Is this our own Thi Nguyen?
The names on the bylines usually just whiz right by me, but this one grabbed me. Of course, it's entirely possible half of the LA Times food articles have been penned by Thi as well, and my ignorant self just hasn't noticed until now....
Yixing is a place on (lake) Taihu, Jiangsu province, noted for earthenware ceramics. Another supposed quality of the yixing ware is that after years of use (and you're supposed to use only one type of tea in each pot you have), the pot will be so strongly infused with the tea oils that you need only steep water in the pot to get the flavor of the tea.
(I think it's zhengyi de yi, and gaoxing de xing)
some more info at www.yixing.com
Also I've got a basic info link below