by Adelaide Edgett
Taiwanese tea master Teaparker aka Chi Zongxian, who suggested the concept of “the teapot serves the tea,” was recently invited to Penn State for a four-day “yixing teapot” exhibition. An unprecedented occurrence, this is the first time an American university will host an event based solely on yixing clay.
Teaparker, who once served as the judge of the Taiwan Yingge Ceramics Museum Tea Ware Competition, stated that yixing is very valued and loved among the Taiwanese tea lovers, especially after auction prices broke record highs the last few years.
However, the most attractive thing about a yixing teapot is the clay itself.
Serving as a visionary for scientifically investigating yixing teapots in China and Taiwan, the Tea Institute at Penn State discusses the interaction between yixing clay and tea properties through scientific analyses, operations, and experimentations.
Beginning on April 23, lectures and seminars will cover topics such as yixing clay, the clays and the tea, the history of yixing clay, shapes of yixing teapots, yixing clay research, the yixing clay teapot brewing method, and yixing teapots in Gong Fu Cha.
The focus will rest on analyzing these topics based on scientific approaches, while enriching the conversations of culture and history.
Although the seminar will be led by Teaparker himself, French student Stephane Erler and Palina Chan from the Cha Ren Ya Xin Culture & Arts Association will take part in the demonstrations. Alongside Ryan Ahn, the director of the Tea Institute at Penn State, Teaparker will participate in the discussions and practice for four days, discovering rationales for “the only teapot in this world is called yixing.”
All events will take place in 34 Ritenour and are scheduled below:
Thursday, April 23
10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.:
- “Yixing Clay”
- “The Clays and the Tea”
Friday, April 24
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:
- “History of Yixing Clay, Part 1”
- “History of Yixing Clay, Part 2”
Saturday, April 25
11 a.m.-1 p.m.:
- “Shapes of Yixing Clay”
- “Yixing Clay Research”
Sunday, April 26
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:
- “Yixing Clay Teapot”
- “Learn to Brew in a Yixing Teapot”
- “Yixing Teapots in Gongfu Cha”
Correction: A previous version of this story featured a photo of another tea master who wasn’t Teaparker. We apologize for the error.