Yixing teapots are prized by tea drinkers for his or her porous nature. Every session enhances the taste because the unglazed clay slowly absorbs the tea. After years of standard use, Yixing teapots develop a particular shine from the within out. They aren’t quite common within the U.S. however savvy tea lovers noticed these beauties in The Blind Banker episode of the favored BBC collection Sherlock.

birdpotlight500x500Dating again to the 15th century, they’ll solely be made with particular purple clay from the mountains surrounding Yixing, China. They are often a lot smaller in dimension than western pots, enabling the tea drinker to realize smaller brews with concentrated taste and aroma. The colour of the clay can vary from darkish purple to reddish brown and even pale inexperienced. Traditional types are often understated and plain however you’ll find fashionable pots made to appear like pumpkins or cute animals, too.

Black tea, oolong and pu-erh all carry out nicely when brewed in Yixing teapots. White, yellow or inexperienced teas don’t are likely to work nicely because the clay retains an excessive amount of warmth. This will increase the probabilities of making your tea bitter. Due to their absorbent qualities, Yixing teapots are often devoted to a single sort of tea. For instance, I’ve totally different pots for sheng pu-erh, phoenix oolongs and greener rolled oolongs. Mixing teas which might be very totally different from one another might end in a muddled taste.

Maintaining your pot correctly will provide you with years of enjoyment. In order to forestall mould, after every use go away the lid off till the within has dried fully. It’s additionally essential to by no means wash your Yixing with cleaning soap or put it within the dishwasher. The clay would soak up the chemical substances, ruining any tea that you simply attempt to make sooner or later.
Yixing TeapotsI’m usually requested when somebody ought to make the leap to utilizing an Yixing. My reply is at all times to attend till you discover a tea that you simply love sufficient to dedicate a teapot’s whole lifetime to it.

There is a variety of high quality and value ranges out there at the moment. It’s greatest to buy from a trusted retailer who focuses on Chinese tea ware. An excellent starter pot could possibly be discovered for as little as $50 whereas larger finish handmade items will value hundreds. Be cautious of antiques as there a whole lot of counterfeits. If it sounds too good to be true, it typically is.

How to Season Your Yixing

Much like forged iron skillets, Yixing teapots require seasoning. There are many alternative strategies to take action however that is the way in which that has labored greatest for me.

  1. Fill the pot with room temperature water and let it sit for about four hours.
  2. Empty the pot and fill it with boiling water.
  3. Let it sit till the water cools to room temperature.
  4. Dump out the water and place tea leaves into the pot.
  5. Fill with boiling water and let it sit till it cools to room temperature.
  6. Repeat the earlier step with the identical leaves, permitting it to chill to room temperature once more.
  7. Remove each the water and leaves.
  8. Your pot is now able to be loved!

Feature picture by Brent. It’s been cropped from the unique. – Usage license  – CC BY 2.0.
Yixing Teapot photos by Nicole Martin.

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