CARE FOR YOUR YIXING TEAPOT
The yixing teapot is the perfect vessel to brew oolong and black teas. The yixing teapot has maintained its popularity over the past five centuries. Yixing pots were the first ‘teapots’ with a plump belly, small opening, a lid, and a spout. Potter Gung Chun invented the shape of the teapot in 1513 during the Ming Dynasty in China. The design of the pot is of particular importance - it is perfectly suited to oolong and black teas because Yixing keeps tea warmer than porcelain pots while also producing a more concentrated, aromatic liquid.
Yixing teapots are used for gong fu tea service. Slowing down for a moment to mindfully prepare the tea can bring a quiet moment to any hectic day. And can be a wonderful way to share tea with friends and family. A Teance tea consultant is always happy to teach tea gung fu style - and will help you choose the other implements that help in preparation such as a tea caddy, scoop, tongs, strainer, server, sniffing cups and small 1 -2 oz. teacups. For personal use, simply a pot and a cup will do, some people even drink directly from the pot! Before you can proceed to brewing the perfect pot of oolong, here are some guidelines for seasoning your pot. Please attend carefully to these guidellines if you wish your pot to last a lifetime.
TYPES OF TEA BEST PREPARED IN YIXING WARE
You should be prepared to use only one type of oolong or black tea in you Yixing teapot. If there are two teas that you like that are very similar in nature, it is possible you could brew them in the same pot; while convenient this is not ideal. If you plan to use two teas, consult with someone who is very familiar with the teas before trying. Green teas are not recommended in Yixing pots. The clay conserves heat, and initally causes the temperature ot the tea to rise. Delicate green teas do better in porcelain or glass where the material causes heat to rapidly dissipate rather than intensify.
BEFORE BREWING YOUR FIRST POT
FIRST, completely submerge the teapot in a bowl of hot water. Let it sit in the bowl for an hour.
SECONDLY, prepare some of the tea you intend to use in the pot. Let it sit for an hour. Pour out this tea.
NOW the pot is seasoned.
NEVER wash the pot with soap
GENTLY scoop out all of the leaves when you are finished RINSE the inside out with hot water
USE a small natural bristle brush to clean the inside of the pot TURN upside down on a draining rack or towel to dry
LET it dry completely before putting it away for storage.
DO NOT let it sit in standing water after it has been seasoned.
A slight residue will build on the inside of the pot over time, and is partially responsible for the delicious tea. If you make enough pots of tea in your teapot, eventually you will be able to pour water in it and make tea - without leaves!