3. Full CURRENT STATUS of Ben Shan Lü Ni 本山绿泥: 1)Avoiding pitfalls, 2)Huang Long Yuan 黄龙源 Situation, 3)Our Cao Family 曹家 Movement

Dear Friends,

Here it is.

This is the full Ben Shan Lü Ni situation.
And this is how we will bring all our friends and patrons:
   Superb, Authentic, high quality and affordable:
- 100% Ben Shan Lü Ni 纯本山绿泥 AND,
- Ming Guo Lü Ni 明国绿泥 - using likewise 100% Ben Shan Lü Ni 纯本山绿泥 with top grade Cobalt 高料钴)

True 100% Pure BenShan LüNi which you friends can truly and finally own (not those 70%BSLN:30%DuanNi nor those 20%BSLN:80%DuanNi).

We believe you have read the two articles:

and this article:

Now we delve further and totally into the full landscape of Ben Shan Lü Ni.
Exactly at Ground Zero.

Ben Shan Lü Ni has always been limited, but the worst thing about it is that: it had been in a very bad state of integrity in the market since the 2010s.  We know that many lay customers have extreme difficulty getting a Fully-Handmade ZiSha pot in the first place.  Now think of the even more pathetic probability that, one can ever acquire an authentic BenShan LüNi pot which is Fully-Handmade.

Probably all the websites seen now are selling false Ben Shan Lü Ni (most aren't even selling authentic Fully-Handmade ZiSha works in the same place.)

We uphold integrity here at realzisha.

If it is difficult to get, we will say so.  If it is easy to get, we will say so.  If it is not expensive, we will not say it is expensive.  If it is hyped up, we will be plain and be calm about it and state so : "there is no need to jump on the bandwagon nor join the madding crowd, a Lao Zi Ni Fang Gu is $191 with us, a Di Cao Qing Fang Gu is $182 with us.".

The fact is, 100% Pure Ben Shan Lü Ni IS difficult to get.

We at the Cao Family, together with our selected Grand Masters and Masters of integrity whom we work tightly and closely with, commit very hard and single-mindedly to MAINTAIN OUR honesty and reputation.


In YiXing now, there are clay stockists marketing their clay as "Ben Shan Lü Ni" but we Artisans and Craftsmen know that they are NOT 100% pure ANYMORE.

There are some of the honest Artists and Craftsmen who bought the "Ben Shan Lü Ni" clays, but during and after making the pots, they notice that they have been cheated.  The resultant pots do not look right at all, and/or are very poor quality.

Upon examination, both by visual inspection and palpation, we all know that they are NOT pure.

If you as an Artist or Craftsman, are honest, you will not sell any such pots.

If you are a dishonest Artist/retailer, you can sell many of them: easily sell many such impure and low quality "BSLN" pots to many inexperienced buyers.

....yes, Many will buy from you.

But you know, in your heart, you are not doing something right.

Also, these customers who had bought such impure BSLN pots from you thinking that they are pure BenShan LüNi, may live the next 30 years until they are old, and they WILL still NOT realise that they have bought IMPURE Ben Shan Lü Ni pots from you thirty years ago.

The lie persists for 30 years and your customers will most likely never know that you as an Artist or Craftsman had cheated them (or you had been cheated by the clay stockist earlier upstream).

I believe you and I are people of honour.


You and I, will do the RIGHT thing out of 100% honesty and good repute.  We will RATHER, not sell anything funny, than earn money/appease customers just for the sake of it.

Integrity is important.

No way should we just succumb to just appeasing/money.


We look at 3 Sections with pictures:

Picture XA:

The first one, A, is a fake "Ben Shan LüNi" pot sold on a certain platform.

Our Artist and Grand Masters, have seen it and EASILY deciphered it: they can all tell straightaway that it is NOT Ben Shan Lü Ni.  Ben Shan Lü Ni has white granulate particles, but they should never be jutting out, pokey to touch.

This does not even qualify as good Duan Ni!

Here there is even one pot sold as a "Ben Shan LüNi pot" that is gray in colour.

Picture XB:

However, Ben Shan Lü Ni after firing, is never gray after firing.

Some friends had tried and came away later to realise.


Section: Ben Shan Lü Ni from Huang Long Yuan 黄龙源。

You don't suffer fools, and,
We move far from the madding crowd.
We move on to the Reputable:

Huang Long Yuan 黄龙源 company.

Huang Long Yuan company is THE only quasi-government/private company in YiXing, and is the only company that has Nationally Authenticated ZiSha stocks.

Yes friends, they DO SELL BenShan LüNi! :-D


Read on:

We know Huang Long Yuan boss.  Our uncle National Grand Master Cao Ya Lin, Provincial Grand Master Cao Yan Ping, friend and Grand Master Chen Guo Liang, friend and Provincial Grand Master Shao Shun Sheng, our Artists Lu Xue Feng, Cao Lan Fang, Zhang Ke, Zhang Xue Lei, Yang Quan Sheng, Du Cheng Yao, all know Huang Long Yuan's boss.

Our Senior Master Cao Lan Fang and Assoc Master Artist Zhang Ke have revisited him recently in January 2023, to chat with Huang Long Yuan's boss as well.

He admits that his only pure grade 100% of Ben Shan Lü Ni ARE NOT FOR SALE.   THE ONLY WAY you can PRISE one brick away from him, is if you bring a Grand Master Winning ZiSha Art piece that is worthy (repute and monetary-wise) over to exchange with him (barter trade) for his remaining limited bricks of 100% Ben Shan Lü Ni.  He cannot be blamed for for being money-minded.  His stocks are extremely finite.  Every single brick that leaves his store, means there is one less brick.  There is no price put on each.

However, he does reveal that he does sell a certain grade of BenShan LüNi clay, but of lower quality and purity, these that are available for sale, costs 10,000-20,000rmb per brick.

Zhang Ke took a photo there as well while talking to the Huang Long Yuan boss, Zhang Ke held up this Niu Gai Lian Zi in-house pot made by precisely by this lower grade of Huang Long Yuan BenShan LüNi,

You can see that the basal layer is very darkish from a good distance (not so pure), but at least it is still relatively soft to touch and there is very little protruding/pokey DuanNi particles.  He is honest.

He is absolutely forthcoming.  He does admit that these 10-20k rmb bricks of BenShan LüNi are of lower quality and purity: he puts it at very likely 70% BSLN : 30% DuanNi.

Yes, this pot made of this "7:3 grade", is not impressive.  But at least the Huang Long Yuan boss is 100% honest and tells us that this lowest grade of BSLN is: not pure during picking at the mine.  He is honourable.



Thus we go back to ourselves, we at the Cao Family must do something to save the fraternity.

We want to let all of you get your very own treasured, PURE and AFFORDABLE honest BSLN.

We have decided to sacrifice our own good stocks out for you all.

We at the Cao Family, since our grandfather's pioneering hard work in YiXing from the 1920s discovering, exploring and excavating ZiSha ores at Huang Long Shan, YES we have 22 warehouses of ZiSha, and yes, we do have Ben Shan Lü Ni.  But, just like Huang Long Yuan, OUR own stocks of pure Ben Shan Lü Ni is extremely limited.

We have been serving our own patrons, and great Artists, for the past decades in our local community in China.  And now, since early 2023, we decided to save the situation, save customers and patrons, by releasing our own pure Ben Shan Lü Ni to all international friends and patrons.

Please cherish our 100% Pure Ben Shan Lü Ni.  They did not come easy.  We continue to take good care of our limited stock.  We have a heart to help save the situation for all of you international friends for many of you are true modern upholders of the tea culture, savvy, alert and peaceful.

Assoc Master Zhang Ke 张轲 will make them.  His mother Senior Master Cao Lan Fang 曹兰芳 can craft these BenShan LüNi pots too.  So can Senior Master Cao An Xiang 曹安祥, Provincial Grand Master Cao Yan Ping 曹燕萍 and National Grand Master Cao Ya Lin 曹亚麟。.

You choose/opine/dictate what model you wish for Zhang Ke to make, and he will wholeheartedly put his being and mind to your pot.  His skills and handwork are very delicate.

Zhang Ke is of enneagram Type 1, a perfectionist.

We welcome you to procure top craftsmanship from him with ABSOLUTE 100% BEN SHAN LÜ NI AUTHENTICITY.  You will see his meticulous craftsmanship n his works.  He spend many hours on ONE pot on end, going through much experimentation, improving, keep improving, the little bit of curve here, a little bit of slant and silhouette there, to make the WHOLE pot look COHESIVE A)with the sum of many delicate parts and B)the amalgamation of ideal proportions.

The whole pot will look very comfortable, classy and fine, timeless.

We want to let all of you get your 1)very own treasured, PURE and AFFORDABLE honest BSLN, and 2)even of your own preference, choice, a bespoke work of your own to call, the volume you want, and with any engraving that you wish for.

We always provide you friends with uttermost value in every Fully-Handmade Work you get from us, yes, all: from a $173 Lian Zi 莲子 by Chen Fa Chu, to a $4k Senior Master Lu Xue Feng's 路雪峰 work, to even the Panama International Exposition Winners : Sui Tang Qian Gui 隋唐钱柜 (Year 2020 Gold Award) or the Yi Mai Xiang Tong 一脉相通 (Year 2021 Gold Winner) by Grand Master Shao Shun Sheng.  An 18 yr old student or a Abu Dhabi or Museum Curator patron.  We give to you the absolute top value.

Yet another reminder, that true Ben Shan Lü Ni IS SOFT, very tactile, kind of a baby soft-touch, and with white granules that cannot be palpable to touch, and also without darkish basal/filling pastiness.

This is VERY IMPORTANT to the Nth degree:
the white granular particles are there, you can see them, but YOU SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO FEEL THEM.

This is our Cao Family true 100% Pure Ben Shan Lü Ni which is now availed to all of you dearest Friends:




Contrasting the above true properties of BenShan LüNi VERSUS: the ubiqituous fake "BenShan LüNi pots" made from pale coloured DuanNi these are very sandy to touch.  You can feel these granulates.  The much worse side on the marketplace are those ubiqituous Jigger-machined pots made of fine pastey ceramic clays (not ZiSha!) that have added Titanium Oxide 钛白粉 to make them light yellowish in colour after firing allied with the smooth surface of such pastey ceramic mixes.  We can easily tell them apart.


Dear Friends,

We want to give you True 100% BenShan LüNi works, and AUTHENTICATION for YOUR TRUE 100% BEN SHAN LÜNI from our Cao Family, made by our Artist Zhang Ke for you:

1.  Premier Master Cao An Xiang's 曹安祥 sticker of authentication, and our own Family's Repute 曹家~镜塘社 Cao Family ~ Jing Tang Association。

2.  Each work comes with an irreproachable, inimitable method of safeguarding your work: each certificate will come with an attached 5rmb cash note with its unique number, and this indexed number on the cash note attached within the certificate, we will record the number down in our Cao Family log records to protect you and to correspond with your work even if you do pass it down to your next generation or your loved ones.  We have stopped enumerating our certificates with number stamps, this is to prevent hoaxers from Taobao replicating and printing our certificates and easily repeating our enumeration.  They can't print RMB cash notes!

3.  Video call with Assoc Master Zhang Ke.

We will also build a tailored box for your work.




This is the true story behind ALL the things that are going on.

We have the heart and the tools to help.

This is our mission.  This is beyond just preserving our reputation.

It is,

To do more, to save the fraternity, to safeguard knowledge and recognition of proper Fully-Handmade ZiSha, to take care of all of you, our patrons and friends.

Do browse more details on our main page's BenShan LüNi and MingGuo LüNi section to designate and procure your own,


Talk to us anytime dear friends,
Warmest Regards :-D,
~ here for all of you.