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Seasoning Your Yixing Zisha Teapot

Posted by Angelina Kurganska on

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 brews. With time developing its own rich flavor profile and characteristics which are merely irreplaceable. However, Yixing teapots are indeed an investment. 

For more information on purchasing a Yixing teapot you can read our article: A Comprehensive Guide on Choosing Yixing Clay 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 tea pot.

 

Yixing clay originates near the city of Yixing, in China's Jiangsu province. It has been used to make traditional Chinese pottery since the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). 

  

How To Take Care Of Your Chinese Yixing Clay 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.

 

     

    Seasoning Your Yixing Clay Teapot

    • pick a clean pot, fill it with filtered water, boil the water and then bring it to simmering. 
    • put a clean white towel on the bottom of the pot.
    • gently place your Yixing teapot inside (teapot and lid separately), so that it’s covered
      *make sure to use a low fire so that it’s not at a hard boil and the teapot doesn’t become damaged
    • let it boil for 5-10 minutes. If the new teapot has a strong earthy smell, let it boil for longer, up to an hour. 
    • wait for the water to cool before picking up the teapot


    Optional step:

    • choose a type of tea that you will drink out of the teapot (for example, if you plan to dedicate this teapot to drinking oolongs boil it with some oolong)
    • repeat the same steps but boil the teapot together with tea leaves
    • when done seasoning and 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! 

    Zisha Purple Clay Teapot

     

    The more you use your new zisha clay teapot, the more it will develop a color and scent of its own. After many years of using it, 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 clay teapots or any other teaware!

     

    How to Season Yixing Teapot (Video)