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Seasoning Yixing Teapot

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To own a true Yixing teapot is to cherish a piece of China. Made of Yixing clay (also known as purple/ zisha clay) they require special care and a diligent cleaning routine. To make things easier for you we, Tao Tea Leaf, are here to provide the essential steps to ensure you get the most value out of your teapot. Treat it right and it will take care of you and your teas.

Before using a new teapot, it is important to clean it in order to prepare it for your tea of choice. Naturally, the handcrafted clay absorbs and retains some of the smell and flavour of the tea after each use.This is the property which makes each tea ceremony more enjoyable than the last. However, this means that each teapot should only be used to steep one kind of tea. It is not out of the ordinary to have a Yixing for Sheng Puer and one for Shou Puer.

Luckily, this cleaning technique can also be used to "reset" a teapot so that it can be used for a different kind of tea. A teapot used for light oolong teas such as Tie Guan Yin and Jade Oolong can be reset to become a teapot for green tea, for dark oolong teas, or for any of the many varieties we have available. Simply follow these instructions:

Boiling the Teapots (Recommended)

Select a boiling pot that is large enough to contain your teapot(s) and submerge them in water. Make sure the pot and lid are very clean and have no oil or residue on them before you set them in the water. Never use soap, cleansers, or scrubbing brushes on your Yixing teapots. Only use clean, filtered water.

Carefully place your teapots in the pot with their lids off and fill it with water until the teapots are completely submerged. If you have a clean cloth, you can wrap the teapots to protect them from damage during the boiling as the rising bubbles will cause the Yixing pots to move and jitter around.

Set the stove to "boil" and wait until the water reaches a rolling boil.

Once a full rolling boil is reached, set the stove to "simmer" and wait for the boil to slow down. When the water is boiling gently, set a timer for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes are up, turn off the stove and leave the teapots in the boiling pot with water to let them cool gradually. Cooling the teapots too quickly may damage them.

Cleaning the Teapots with Tofu (Optional)

Note: The following process is only necessary for newer teapots that have a clay-like smell.

Many tea drinkers find that tofu is excellent at ridding a teapot of any odors in addition to being a delicious food item. First, fill each teapot with plain unflavoured tofu. Place the teapots in the pot, fill it with water, boil, simmer, and cool as before.

Treating the Teapots with Sugarcane (Not Recommended)

Some teapot owners believe that using sugarcane can bring moisture and a blush to Yixing teapots. In our experience, we have found that this process does not affect the moisture or shine of a teapot. The steps are the same as with tofu, but using sugarcane instead.

Seasoning the Teapots (Recommended)

This process is used to enhance the relationship between the teapot and tea. Each teapot should be boiled individually along with the tea to which you wish it to be bound. After placing a teapot in the pot and filling it with water, add the tea leaves.Proceed as with the previous two examples to join your Yixing pot and tea together in harmony.

Now your Yixing teapots are clean! Use them in good health and with good company!

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