The emergence of a vessel specifically made for brewing tea can be traced back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), an important transitional period of tea drinking in the history of China. Previous tea had been made by whipping of loose tea powder in hot water and the tea stored and distributed as cakes. The manufacture of tea cakes was prohibited by the emperor Taizu (1368-1398) in the 24th year of Hongwu (1391), bringing about the adoption of loose-leaf tea. Subsequent to the change of tea preparation method, the use of ewers and tea bowls went out of fashion. New utensils which were more suitable for brewing loose-leaf tea became the vogue of the day, marking the beginning of the story of teapots.