the clay is described as coming “from five different ores from the surrounding hills around Jianshui in Yunnan. The five ores (white, yellow, purple, cyan, and five color) are blended and cured to make a clay which is strong and stable with excellent heat retention and tea softening qualities.” (https://meileaf.com/teaware/big-bottom-jianshui/)

This teapot is made without the use of any moulding. It is thereby completely made by hand, which explains the expensive price tag. The square icons you see on the side of the teapot are not painted on but are engraved in the teapot.

Why this teapot?

First of all, it looks cute and awesome at the same time! It has an exclusive Mei Leaf Pixelsquare design, which is also kinda nice. Another reason and at least equally important is the structure of the teapot.

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I was looking for a teapot in which I could brew Puerh teas and this one came out on top. This teapot has thicker walls, which makes it perfect for teas that are supposed to be brewed hot. The heat retention is great and that is exactly what I was looking for.

What did I do with it before using?

Before using it for the first time, I cleaned it with hot water and let it rest for half an hour with the hot water in it. Now it’s time to get cooking!

What will I do with it?

Brew tea, duh! But seriously, which kind of tea? I decided that this teapot is perfect to brew Shou (ripe) Puerh tea, which is a tea that has to be brewed really hot (generally speaking). This teapot is up for the task!

Wild Tianjian Exquisite Leaves tea adventures
In this tea session, I used the Jianshui teapot to brew some hei cha.
2013 Blue Label Shou Yunnan Sourcing Tea Adventures
This tea session was with a ripe pu-erh from 2013. The pot performed quite well with this tea.

If ripe pu-erh doesn’t work, I might try young sheng pu-erh because I read that the combination of young sheng and Jianshui clay might be a really good combination.

Why only one type of tea?

So I bought a €140 teapot to brew only one type of tea? You are absolutely right I bought it because of that! As I said before, this is a clay teapot. This implies that it can absorb tea flavors, which affects the taste of teas you brew in it. This doesn’t happen overnight but it is a subtle process that builds up over time. If you use the same teapot for several years, there could be a huge impact on the teas you brew. This is not the case when you brew tea in a glass or porcelain teapot.

Using clay teaware offers a new dimension to tea so I’m very excited to experience this. That is why it is advised to only brew one type of tea in each teapot. If you brew black, oolong, and Puerh tea in the same clay teapot, it can lead to some weird flavors over time.

Using a Jianshui teapot to brew young sheng pu-erh might be a good idea if you want to get every little detail out of the tea leaves.

Conclusion

I am happy that I bought this expensive teapot? Absolutely! Do I know what this teapot will do to the different teas I plan on brewing? Absolutely not! That is what makes it both fun and interesting at the same time. I’m really looking forward to see what this teapot can do. It was an expensive purchase but in my opinion, it’s worth it.

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