Chinese people pay special attention to the teapots, tea leaves and water. They believe that exquisite utensils should comply with delicate food.
Chinese believe that exquisite utensils should comply with delicate food. The same goes with teapots. The famous "zi sha hu" is made of a special pottery clay, purplish black in color and antique in design. Carved on it are some inscriptions, paintings and poems. The specialty is that it can preserve tea leaves in their original flavor and color. It is said the longer the pot is used, the more scent it gives out.
The carefully selected tea leaves and water are also indispensable. The tea leaves, picked before the solar term of rain water, are preferred, and then processed by hand. River water is never used, but water from springs or melted snow. When it snows in the winter, people in teahouses would shovel clean snow into huge water vats and store it for daily use. Drinking tea from this snow water can free people from heat rashes. No wonder the great poet Bai Juyi of the Tang Dynasty became a frequent visitor to teahouses when he was the regional chief in Hangzhou. And so many people form the habit of drinking tea day by day. It will certainly add a distinctive flavor to the scented tea, if you are seated in the traditional teahouse in such a picturesque place.