Yixing teapots are tricky business. Many tea enthusiasts know about the incredible benefits of owning a Yixing teapot. The way the clay enriches the tea, becoming glazed with the oils of many brewing. With time developing its own rich flavor profile and characteristics which are merely irreplaceable. However, Yixing teapots are indeed an investment. A good one is never cheaper than $50, and they can range up to $100 or more.
For more information on purchasing a Yixing teapot you can read our article: What You Need to Know About Purchasing a Yixing Teapot.
Once you’ve finally made a choice to invest in this piece of teaware to bring your oolong, black and pu-erh tea drinking experience to a new level you want to make sure you are doing all the right things to take care of your new teapot.
A common mistake people make is thinking you can use your teapot as soon as you get it. We often get questions from people who are curious or taken aback by the smell they sense after getting the piece of teaware. It can be described as “earthy”, “muddy”, “moldy”, and even “fishy”.
While too much of a fishy or moldy smell is usually not a good sign, all Yixing teapots hold some of these characteristics due to the way they are made and the fresh, unglazed clay.
To lighten the earthy smell of clay and prepare the teapot for tea brewing we always need to season it before use.
Preparing Your Yixing Teapot for Seasoning
- place your new teapot in a bowl filled with cool water and gently wipe it with a towel or even better, with a big brush
(make sure there are no foreign flavors on the bowl or towel)
Seasoning Your Yixing Teapot
- fill a pot with water, gently place your Yixing teapot inside (pot and lid separately), so that it’s covered
- bring to a gentle boil and keep boiling for about one hour
(this will help to remove the earthy smell)
*make sure to use a medium fire so that it’s not at a hard boil and the teapot doesn’t become damaged
- wait for the water to cool before picking up the teapot
- repeat the same step but boil the teapot together with tea leaves for 90 minutes
- choose a cheaper tea, ideally, a type of tea that you will most often drink out of the teapot (for example, if you plan to mostly drink oolongs boil it with some oolong)
- after 90 mins, when the water cools, place the teapot in a bowl of warm water to give it a final rinse
- wipe with a clean towel and let it dry in a well-ventilated place
- now your Yixing is ready for use!
The more you use your new Yixing teapot, the more it will develop a color and scent of its own. After you've used it a good amount of times try pouring some hot water in it without any tea leaves and you'll see how the color of the water is almost the same to a tea brew and that it will even have a taste of all the teas you've brewed!
*Please make sure to never use any kinds of soaps or dish detergents with your Yixing teaware!
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