Clay teapots from the town in Yixing, near Wuxi, are an indispensable accessory for tea drinkers throughout China. Usually small, squat, and brown, fine craftsmanship and special materials make them an ideal vessel for making tea. The fired clay is uniquely able to bring out the flavors of tea leaves during brewing. Since the clay is absorbent, unlike porcelain or metal, some of the flavor is absorbed into the pot during each brewing. This gives the tea a richer and more mellow flavor - after using a pot many times, the pot itself can flavor boiling water without adding any fresh tea leaves!