It is intriguing to imagine that the evolution of such an extraordinary artifact started as a necessity alongside the development of tea. It was required that some sort of vessel was needed for both brewing and drinking of these dried, crushed leaves. The teapot has transformed itself in so many ways through the ages making each individual structure unique. Whether they were produced in ceramic or porcelain the finer details of teapots have accompanied the time period in which they were constructed. It all started in the third century when the Chinese roasted tea leaves which were first pounded into a paste and made into a cake which was then boiled with ginger, rice, salt, orange peels and other spices to create a soup. Eventually, it was discovered that the process of actually crushing the leaves into a fine powder was much more refined. Each individual tea-drinking culture had its own unique pot that was closely associated with class, which was similar to the acceptance of tea within a society. In 960, the Sung Dynasty of China created the first form of this vessel known today as the teapot. The fine tea powder, which was formally poured into individual cups, was now being shared in a bowl of boiling water stirred with a bamboo brush. Visually it appears that this first teapot structure was actually made from some form of unique purple or red clay. During the Ming Dynasty of the 1600s the production of teapots began to flourish. It was engineered perfectly that the teapots during this time were made with unglazed clay that actually absorbed the flavor, color, and smell and flavor of the brewed tea. These types of teapots came from the YiXing region of China, which are still being manufactured today. Also during this time, decoration became just as important, if not more so then usability. Artists began illustrating them with different types of paint, inlaying them with gold and silver, and drawing many different themes from...
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